From Practice to Politics-Doctors who ran for President-Senator Paul

Dr. Rand Paul was a candidate for the Republican party nomination for President in 2016. He suspended his campaign before the party convention. He continues to serve as Senator from Kentucky.

In 2016 I wrote about the 3 physicians who ran for President of the United States that year. None of them won but one of them, Dr. Rand Paul, serves in the Senate for his home state of Kentucky

Please note: posts on this blog about political figures are written for information and education only, and do not imply endorsement unless otherwise stated.

Randall “Rand” Paul, M.D., opthalmologist

Dr. Rand Paul was a candidate for the Republican party nomination for President in 2016. He suspended his campaign before the party convention. He continues to serve as Senator from Kentucky.

About Dr. Paul

  1. Dr. Paul graduated from Duke University Medical School.
  2. He was elected Senator from Kentucky in 2010.
  3. He is married, has 3 children, and coached his children in Little League baseball, soccer and basketball.
  4. His father Dr. Ron Paul is an obstetrician/gynecologist, has served in the House of Representatives, and also ran for President.
  5. He has served as President of the Lions Club International .
  6. He provides eye surgery free of charge to people unable to pay in his home state of Kentucky.
  7. He has traveled around the world as a volunteer eye surgeon, providing care to people unable to pay; a recent trip was to Guatemala. He has received awards for his humanitarian work.
  8. A large part of Dr. Paul’s daily work as an ophthalmologist was dedicated to preserving the vision of our seniors. In 2002, The Twilight Wish Foundation recognized Dr. Paul for Outstanding Service and Commitment to Seniors. 
  9. Dr. Paul has written books, including Our Presidents & Their Prayers: Proclamations of Faith by America’s Leaders 

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According to his official website,

Dr. Paul’s entrance into politics is indicative of his life’s work as a surgeon: a desire to diagnose problems and provide practical solutions, whether it be in Bowling Green, Ky., or Washington, D.C.

Senator Paul’s stand on health issues (as stated on his website)

I am 100% pro-life. I believe life begins at conception and that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being. It is the duty of our government to protect this life as a right guaranteed under the Constitution.

There are many in Washington who give lip service to the Second Amendment, but vote to restrict gun ownership once they begin serving in public office. Gun control laws only restrict access to responsible gun ownership.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) – commonly known as “Obamacare” (P.L. 111-148), rapidly expanded the powers of government into the health care system. Since the passage of Obamacare, states, businesses, and other institutions have filed Constitutional challenges to many of the burdensome provisions of the law.

another book by Senator Paul
Senator Paul and COVID-19

The Republican lawmaker tested positive for the virus in March 2020, becoming the first case of COVID-19 in the Senate.

“I appreciate all the best wishes I have received,” Dr. Paul said in an interview. “I have been retested and I am negative. I have started volunteering at a local hospital to assist those in my community who are in need of medical help, including coronavirus patients. Together we will overcome this.”

Dr. Paul, an opthalmologist, has been outspoken with opinions about SARS-CoV-2 and its management, often clashing with Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert and head of infectious disease at the NIH.

exploring the HEART of health

Voting for healthcare in 2020-who will you choose

Register to vote before your state’s deadline. Please exercise your right to vote and make your voice heard. If you are concerned about the risk of contracting coronavirus at a polling site, explore other options in your community. With proper precautions in person voting can be safe.

The 2020 Presidential election is underway. Even though the polls don’t open until November 3, many are already voting by mail or absentee. The candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden debated several important issues in their September 29 meeting, including the country’s COVID-19 management. Two more debates are scheduled in October but the status is unclear now that Mr. Trump has been hospitalized with COVID-19. The Vice Presidential candidates’ debate is still scheduled as of October 5.

Election 2008-ObamaCare

Health care was a major issue in the 2008 election and proved to be momentous. In his campaign, the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, promised health care reform and as President he delivered with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the first time Americans have had universal health care. This election’s candidates also make promises about health care.

Election 2016

In a post from 2016 I compared the then candidates’ health care proposals. I thought it would be interesting to look back at what Mr. Trump said then, along side what his opponent Mrs. Clinton said. As you well know, Mr. Trump defeated Mrs. Clinton , although she won the popular vote.

