Rand Paul gets his hernia surgery in … Canada?!?

Shouldice Hospital in Canada, specializing in hernia repair (photo from World's Best Hospitals)
Shouldice Hospital in Canada, specializing in hernia repair (photo from World's Best Hospitals)

Kay Tillow of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care is glad Sen. Rand Paul has opted for hernia surgery in Canada next Monday.

Our northern neighbor has a single-payer health care system. Paul, a Bowling Green ophthalmologist, is a fierce defender of American private health care.

“There’s no higher endorsement of a country’s health care system than to seek your own personal care in that country,” said Tillow, who lives in Louisville. “We hope that he recovers rapidly and that after having experienced single-payer health care he will come back and support it in this country so that all of us can have health care of excellent quality.”

In a story about Paul’s operation site choice, the Louisville Courier-Journal’s Thomas Novelly mined an eight-year-old quote from the tea party-tilting lawmaker in which he compared universal public-funded health care systems like Canada’s to slavery:

“With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to health care … It means you believe in slavery. You are going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants, the nurses. … You are basically saying you believe in slavery.”

Paul’s surgery will be at Shouldice Hernia Hospital. While the facility is privately owned—the same as many Canadian hospitals—it gets most of its funding from the Ontario government and accepts the province’s hospital insurance plan, which is part of Canada’s public health care system, Novelly wrote.

A spokesperson for the senator blasted media coverage of the operation as “fake news,” the C-J story also said.

Though Shouldice is a private hospital, Tillow suggested, “You would think he wouldn’t want to seek health care from a country that has a system of ‘slavery’ in its health care system.”

Presumably, Paul will be patched up and back home by Jan. 28 when his civil suit against his un-neighborly neighbor is supposed to start.

Rene Boucher admitted to beating up the senator over some brush piled on their property line. Paul is seeking $4,000 in medical bills he has already rung up. Paul says the hernia stemmed from the assault.

“Plus [Paul] still has to have hernia surgery, costing another $5K-8K – scheduled to take place in Canada on Jan. 21,” WDRB’s Jason Riley tweeted.

Matthew Yglesias retweeted Riley’s tweet. “Why is Rand Paul having surgery in the socialist dystopia of Canada?” he jabbed.

Answers flew from both sides of the border. Here’s a sampling:

Because much like his idol Ayn Rand he[‘]s actually a massive hypocrite? 

Berry Craig
Berry Craig of Mayfield is a professor emeritus of history at West Kentucky Community College in Paducah and an author of five books on the Civil War in Kentucky. The last one, published by the University Press of Kentucky, is Kentucky’s Rebel Press: Pro-Confederate Media in the Civil War. His critically-acclaimed Kentucky Confederates: Secession, Civil War, and the Jackson Purchase, also from the University Press, has been reprinted in paperback.