Commentary: Rand Paul compares health care rights to slavery

Politico reports that a subcommittee hearing on how to reduce emergency room use took "an odd turn" Wednesday when Kentucky's Sen. Rand Paul equated the "right to health care" with slavery.

"With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to health care you have to realize what that implies. I am a physician. You have a right to come to my house and conscript me. 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," said our freshman senator, who practices ophthalmology in Bowling Green.

Paul asserted that expanding federally funded community health centers to ensure that everyone had a "right" to care would be unconstitutional and enslave doctors. He said doctors should care for patients out of their own moral code.

"Our founding documents said you have a right to pursue happiness, but there's no guarantee about physical comfort. When you say you have a 'right' to something there is an implication of force. ... I will always treat people who come into the ER because that is what we always have done and because I believe in the Hippocratic Oath."

Where to begin?

At the risk of offending readers' intelligence, let's just say that people who are paid to do a job they freely chose and are free to leave are not slaves.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.kentucky.com.