Paul's 2008 campaign manager, Kent Snyder, went through a strikingly similar experience to Blitzer's hypothetical one, dying of complications from viral pneumonia just two weeks after Paul ended his presidential bid. Snyder was uninsured, so family and friends were forced to raise funds to cover his $400,000 in medical bills. Their efforts included setting up a website soliciting contributions from Paul supporters.As Stein notes, people have been paying way more attention to the unseen idiots in the audience who shouted "yes" when Blitzer asked if we should let that guy die than to Paul's answer. And the fact is, Paul's answer is brilliantly stated. I'm not saying I agree with Paul, but what an articulate response!
The episode reflects what Paul himself argued should be the free-market ideal for health insurance policy. During Monday night's GOP primary debate, the libertarian Republican made the case that health insurance coverage was a choice. If one decided to forgo it, he ran the risk of mounting bills. If a patient was on his deathbed, it wasn't the taxpayers' responsibility to pick up that tab.
"I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid in the early 1960s when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa hospital in San Antonia, and the churches took care of them," Paul said. "We never turned anybody away from the hospital. And we've given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves, our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea -- that's the reason the cost is so high. The cost is so high because they dump it on the government, it becomes a bureaucracy."
Blitzer's question was designed to make Paul look heartless and extreme and unrealistic, and Paul flipped it, perfectly. Which is, I think, why the media would like to pay more attention to the yes-shouting jerks in the audience.