Ben Carson: Move Health Care Into the Free Market

Monday, 23 Jun 2014 04:59 PM

By Sean Piccoli

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Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson told Newsmax TV on Monday that individuals empowering themselves to make informed choices about their health care — and not surrendering that authority to the federal government — is how modern medicine will deliver the best outcomes at affordable rates. 

In the first installment of an exclusive multi-part interview with "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner, author and rumored 2016 presidential candidate Carson called our health "the most important thing we have" and said Obamacare is not the way to ensure it — "not by any stretch of the imagination," he said.

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Touching on a theme of his latest book, "One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future," Carson said health savings accounts, known as HSAs, are one key to helping people get "control of their own health" and doing so "for a lot less money."

"They decide where the dollars go, how they're spent, who they want to see," said Carson. "What that will do is bring the whole healthcare system into the free market. That's what controls cost. That's what controls quality. You'll never get that kind of quality and control from a bureaucratic system."

Carson returned to one of his more visceral remarks about Obamacare — not the comparison of the Affordable to 9/11, which he has retracted, but an analogy to slavery that he said is borne out by reading history.

"Go back and read the writings of Saul Alinksy and Vladimir Lenin and all the neo-Marxists, and they say [that] what you have to do in order to change the United States — which they felt was the stick in the mud to a new world order — is you have to bring the people into subjugation to the government," he said. "The best way and the fastest way to do that is to take control of the most important thing they have, which is their health care.

"Ultimately what that leads to," said Carson, "is the situation where the government controls not only your health but virtually every other aspect of your life."

Carson, who has been accused of being divisive by a Washington Post columnist, said on Monday that he wants people of opposing views to engage one another on two polarizing topics: gay marriage and abortion.

"I talk a lot about getting rid of political correctness and replacing it with civil discourse," he said.

"A lot of people say, 'Carson's a homophobe because he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman.' That's ridiculous.

"Yes, I do believe that it's between a man and a woman," he said.

But he added, "I don't think I can impose my will on any two consenting adults. They can do what they want to do. I'm not going to try to stop them from doing that."

His concern, he said, is with attempts to redefine "marriage" away from its traditional, centuries-old meaning as between a man and a woman. Gay-marriage advocates are free to form partnerships, "But they don't get to change the definition" of marriage, he said.

To insist on gay marriage as the only acceptable position — "that sounds like intolerance to me," he said.

On abortion, Carson said, "We have to be able to engage everybody in this conversation," and he suggested that medicine and technology are strengthening the pro-life position.

"What we're seeing as time goes on is more and more people are starting to recognize that that little baby is actually a precious human being," he said. "You take a 10- or a 12-week-old fetus, and you can put an endoscope in there, and you can see their little nose and their little fingers and their little hands and their hearts beating. And they're starting to react to stimulation.

"The brain is developing at that point at a rate of 400 million new neurons every day," he said. "And this is a creature that is considerably more sophisticated than a snail darter and some of these things that people go through great lengths to try to save. And I wonder if they ever stop and think about the irony of that."

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