NPR, May 12, 2011

"Do you feel like a slave?" That's a question Dana Kraus, MD, a Vermont family doctor, probably didn't expect at a Senate subcommittee hearing Wednesday on the issue of how to reduce the unnecessary use of hospital emergency rooms. But that's what Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) asked her as the hearing turned into a philosophical debate between the socialist Sanders and conservative Sen. Rand Paul, (R-KY) over whether healthcare is a right for all Americans. Paul used the hearing to question why federally funded community health centers are offering family planning services if Planned Parenthood provided the same services. And he questioned why the centers are bothering to treat patients with private or government insurance, as they could be seen elsewhere. Paul, an ophthalmologist, took exception to Sanders' remark that healthcare was a right for everyone, saying that was akin to putting physicians into slavery. "Having a right to health care implies that you have the right to conscript me and you can enslave me, the janitor at my hospital or the person who cleans my office or the nurse," Paul said.

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