Dr. Ben Carson said Friday on Newsmax TV's
“America’s Forum” that he doesn’t think any of the Obamacare architects actually believed the program would work, but that they viewed the law as “moving the ball toward the goal” of a government-controlled, single-payer system.
“Healthcare is a gigantic issue, and there's no question that the system was broken and that we needed to do something about it,” Carson said. “What we did not need to do is create another massive government program, and we need to be looking at different ways of taking care of it, putting responsibility back into the hands of patients and to their healthcare providers.
"There are things that can be done. We keep listening to people saying 'the horse is out of the barn, you can't get it back in there, end of story,' that's a bunch of crap. We can do anything. This is America.”
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Putting healthcare in the hands of government bureaucrats fundamentally shifts the power equation in this country, he continued.
“It takes it away from the people and puts government at the pinnacle. The people are supposed to be at the pinnacle. The government is supposed to conform to our will, not us to their will.”
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and a tea party favorite, remained elusive about whether he plans to seek the presidency in 2016, sticking to his stock answer that he will announce his intention before May 1.
He is studying the issues, he said, and familiarizing himself in much the same way he does with medicine.
“You have to know a lot of stuff,” he said. “I'm rapidly acquiring that knowledge, listening to people and really finding a tremendous amount of frustration with the status quo, politics as usual, be it Republican or Democrat. Our system was designed for the people. It wasn't designed for professional politicians. I'm thinking very seriously, listening to people, and we'll make a decision in a few months.”
He acknowledged that he has people working with him on the subjects of foreign policy, finance and government.
“A lot of people think you have to be a longtime politician to learn all that stuff,” Carson said. “I've got to tell you something, you can even learn neurosurgery in a matter of years. You don't have to be a lifetime politician.”
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Carson discussed his recent trip to Israel, where he was struck that children must travel to school in armored buses with bulletproof glass and that operating rooms are in bunkers four floors below ground level.
“They have to live that way on a day-by-day basis, and yet they're determined not to let terrorism deter who they are,” he commented. “They remain optimistic. They're birth rate is higher than ours, which indicates optimism.”
But the unrelenting animosity between the Palestinians and Israelis is something he is disturbed by. It has parallels to the current atmosphere in America, he added.
“The indiscriminate violence that occurs, and I worry when I see the hatred that's going on in this country,” he said. “We, the American people, are not each other's enemies, and we have to stop allowing people to manipulate us. We have people running around saying, 'Kill the police'. Are you kidding me? Yet this is happening and moving us toward a state where we cannot get along together.
“You can't say anything good about somebody on the opposite side or you're a traitor or evil. We've totally lost it, and unless we get back on the right track, we're going to destroy ourselves. A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
On the growing likelihood that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will enter the 2016 race
, Carson advised people to listen to him as an individual and not prejudge based on his last name. Bush is the brother of President George W. Bush and son of President George H.W. Bush.
“There's no question that we don't want to get into having a legacy-type presidency, but these are serious times that we're living in, and I hope people will listen to everybody carefully, analyze what they're saying and leave some of the peripheral matters for someone else,” Carson said.
He declined to comment on Hillary Clinton other than saying that “what she represents will come out in the wash.”
“Honesty is what really works, and decency,” he said. “People should evaluate people on the basis of their life and not be so easily swayed by pundits.”
Carson had kind words for the late New York Gov. Mario Cuomo
, a Democrat icon, whom Carson commended for reaching across the aisle.
“He wasn't a political hack and an ideologue,” he said. “I may not have totally agreed with everything he was doing, but he was an honest person who loved America.”
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