A bit of a startling moment happened near the end of Monday night's CNN debate when a hypothetical question was posed to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). What do you tell a guy who is sick, goes into a coma and doesn't have health insurance? Who pays for his coverage? "Are you saying society should just let him die?" Wolf Blitzer asked.
"Yeah!" several members of the crowd yelled out.
Paul interjected to offer an explanation for how this was, more-or-less, the root choice of a free society. He added that communities and non-government institutions can fill the void that the public sector is currently playing. "We never turned anybody away form the hospital," he said of his volunteer work for churches and his career as a doctor. "We have given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves, assume responsibility for ourselves ... that's the reason the cost is so high."
The answer may have struck a truly libertarian tone but it was clearly overshadowed by the members of the crowd who enthusiastically cheered the prospect of letting a man die rather than picking up the tab for his coverage.