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Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is going to Canada for hernia surgery

  • January 14, 2019


Developer Jim Skaggs ‘couldn’t believe’ when he heard that a neighbor allegedly assaulted U.S. Senator Rand Paul outside his home in Bowling Green.
Matt Stone/Louisville Courier Journal

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, one of the fiercest political critics of socialized medicine, will travel to Canada later this month to get hernia surgery. 

Paul, an ophthalmologist, said the operation is related to an injury sustained in 2017, when his neighbor, Rene Boucher, attacked him while he was mowing his lawn. The incident left Kentucky’s junior senator with six broken ribs and a bruised lung. 

He is scheduled to have the outpatient operation at the Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario during the week of Jan. 21, according to documents from Paul’s civil lawsuit against Boucher filed in Warren Circuit Court. 

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The procedure is estimated to cost anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000, according to court documents. lists a hernia repair costing between $4,000 and $8,000.

Shouldice Hernia Hospital markets itself as “the global leader in non-mesh hernia repair,” according to the clinic’s website. 

Paul, a Republican, often argues for private market solutions to American’s health care woes.

In Canada, medical care is publicly funded and universally provided through the country’s Provincial Ministry of Health, and everyone receives the same level of care. 

Paul has called universal health care and nationalized options “slavery.”

“With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to health care … It means you believe in slavery,” Paul said in 2011. “You are going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants, the nurses. … You are basically saying you believe in slavery.” 

A spokesman for Paul did not immediately return a request for comment. 

Last year, Boucher pleaded guilty to attacking Paul after they reached a breaking point over lawn maintenance. 

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Paul was mowing his yard on Nov. 3, 2017, at his home in Bowling Green when Boucher saw Paul stacking brush onto a pile near his property, according to court records.

Boucher “had enough,” ran downhill toward Paul — who was wearing headphones and only noticed Boucher at the last second — and tackled him.  A medical expert said the tackle is comparable to a chest trauma that would be seen in a 25-mile-per-hour car crash, according to a Jan. 11 court document filed by Paul’s attorney. 

Paul is suing for $4,000 in medical costs related to the attack but said the final amount “will continue to be updated through trial and will certainly include the hernia surgery that is currently scheduled to take place in Ontario, Canada.”

A jury trial related to the case is scheduled for Jan. 28 in Bowling Green.

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