As the campaign manager for the presidential bid of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Kent Snyder received a lot of credit for raising $35 million from grassroots supporters, a phenomenal accomplishment for an insurgent campaign.
But, like 48 million other Americans, Snyder had no health insurance, and when he died from pneumonia on June 26 after a two-month hospital stay, he left medical bills totaling over $400,000.
It is emblematic of our age that Snyder’s boss, Rep. Paul, is a physician.
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.
The Journal story did not identify Snyder as gay; a Washington Post obituary reported Snyder died of viral pneumonia but did not mention his sexual orientation.
Craig Max, a D.C. gay Republican activist who sought to become a Ron Paul delegate to the Republican National Convention, said news of Snyder’s death and his lack of health insurance has triggered a behind-the-scenes debate among Paul supporters and libertarian activists over whether or not the Paul campaign should have provided health insurance to its staff.
Update, Sept. 14, 2011: It would not be surprising if the excerpt about this story on the Daily Paul is scrubbed soon, so here is another contemporaneous link to this July 2008 story.
Update 2: We reacted to the renewed coverage of this story here.