President Barack Obama can't be blamed for not understanding the insurance business, but he should be blamed for "not surrounding himself with people who do" as he tries to quick-fix his signature healthcare law, columnist Dr. Ben Carson said Friday.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV at the Restoration Weekend gathering in Palm Beach, Fla., Carson said Obamacare has proven the president is more ideologue than leader — "and it's very difficult for people who are ideologues to accept that their ideology is wrong."
"You can't be an expert in every area, but you have to know what you don't know in order to be an effective leader," the retired neurosurgeon and conservative writer said. "To come out with the kind of statements that he made [promising that people would be able to keep their existing plans under Obamacare] indicates that no one around him is counseling him about the very basic things about this."
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Carson said he has watched Obama go through "a metamorphosis where you begin believing that your way is the only right way, there is no other way that works, and if anybody doesn't believe that, it's only because they don't fully understand."
"And therefore you can't really wait until they understand — you have to impose it on them," he added.
But Carson said the current fix to Obamacare "is just playing politics," and urges a total rethinking of healthcare.
"For people to say that there are no ideas out there and this is only way to go, that is blatantly untrue," he said. "Our goals are to return healthcare to the practitioner and to the patient, and not have a third party making medical decisions for people, and finding an appropriate way to pay for it. That's what we want to do."
Carson said his plan for healthcare would be to bring "the whole medical system into the free market."
"That's what controls costs," he said. "Government doesn't control cost. That's what creates innovation. We have progressively taken things out of the free market and placed them in the government where they're inefficient, where they traditionally have been inefficient, where they will always be inefficient, because that's not what the government is for."
Carson said he's been traveling across the country to speak with Americans, but is not saying if he'd be ready to launch his own political campaign.
"The most important thing is to continue going around the country and waking people up and letting them know that they do have power and that they don't have to sit down and take this," he said. "We've got to bring courage and bravery back. Stop letting them beat you down."
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