At a breakfast with New Hampshire state legislative leaders, probable 2016 GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (KY) attacked Americans receiving disability payments, saying that they were gaming the system.
“The thing is, in all of these programs, there’s always somebody who’s deserving. But everybody in this room knows somebody who is gaming the system,” said Paul. “What I tell people is, if you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn’t be getting your disability check. Over half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts. Join the club!”
Of course, once video of Paul’s remarks started to make the rounds online, the senator’s office whipped out the standard “my remarks were taken out of context” defense that the GOP uses anytime one of its members says something offensive that they actually believe.
“We absolutely should take care of those truly in need of help,” Paul’s office told The Huffington Post. “But the system is broken, and when people can game the system, they are stealing from those who are truly disabled and won’t receive the care and aid they need.”
Sen. Paul’s remarks, aside from being offensive to those on disability, are simply wrong.
“Fraud in disability programs is estimated to amount to less than one percent and is extremely rare,” ThinkProgress reported. “It’s inaccurate payments rate is also less than 1 percent, compared to about 8 percent for Medicaid and Medicare.”
Not only does the rampant abuse of the program Paul described not actually exist, it’s a lot harder to “game the system” than he and the rest of the GOP would have you believe.
“Fewer than four in ten applications are approved even after all stages of appeal,” said TP. “Medical evidence from multiple medical professionals is required in most cases to determine eligibility, which means showing that an applicant suffers from a ‘severe, medically determinable physical or mental impairment that is expected to last 12 months or end in death.’”
The GOP continues to spread these lies about half the country being lazy freeloaders who don’t contribute to society or pull their own weight, despite having no actual facts to back up these erroneous claims. Hopefully America will realize, sooner rather than later, that they are nothing but scare tactics used by the Republican party to trick people into voting against their own interests.
Watch the video of Paul’s remarks, via American Bridge.