Free Market Boner Rand Paul Is Getting Hernia Surgery in Canada

Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein (Getty)

There are two things you need to know about Sen. Rand Paul: He hates government-funded healthcare and he loves getting his ass kicked by his neighbor over petty Nextdoor-style bullshit. This time, love actually did trump hate: the Louisville Courier Journal reports that Paul, who is still recovering from his injuries as a result of Neighborgate, will go to Canada later this month to get hernia surgery.

Per the Courier Journal:

He is scheduled to have the outpatient operation at the privately adminstered Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario during the week of Jan. 21, according to documents from Paul’s civil lawsuit against Boucher filed in Warren Circuit Court.

The procedure is estimated to cost anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000, according to court documents. MDsave.com lists a hernia repair costing between $4,000 and $8,000.

Shouldice Hernia Hospital markets itself as “the global leader in non-mesh hernia repair,” according to the clinic’s website. The hospital’s website outlines payments it accepts, including cash, check or credit card for those patients, like Paul, who are not covered by Ontario’s insurance plan for its residents or a provincial health insurance plan.

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Paul spokesperson Kelsey Cooper predictably blew a gasket when confronted with this tasty bit of hypocrisy. “This is more fake news on a story that has been terribly reported from day one—this is a private, world renowned hospital separate from any system and people come from around the world to pay cash for their services,” Cooper told the Courier Journal in an email.

While Shouldice is a for-profit clinic, it’s very much a part of the Canadian healthcare system. As the National Post wrote in 2012, the government of the province of Ontario “still pays for thousands of patients a year to get operations there at taxpayers’ expense,” and that it “receives yearly funding from the province, and medicare fees for services offered by its doctors.”

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Apart from this, however, the fact remains that Paul—an ophthalmologist by trade who once compared the right to healthcare to slavery—is going to another country where healthcare for everyone is guaranteed and funded by the government via a program called Medicare, in order to get better quality care than he would have here in the United States, which has a Frankenstein-like monstrosity of a healthcare system that still leaves tens of millions uninsured.

Turns out the invisible hand isn’t as good at fixing hernias as a real one.

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