The White House
The White House, home of the President (photo from the Lightstock website )

This summary of  what each candidate proposed came from their official websites. I didn’t add my opinion or commentary, nor endorsement of either one.

I also looked at the healthcare views of two third party candidates, one of whom is a physician; comparing all proposals, you will see that Americans hold widely differing opinions about health and health care.

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Republican- Donald J. Trump, Chairman and President,

The Trump Organization

 “Healthcare Reform to Make America Great Again”

Mr. Trump believes the Affordable Care Act, which he refers to as Obamacare, is an “economic burden” to the country. He says it has caused

  • Runaway costs,
  • Websites that don’t work,
  • Greater rationing of care
  • Higher premiums
  • Less competition
  • Fewer choices

He recommends a

“series of reforms that follow free market principles and restore economic freedom and certainty” , which will

“broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans.”

As President, Mr. Trump will request Congress to
  1. Completely repeat Obamacare, eliminate the individual mandate to buy health insurance.
  2. Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines.
  3. Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns.
  4. Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which should be tax free, allowed to accumulate, and become part of one’s estate at death.
  5. Require price transparency from all healthcare providers.
  6. Block-grant Medicaid to the states.
  7. Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers, allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas.

Also under his health care plan, Mr. Trump includes

  • Enforcing immigration laws
  • Eliminating fraud and waste
  • Energizing our economy
  • Reform our mental health programs and institutions
Oval Office replica
replica of the Oval Office at the Reagan Presidential Library, Simi valley, California

Democrat-Hillary Rodham Clinton, lawyer;

former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State

“Universal, quality, affordable health care for everyone in America”

  1. Maintain and expand the Affordable Care Act
  2. Bring down out-of-pocket costs for copays, deductibles and prescription drugs
  3. Expand access to care for low income groups, immigrants and rural populations.
  4. Defend access to reproductive health care.
As President, Mrs. Clinton will work with Congress to

Fight addiction and substance abuse with prevention, treatment and recovery programs and reforming the criminal justice system handling of offenders.

Set a goal to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s Disease by 2025. Help those affected and their families get the care they need.

Create an AIDS/HIV policy to increase research, expand treatment options, increase health care financial options for those affected, and eliminate discriminatory laws.

Develop an “autism initiative” to expand insurance coverage, increase funding for research, early identification and intervention, employment opportunities, and school safety.

Commit to fully implement the Americans with Disabilities Act, and increase support for persons with disabilities and their families.

Under the heading of health Mrs. Clinton includes her positions and proposals for

  • Climate change
  • Women’s rights and opportunity
  • Support for veterans, the military and their families
  • Paid family and medical leave
couches in room with Presidential seal on the floor
another view of the Oval Office replica

Green Party – Jill Stein, M.D., physician, activist

Dr. Stein favors

“Medicare for all”, single payer health care system for everyone, with no premiums, co-pays or  deductibles.

Eliminate private health insurance.

Decrease prescription drug costs

Full access to contraceptive and reproductive care, including morning after contraception

Invest in community health infrastructure- organic food, renewable energy

Prioritize prevention by encouraging physical activity, improving nutrition and minimizing environmental pollution

Libertarian- Gary Johnson, businessman, former Governor of New Mexico

Mr. Johnson’s website had little information about his health care proposals, so I am also including items from the Libertarian party’s website.

 The party supports

a free-market healthcare system where the individual is free to choose everything related to health care- insurance, doctors, treatments, medication, end-of-life care

the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines

abortion as a private decision up to the individual’s conscience and not regulated by the government

Mr. Johnson

opposes mandatory vaccination

supports the legalization and regulation of marijuana.

exploring the HEART of healthcare

I snapped the photos of the “Oval Office” during a tour of the Reagan Presidential Library a few years go. I have also visited the Nixon and Kennedy Libraries. These surprised and intrigued me-visually compelling ways to review their terms of office from a historical perspective. I wonder what the future Trump library will unfold?

And if you have not registered to vote, please do so before your state’s deadline. And once registered, please exercise your right to vote and make your voice heard.

If you are concerned about the risk of contracting coronavirus at a polling site, explore other options in your community. With proper precautions in person voting can be safe. these include.

  • mask wearing
  • social distance at least 6 feet
  • outdoor locations when possible
  • handwashing
  • staying home if exposed or sick
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