23 April 2012

Senator Rand Paul on the Crohn's & Colitis Caucus

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) put out a call to contact our representatives in Congress about joining the Crohn's & Colitis Caucus. They explain:
In March 2011, Congressmen Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) launched the first-ever Congressional Crohn's and Colitis Caucus.

This caucus works to promote:
  • Awareness of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
  • The need for expanded research at the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • The importance of accessible insurance and disability for patients with IBD
Being a Crohnie, I filled out the automatic contact form and sent it to my representatives. Here's what I received today from Senator Rand Paul:
April 23, 2012

Dear Mr. McClain,

I have received your inquiry seeking federal funding for Crohn's disease research through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please understand that given our nation's fiscal challenges, I am unlikely to support any plan that would further add to the current pile of debt already held by our citizens.
It is time for our nation to address its fiscal problems, and it is the duty of lawmakers to introduce responsible legislation that will rein in spending. Just as American households must balance their checkbooks, the federal government should do the same.
We have seen currencies and countries fall under their unsustainable debt, and it is the duty of lawmakers to prevent such catastrophes. In March 2012 I released my proposed FY2013 budget "A Platform to Revitalize America." My plan would balance the budget in five years, and achieve $8 trillion in savings over 10 years. I have also introduced, along with Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), Senate Joint Resolution 5, which calls for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, with specific spending limitations and protections against tax increases. 
The size of the national debt has grown considerably over the past few years. In order to get our fiscal house in order and prevent potential catastrophe in this country, everyone will have to be willing to make sacrifices in sacred programs. All areas of the budget should be on the table for consideration, and while I am not willing to compromise on whether or not cuts should be made, I am willing to compromise on which cuts should be made.  Please be assured I will keep your thoughts in mind as the Senate continues to debate the budget.
Once more, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance in the future. I look forward to hearing from you again.

Rand Paul, MD
United States Senator
The short version: "Sucks to be you. Quit being so selfish and expecting me or anyone else to give a damn."

This is really no surprise. Here's what Senator Paul wrote to me about why he wouldn't support sparing funding for the National Institutes of Health a year ago. Here's what he wrote in May 2011 about Social Security and Medicare funding.

You know, Senator Paul, I get your analogy about having to make cutbacks at the federal level just like in the home. It's obvious in your home, healthcare costs aren't much of a consideration. For some of us, though, they're the most important thing there is BECAUSE THEY KEEP US ALIVE. They're not indulgences. But then, what should I expect from someone who grew up with a father whose philosophy is that FEMA is "bad morality" and shrugs when his supporters say to let the uninsured die?

You're right about one thing, Senator Paul: healthcare costs are quite expensive. Guess what? They wipe out our budgets, too. We have to deal with it, and it's high time you and the rest of the "Let them Die" part of our society own up to the fact that just as we can't choose to be healthy, you can't choose to omit us and our needs from the national discussions. 

It must be a nice sense of security one enjoys where one can view things like healthcare needs as selfish luxuries, you know, like out in Arizona where organ transplants were deemed too much of an imposition on the state's budget. I wouldn't know. I'm one of the selfish people who insist on needing help coping with a chronic medical condition.


  1. I see Mr. Paul said that he's unlikely to support any plan that would further add to the current pile of debt already held by our citizens. But I'm sure he's against the Buffett tax and anything else that would affect the amount of welfare doled out to the rich in the form of lower taxes on capital gains, etc. and against eliminating subsidies to those patriotic corporations who send jobs overseas to maximize profits and pay less or hardly any taxes. He's a typical heartless repub.

    1. Anonymous - There is no need to speculate where Senator Paul stands on the Buffett rule. Here is his press release on the matter: http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=502

      Apr 16, 2012
      WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rand Paul released the following statement today after the Senate voted 51-45 on a motion to proceed to S.2230, the Paying A Fair Share Act or the 'Buffett Tax':

      "This week, Americans final tax bill for 2011 will be due. We will also celebrate 'Tax Freedom Day,' where Americans finally stop working to send money to Washington and start keeping some for themselves. That's why it's appalling that Senate Democrats chose today to show how out of touch with America they are by demanding a vote to increase taxes on our nation's job creators," Sen. Paul said.

      "Surely our nation's tax system is broken and in dire need of reform. Yet, the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats' idea of reform is a Buffett Tax hike that has nothing to do with balancing our budget, lowering unemployment or simplifying the tax code - but everything to do with funding more reckless spending in Washington.

      "If we are going to solve our nation's debt crisis, restore the struggling economy, and put people back to work we need the kind of reform in this country that simplifies the tax code and reduces the burden for everyone, instead of going in the opposite direction as the Obama Administration has shown in promoting this convoluted legislation."

      The thing about opposing the Crohn's & Colitis Caucus is that it isn't good logic. First of all, there are rich people with those diseases, too, and they only have the same limited means of treatment choices the rest of us have. They can weather the financial impact on their lives better, of course, but they're still just as at-risk of the devastating health matters as anyone else.

      That brings me to the greater point: Incidents of Crohn's & Colitis are growing among our population, for reasons not fully understood. If we can't afford to take care of the percentage of the population currently afflicted, how are we ever going to manage when that percentage doubles or triples?

      I think of all the major health catastrophes that used to keep people from the workplace - polio, for instance - and I wonder: how many people at the time felt that it was somehow "unjust" for tax money to help fund research into treatments and cures?

      Surely at some point even in his ophthalmology studies someone explained to him that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? But then, this is a guy who decided he didn't like the American Board of Ophthalmology re-certification process and formed his own board to certify himself. I'm sure listening to, and accepting, conventional wisdom is not one of his strong suits.