Kent Snyder, libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul’s openly gay campaign chair, has died of pneumonia at age 49. In an ironic twist to Paul’s small government libertarian ideals, Snyder had no health insurance and leaves a $400K medical debt. Both the McCain and Obama campaigns offer full health insurance to campaign staff.
Activists belonging to the libertarian wing of the Republican Party continue to mourn the loss of Kent Snyder, a 49-year-old gay political operative credited with propelling the presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) into a national, grassroots movement that raised more than $35 million.
Snyder, who served as Paul’s campaign chair, died of pneumonia on June 26 after being hospitalized for about two months and after running up medical bills exceeding $400,000, according to friends and family members, who said he did not have health insurance.
Gay staffers from the Paul campaign, some speaking on condition that they not be identified, said they learned about Snyder’s unpaid medical bills from a web site created by his friends that calls on Paul supporters to contribute to a special fund to help Snyder’s family pay the bills, which come mostly from a two-month hospitalization. So far, the site (kentsnyder.com) has raised about $32,000.
“I can’t believe he didn’t have health insurance,” said one political activist who read about Snyder’s unpaid medical bills in a story published last month in the Wall Street Journal. “I can’t believe that Ron Paul didn’t give him health insurance,” said the activist, who asked not to be identified.
Libertarians loath the idea of universal health care because it would bloat the tax burden. Guess who’s probably going to end up paying Snyder’s tab? Sad, sad, sad.
(Via Lou Chibbaro Jr. @ Washington Blade)