Ron Paul: This Will Be a Disaster For Personal Liberty…

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By Ron Paul

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended mandatory depression screening for all Americans. The task force wants to force health insurance companies to pay for the screening. Basic economics, as well as the Obamacare disaster, should have shown this task force that government health insurance mandates harm Americans.

Government health insurance mandates raise the price of health insurance. Consumers will respond to this increase by either choosing to not carry health insurance or by reducing their consumption of other goods and services. Imposing new health insurance mandates will thus make consumers, many of whom are already suffering from Obamacare’s costly mandates, worse off by forcing them to deviate from their preferred consumption patterns.


Mandatory depression screening will not just raise insurance costs. In order to ensure that the screening mandate is being properly implemented, the government will need to create a database containing the results of the screenings. Those anti-gun politicians who want to forbid anyone labeled “mentally ill” from owning a firearm will no doubt want to use this database as a tool to deprive individuals of their Second Amendment rights.

If the preventive task force has its way, Americans could lose their Second Amendment, and possibly other, rights simply because they happened to undergo their mandatory depression screening when they were coping with a loved one’s passing or a divorce, or simply having a bad day. As anyone who has been mistakenly placed on the terrorist watch list can attest, it is very difficult to get off a government database even when the government clearly is in error. Thus, anyone mistakenly labeled as depressed will have to spend a great deal of time and money in what may be a futile attempt to get his rights back.

Mandatory depression screening will endanger people’s health by increasing the use of psychotropic drugs. These drugs often have dangerous side effects. Their use has even been linked to suicide. The fact that almost every mass shooter was on psychotropic drugs is another good reason to oppose any policy that will increase reliance on these medicines.

The Preventive Services Task Force’s mandatory depression screening mandate is based on the fallacy that diagnosing mental health problems is analogous to diagnosing cancer or diabetes. Even mental health professionals acknowledge that there is a great deal of subjectivity in mental health diagnosis.

Consider that until 1973 homosexuality was considered a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. Today, some mental health professionals think that those who believe in limited government, free-market economics, or traditional values suffer from mental disorders. If mandatory depression screening becomes a reality, it is likely this mental health screening will be expanded to cover screening for other mental illnesses. This could result in anyone with an unpopular political belief or lifestyle choice being labeled as “mentally ill.”

Even if mandatory health screening could be implementing without increasing costs or threatening liberty it would still be a bad idea. Government health care mandates undermine the basic principles of a free society. If it is legitimate for government to tell us what types of health care we must receive, then it is also legitimate for the government to tell us what to eat, when to exercise, and even how to raise our children. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, a tyranny imposed for our own good is the worst form of tyranny because it is a tyranny without limits. All who love liberty must therefore oppose mandatory depression screening, or any other health care mandate.

Ron Paul writes for his site RonPaulInstitute.org where this article first appeared. Get his latest book Swords Into Plowshares.

  • Dio Jones

    Any time government gets involved, liberty is lost…

    Always be a light that is .shininginthedark.

  • Cypher

    Anyone still question why a record number of Americans are exiting this cesspool of corruption and giving up their citizenship?

  • c_chandler

    this is disgusting…trying to create more people on drugs , prescription drugs. spurring pharmacy business, not true health.

  • Gambeir Bay

    So we all voted to suspend the Bill of Rights, the people’s supreme laws then did we, well it’s news to me. Huh? Who knew that self appointed, un-elected advisory board of big pharma stooges could mandate mandatory screening at tax payer expense in order to go around the Bill of Rights to steal peoples property, deny they the right to trial, invade their homes, steal their retirements, and who knows what else.
    Oh yea…that’s gonna work….idiots, just complete idiots. Still voting democrat and republican? What next out of these corrupt sewage specialists? These people are insane I tell you. Completely and totally nuts!

  • LudVanB

    This is the same ploy the Soviets used to corral and imprison their dissidents. Anyone against the system was psychologically disturbed and needed treatment.

    • BINGO! When they couldn’t just outright kill you they would declare you mentally disabled to put you away.

  • EmmettGrogan

    I’ll support depression screening for all when there is a mandatory screening for psychopaths for our elected representatives.

  • Smarty

    This is ALL ABOUT GUN GRABBING people! The more they label “mentally ill”, the more guns they can take. How long do you think it will be before the shrinks will get rewarded for each “patient” they add to the list ? The solution is simple. DON’T COMPLY. Just men are not bound by un-just laws. Remember that.

  • gwen

    Another suppression by the suppressive DeCeipt – guess that puts me on the no no list.

    no Usury and no taxes – oops there I go again.
    911
    sandyhook
    boston marathon

    etc.
    no chemtrails
    no such thing as climate chaos – except the gwen / haarp induced climate chaos (odd that Al ‘ the sky is falling ‘ Gore started his incoveniant crap about the same time as haarp was first introduced – hmmm insider ?)

    no vaccines
    no AMA,CDC,WHO,monsaintinisto (monsanto),pesticides made with oil,fluoride,aspartame or gmo corn.
    It’s all government edicts – just that list is enough to depress any ‘normal’ type biped.
    All libertarians would be suspects of depression.
    All republicans would be suspects of depression.
    guess the dems would be the only ones not depressed and they don’t have guns on account of they are too ignorant to understand the word freedom.

    If they institute this I will repatriate.
    government is the worst investment I have ever bee swindled out of (and I had a convict ceo who stole at least $100,000 from my 401).

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