One of the lowlights and one of the highlights of the hearings on Rep. Tom Price’s nomination to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services were delivered by two former candidates for President. The low moment came from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who had the audacity to argue that the American people were NOT compassionate with their money. Thankfully, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was there to prove him wrong with FACTS, and explained that the American people privately give away more money than most of the world’s nations even earn.
Sen. Sanders: Congressman Price, The USA is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all it’s people as a right. Canada does it, every major country in Europe does it. Do you believe that health care is a right of all Americans, whether they are rich or poor? Should people, because they are Americans, be able to go to the doctor when they need to, be able to go to the hospital because they are Americans?
Rep. Price: If we are a compassionate society…
Sen. Sanders: No, we are not a compassionate society! Our record is worse than any country on earth in relation to poor and working people. Half of our older workers have nothing set aside for retirement. Compared to other countries, we are not particularly compassionate.
Several minutes later, after Sanders has finished with his uninformed and misguided screed, Senator Rand Paul steps in to redirect the interview back to reality. And the reality is that while Senator Sanders may believe us to be inhumane because we do not FORCE others to care for their neighbor, the reality is that Americans spend more money privately to care for the less fortunate than any other nation on the planet.
Sen. Paul: It’s been insinuated that America is this horrible, rotten place. The physician doesn’t have compassion. As your work as a physician, did you always agree as part of your engagement with the hospitals to treat all comers regardless of ability to pay?
Rep Price: It’s one of the things we pride ourselves on. Anyone in need of care was provided that care.
Sen. Paul: It’s interesting that those that say we don’t have compassion, and you look at a country like Venezuela–great resources and an utter disaster where people can’t eat and things are devolving into violence.
It is important we have a debate in our country between socialism and communism and America and capitalism. One of the extraordinary things about our country is just two years ago in 2014 we gave away $400 billion privately, not the government, individually, through churches and charities. We are an incredibly compassionate society…
The greatness of our country and the greatness of the compassion of our country, we give away more than the gross domestic product of most socialized countries around the world.
You can watch exchanges below:
By the way, if you need the proof about our generosity, a recent world survey finds that Americans are the world’s most charitable citizens and about 31% of Republicans donate at least $1000 to charity every year! (Another 20% donate less, but that means more than half of Republicans do give to charity every year. The same holds true for Democrats and Independents as well!) In fact, Americans are so charitable that we out-donate the UK and Canada by more than a two-to-one margin, and we out-donate Italy and Germany by MORE than 20-to-one!
So when Bernie Sanders brags on Canada, maybe he should double-check his math.