Rep. Paul: We need to let people opt out of health care

Texas congressman on ObamaCare ruling


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 27, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Striking down the health care law may not strike away all the bills tied to that law and there are lots of bills.

There's a new report that says even if the high court were to throw the whole thing out tomorrow, a lot of states would already be on the hook for billions of dollars worth of parts that have to be implemented just the same.

Just another example of why Congressman Ron Paul says the government should not be in the health care business at all.

But it is interesting, Congressman. You can't disentangle this very easily, even with a complete slap-down from the Supreme Court, huh?

REP. RON PAUL, R-TEXAS: No, it isn't going to be easy.

And this is why the more complex the problems are that the government creates, the harder I try to figure a way how you transition out of them. And there is a way you can do this in medicine. It is a mess. You repeal this law, it will be more messier.

What I always say is just let people opt out. Always have a chance. In education, we say opt out, have private education in homes, education; get your taxes back on a tax credit. In medicine, it's the medical savings accounts, let the patient control their funds and let them have major medical and let them deal with the doctor.

So you have to introduce competition, allow people to opt out of the system completely. Just opting out of that mandate to buy private insurance is a good step, but that doesn't solve the whole problem. I want always a chance to use the free market if you want to and the people in this country ought to have a right to do it.

CAVUTO: I'm wondering whether what I mentioned with a prior guest, Congressman, that the comment I hear from a lot of CEOs and those who say, look, you have to kill this whole thing, not just the mandatory coverage thing, or else it lives on and entangles more. What do you say?

PAUL: Well, I think there's some truth to that.

The trouble is, is that some of this has been put in motion. But there is still a lot of government involvement even without this bill, and they will never get rid of all of it. The courts never rule that way. So it will be messy and it will be more complex. It's not going to be an up-and-down vote and say...


PAUL: ... it's all unconstitutional.

CAVUTO: I understand.

But what you seem to be saying is, mandatory coverage aspect may go, which a lot of people said is the big chunk of it, but that much of it will still live on, and that's your fear, right?

PAUL: I think so. That's generally the way these things happen, is they never really back off because they still -- the principle by Republicans and Democrats is that the government should be involved in medicine.

They don't come up with market solutions, so the courts are going reflect that view. So there's not going to be a whole lot solved, and hopefully it will help us a little bit.

CAVUTO: You know there's the argument politically to be made that a defeat or a shutdown like that for the president could be a campaign sort of clarion call. I tried to help you folks and I was trying to look after you. This Republican-packed court destroyed it for you, but I got your back, et cetera, et cetera. What do you make of that?

PAUL: Well, I think that is the case. I think everything is politicized and there's a lot demagoguery that goes on especially in an election year, so expect it either way.

So, oh, yes, if it's struck down or a major part is struck down, you're going to hear it from the Democrats who say medicine should be free for everyone. There's no problem. And people say, oh, yes, that sounds like a good idea.

No, there will be a lot of that, and it'll be politicized and it will be fought over for the next two or three months, and then they will go back to patching it together. And we're still going to have a lot, too much government involvement in our personal and our economic lives. There's no doubt about that.

CAVUTO: During the presidential contest, Congressman, including having the honor of being a questioner in one of those debates, I always thought you were a special case because when it came to this issue you're a doctor and you know of what you speak, and you know the hardships doctors deal with, and you know this better than I think anyone.

And I guess if you do not mind my asking you this just as a doctor, what happens now? Because let's say part of it is shot down, and we could be wrong. But let's say it is. A lot of doctors tell me, premiums are still going to go up. Choices are still going to be compromised. Medical care and attention in this country is still going to be tested.

And so, with or without this, it is going to be a tough environment for doctors, period, for patients, period. Do you agree with that?

PAUL: Yes, and I certainly do. And it's so messy now, but this started in the early '70s when they started these HMOs and PPOs. And they were done by mandates and the tax code contributed to this.

The legal system is all messed up on torts and that is the mess. So, no, it is not going to be cleared up. The patient is the one that suffers. In a free market, the consumer should be king. It shouldn't be big business and it shouldn't be unions and it shouldn't be workers. It's always a consumer.

In this case the consumer is the patient. And the patient should dictate everything, should pick and choose and spend the money and negotiate. But they have lost total control, and the doctors don&'t care that much. What are they lobbying for now is to make sure they don't get anything cut or they're going to quit. And so they're not going to be satisfied and doctors aren't.

And they have to pay an undue price because of filling out all the forms, and so they make less money and it takes all the fun out of medicine, believe me. But ultimately the test should be does it help the consumer? And in this case, no matter what happens tomorrow, the patient is still going to suffer.

CAVUTO: You know, despite all these controversies, despite the weakening economy, the latest polls, as you know, Congressman, show the president ever so slightly widening his lead against Mitt Romney, but doing better in some of these battleground states. Are you surprised by that?

PAUL: No, I think it's still too early to say much because things -- the nation and the problems are very fickle. They will change from day-to- day.

So, I think the battle for November is just really getting started.; So, I don't know whether you read the polls today or tomorrow or next week will say as much as what's necessary and what the economy is going to be like, is it going to be worse in the next couple of months, is there going to another war going on in Syria? Who knows what is going to happen? That is probably what will determine the outcome of the election.

CAVUTO: Well, Congressman, I know I'm not blowing you smoke, but I must say I think you elevated the debate this election year significantly and had a tremendous impact. And you're a very smart guy.

Anyone who can get young people to applaud talking about the Federal Reserve is OK in my book, OK in my book.


CAVUTO: Congressman, thank you very much. Good seeing you.

PAUL: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Ron Paul.

Content and Programming Copyright 2012 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright CQ-2012 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.