Chris Matthews Falsely Accuses Ron Paul of Saying He’d Let Someone Without Health Insurance Die

Exactly how do anchors on MSNBC get away with routinely stating complete falsehoods without any repercussions?

On Tuesday, Chris Matthews wrongly accused Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul of saying during the previous evening's debate he would let a critically ill person die if the patient didn't have health insurance (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: I have to say, I’ve never witnessed such a crackle of enthusiasm for executing people as I heard at the Reagan Library debate last week. I recalled it last night when I heard the clap of applause when Ron Paul said he’d let someone die if they failed to pony up for health insurance.

 


Actually, that's not what Paul said Monday. Here's the entire exchange:

WOLF BLITZER, CNN: Before I get to Michele Bachmann, I want to just -- you're a physician, Ron Paul, so you're a doctor. You know something about this subject. Let me ask you this hypothetical question.

A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I'm not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I'm healthy, I don't need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it.

Who's going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?

CONGRESSMAN RON PAUL (R-TEXAS): Well, in a society that you accept welfarism and socialism, he expects the government to take care of him.

BLITZER: Well, what do you want?

PAUL: But what he should do is whatever he wants to do, and assume responsibility for himself. My advice to him would have a major medical policy, but not be forced --

BLITZER: But he doesn't have that. He doesn't have it, and he needs intensive care for six months. Who pays?

PAUL: That's what freedom is all about, taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody --

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?

PAUL: No.

That bears repeating:

BLITZER: But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?

PAUL: No.

What did Matthews claim?

"Ron Paul said he’d let someone die if they failed to pony up for health insurance."

That's not what Paul said, is it? For the record, here's the rest of the Congressman's answer:

PAUL: I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid, in the early 1960s, when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio, and the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospitals.

(APPLAUSE)

PAUL: And we've given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves. Our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea, that's the reason the cost is so high.

The cost is so high because they dump it on the government, it becomes a bureaucracy. It becomes special interests. It kowtows to the insurance companies and the drug companies, and then on top of that, you have the inflation. The inflation devalues the dollar, we have lack of competition.

There's no competition in medicine. Everybody is protected by licensing. And we should actually legalize alternative health care, allow people to practice what they want.

Exactly how does Matthews and others on his so-called "news" network continue to get away with such blatant misrepresentations?

As I've said many times, in any other industry in our country, a person would be suspended or fired for such dishonestly or negligence.

Why are journalists not held to the same professional standard as everyone else in this nation?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.