Dr. Benjamin Carson remembers and admires former United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who died Feb. 25, as a man that wasn’t afraid to speak up about subjects unrelated to the medical field.
“He wasn’t afraid to be pigeonholed,” Carson said at a press round-table before speaking to 1,743 Van Wezel attendees at a lecture apart of Ringling College Library Association’s Town Hall Lecture Series.
Koop was known for using his post to speak proactively about smoking and AIDs. Carson also uses his voice to speak about politcal issues.
When people tell Dr. Ben Carson that a doctor shouldn’t be speaking about politics, he likes to respond with, “It’s not brain surgery, people.”
He’d also like to remind the nation that five medical doctors signed the Declaration of Independence and were involved in the development of our nation.
He retires from active surgery in June. Although he has developed a following, he doesn’t plan to take political office.
However, he does plan to continue to voice his opinions through regular appearances. He's already booked 50 engagements — including 10 international visits and many regular appearances on television networks.
“I’ve been a little bit concerned that we are turning into something different as a nation,” Carson said at a press round-table before the lecture. “(We are turning) from a ‘can-do’ nation to a ‘what-can-you-do-for-me?’ nation.”
One of the approaches he has proactively spoken out about is changing our nation’s healthcare system, one he believes is currently inaccessible and inefficient. For him, the solution is a Health Savings Account — an account people get when they are born and accumulates throughout his or her life.
“The middle man has come along to facilitate the relationship (between the healthcare provider and the patient), and has become the primary entity with the patient, with the health-care provider at it’s beck and call.”
He thinks it would save one third of the costs by cutting out the middle man and reducing administrative costs involved.
Carson's advises to sound your voice, get active and be proactive. This advice spans to young professionals who might not see Medicare or Social Security by the time they are his age.
“The people who are basically spending up your future, and who are completely changing the underpinnings of society count on the fact that they have created a society in which you don’t speak up,” he said.
Carson adheres to claiming independence from political factions in a way to preach these messages. But he has a lot to say about the country’s current leadership, and he believes that our country shouldn’t shrink away from solving the “hard” issues.
“We (need to) get some leadership that doesn’t make everything into a political football that actually solves problems,” he said. “Everything can’t be about us winning and you losing. Because as it is, we all lose.”
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