Squeezed on his summer schedule between meeting with the Paducah Rotary Club and making an appearance at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will be performing eye surgery on his constituents for free.
Paul, an eye surgeon by trade, will perform pro bono surgeries on three patients in Paducah, Ky., next Wednesday, something that he’s done a couple of dozen times since entering the senate. “He’s really done them all over Kentucky,” explained Dan Bayens, a spokesman for the senator. It’s cataract surgery that the Kentucky Republican tends to perform. And he uses local doctors and ophthalmologists that he has relationships with to link up with patients who are uninsured or underinsured.
While Paul’s patients gain better vision, the senator is able to keep his skills sharp. “That’s part of what doing the surgeries is about,” explained Bayens. “If he didn’t do this he wouldn’t be able to keep up his license.” As a senator, Paul can’t have another gig on the side. (Though he did try to negotiate with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on that one, to no avail, Bayens said.)
“I think the main reason is he really enjoys it,” Bayens said of performing the free surgeries. “And I think, to be honest, he always says he’s not sure if he’ll do politics forever, he really loves being an eye surgeon and that’s something he sees himself returning to once this career is over.”