Sen. Rand Paul chooses pro bono surgeries over Republican National Convention

Tuesday, you’ll see a lot of representative from Kentucky front and center  at the Republican National Convention. However, you won’t see Sen. Rand Paul.

Paul teamed up with Dr. Barbara Bowers and the Ambulatory Surgery Center to offer free eye surgery. But Paul says his absence is not some kind of silent protest.

He told me this is something he’s done twice a year since 2012. After Tuesday, Paul estimates 39 pro bono surgeries total. He believes it proves community is stronger than government.

“I think I’d be home no matter who it was. This isn’t really anything personal about Trump. This is more me wanting to be home,” Paul said.

He prefers removing cataracts and helping patients — some legally blind — who cannot afford the procedure or medical coverage over politics. He also told me this five-week trip home has been on his planner for a while. He joked that the choice was between “trying to help people see better or going before a bunch of people who seem to be blind to the vision for the country.”

One of his eight patients Tuesday was a who could only see motion in one eye and only count fingers with the other before Paul donned scrubs to save her vision. Paul says it’s instant gratification, and he prefers it over the politics going on in Cleveland. “There’s probably nothing that compares to seeing the look on someone’s face when they can see again. Politics is a bit more indirect and frustrating, frankly,” Paul said.

Paul has watched some of the convention. He says the choice is clear that Donald Trump is the better option for Kentucky. “We have about 25 to 30 counties that produce coal, or once upon a time produced coal, in our state and, without a question, I think Trump would be more friendly to Kentucky.”

Paul also weighed in about Gov, Matt Bevin’s waiver proposal, which would omit vision coverage from Medicaid expansion. He supports it, because he says it saves money. He added that vision coverage for things such as contact lenses and glasses has historically been a fringe priority.

Paul will host five town hall events in our area Wednesday:

Ballard County
9 a.m.
Kentucky Veteran and Patriot Museum
635 Phillips Drive, Wickliffe, KY 42087

Carlisle County
0:30 a.m.
Bardwell Baptist Church
323 U.S. 51, Bardwell, KY 42023

Graves County
12 p.m.
Purchase Area Development District
1002 Medical Center Drive, Mayfield, KY 42066

Marshall County
1:45 p.m.
Pathway Baptist Activities Center
229 W. 5th Street, Calvert City, KY 42029

Caldwell County
3:45 p.m.
Adams Breezy Hill Farm
1222 Cadiz Road, Princeton, KY 42445

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