Sen. Rand Paul Is Having Surgery in Canada, Where Healthcare Is Publicly Funded

January 14, 2019, 8:29 PM UTC

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is traveling to Canada for hernia surgery, according to a court filing from his attorneys.

The surgery, which is connected to injuries Paul suffered when he was attacked by a neighbor while doing yard work in 2017, will be done in Ontario, the Associated Press reports.

The choice to undergo treatment in Canada—where health care is publicly funded and universally provided—is ironic considering Paul, a Republican, is a staunch opponent of Obamacare and champions free-market principals.

Paul, however, is scheduled for outpatient surgery at a private hospital, later reports clarified. He will be going to Shouldice Hospital, which claims to be a world leader in “non-mesh hernia repair,” Bloomberg reports.

“This is a private, world-renowned hospital separate from any system and people come from around the world to pay cash for their services,” Paul spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper told Bloomberg.

Medical tourism can offer savings between 20 and 90 percent, Market Watch reports, depending on which country you choose. Patients Beyond Borders estimates that 1.4 million Americans took advantage of more affordable healthcare systems abroad in 2017.

The neighbor who attacked Paul, Rene Boucher, reportedly tackled the senator when he became frustrated with Paul repeatedly stacking debris near their property line, leaving Paul with broken ribs.

Boucher pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress and was sentenced to 30 days in prison in June 2018. Federal prosecutors are appealing for a longer sentence.