Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is going to Canada for surgery — but don’t accuse the staunch opponent of all things socialist of seeking public health care.
He’ll be paying for his care in full.
“This is a private, world-renowned hospital separate from any system and people come from around the world to pay cash for their services,” a spokesperson told POLITICO.
While the U.S. and Canada are often portrayed as having opposing health systems — one private, one public, the reality is more nuanced. Canada also offers some for-profit services, while the U.S. has federal health insurance programs.
Paul is slated to have an outpatient procedure at privately run Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario next week, the Courier Journal reports. He is having surgery for treatment of a hernia related to an attack by a neighbor at his Kentucky home in 2017. Paul was attacked by neighbor Rene Boucher while mowing the lawn. Paul filed a civil lawsuit against Boucher, seeking compensatory damages for “physical pain and mental suffering.”
Paul’s surgery was noted in documents from the civil lawsuit against Boucher filed in court.
Shouldice accepts public insurance, but it also allows people to pay for services.
“It’s literally the opposite of socialized medicine,” Paul’s Chief Strategist Doug Stafford said on Twitter.
Boucher pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress, a federal charge, and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Boucher said the episode was prompted by a dispute over landscaping.