Nearly five years ago a young libertarian Senator from Kentucky appeared on Congressional panel with an old socialist Senator from Vermont. Their back and forth over whether healthcare was a right went viral then and received national news coverage as well as millions of views on YouTube. Rand Paul schooled Bernie Sanders on why determining someones’ services are a right is an immoral act of conscription. Bernie never got it. He ended up repeating the same tired tropes this year during the confirmation hearing of Congressman Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Luckily, Rand Paul is still in the Senate to destroy the old socialist complaint that American’s aren’t compassionate or charitable.
As Rand Paul began his inquiry he asked the Congressman whether or not he treated patients regardless of their ability to pay. Price replied in the affirmative and echoed the de facto medical philosophy of physicians operating in the United States. Patients are treated in this country whether or not they have an ability to pay. That’s standard operating procedure whether or not Bernie Sanders cares to admit it. That’s compassionate and charitable whether or not socialists recognize it. It’s also a philosophy not found in the socialist countries like Cuba and Venezuela that socialists often hold up as examples.
Furthermore, as Rand Paul pointed out immediately after, citizens of the United States privately give over $400 billion to charity every year. That’s almost double the GDP of Cuba and nearly as much as the GDP of Venezuela. And it’s all given away freely by private citizens not by the government. This voluntary action is what produces true charity and makes a person truly compassionate. Government force can never replace that and we shouldn’t want it to.
That’s perhaps the most important lesson for Bernie Sanders and his socialist followers. It’s far better for people to choose to be charitable than for government to force them to be. The United States has proved that the freedom to give produces far better results than governments where people are forced to.