Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is planning to undergo hernia surgery this month in Canada, where medical care is publicly funded and universally provided.
While Kelsey Cooper, a spokesperson for Paul, characterized the story as "fake news", the facts remain: Paul is headed to get surgery in a country that he has said should not be a model for Americans who seek a more rational approach to the current for-profit healthcare system.
The Louisville Courier Journal cited a filing in Paul's civil lawsuit against his neighbor and attacker Rene Boucher as saying the procedure is scheduled for the week of January 21 at Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario. During Republican efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, Paul derided what he called socialized medicine and the need for the marketplace in healthcare.
According to Paul, the surgery - which will cost as much as $8,000 - is linked to injuries he suffered in 2017 when Boucher attacked him as he mowed his lawn. The cost is estimated to be $5,000 for a one-sided fix and $8,000 for both sides.
"After presenting our evidence to the court and jury, we will ask the jury to carefully consider all evidence and to make a fair allowance based upon the entirety of the facts and circumstances related to this attack and plaintiff's injuries", Paul's attorneys said in the filing.