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Rand Paul's Long History Of Controversial Views

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 06/22/10 02:39 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 05:50 PM ET

Kentucky Republican Rand Paul has been no stranger to controversy in his bid for Senate as controversial comments made by the Tea Party-backed contender have repeatedly threatened to derail his campaign.

Now, an abundance of provocative positions maintained by Paul are coming to light in a lengthy report from the Louisville Courier-Journal chronicling a wide range of controversial statements made by the GOP hopeful in public appearances dating back to 1998.

The ten page-long review addresses divisive comments Paul recently made related to his view of the Civil Rights Act, but also calls attention to various remarks made by the Senate candidate over the years that never gained traction in media coverage of the Kentucky race.

Among the revelations, is news that former Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden wasn't the first candidate in the 2010 election cycle to recommend a bartering system to pay for health care expenses. Rand Paul raised the same policy solution years ago.

"If you go to the doctor, you don't pay directly for your doctor's services, your insurance company pays for it. ... So the price goes up indiscriminately because nobody is there to barter down the price. What we need is higher-deductible plans, people paying more cash as they go into the doctor, and then what we'll have is the prices will level off."

The Courier-Journal also unearths criticisms Paul hurled at policy initiatives put forth by former President George W. Bush as well as perhaps surprising statements of opposition from the Senate hopeful related to the war in Iraq and his position on torture.

Here's a slideshow highlighting the latest eyebrow-raising revelations:

Recommended Bartering For Health Care
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Former Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden wasn’t the first candidate in the 2010 election cycle to recommend a bartering system to pay for medical expenses.

It appears that Rand Paul offered the same health care reform solution:

Paul also has advocated medical-savings accounts, which he says would allow patients to pay for care themselves and negotiate lower costs with their doctors. He also has said that higher deductibles are needed to reduce the demand for care, which he says would, in turn, result in lower prices.

"In our country, people primarily get access to health care through insurance, and that is part of the problem," he said on Kentucky Tonight on Jan. 29, 1999.

"If you go to the doctor, you don't pay directly for your doctor's services, your insurance company pays for it. ... So the price goes up indiscriminately because nobody is there to barter down the price. What we need is higher-deductible plans, people paying more cash as they go into the doctor, and then what we'll have is the prices will level off."


The Courier-Journal also notes:

Zealously advocating for free-market economics, he also has criticized private health insurance, saying it keeps patents from negotiating lower prices with their doctors.

"We need to get insurance of out of the way and let the consumer interact with their doctor the way they did basically before World War II," he said on Kentucky Educational Television's Kentucky Tonight on Dec. 2, 2002.

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