June 11, 2015

U.S. Pain Foundation President Speaks Out Against Senator Rand Paul's Disability Comments

Pain Ambassadors and Members,

We were saddened and angered by comments made by Senator Rand Paul during a breakfast in New Hampshire concerning those living with disabilities. U.S. Pain Foundation's Founder and President Paul Gileno has responded to the Senator's comments and will continue to work to have a direct conversation with him about his incorrect, discriminatory and hurtful remarks. 

"You know, the thing is is that with all of these programs, 
there's always somebody who's  deserving and everybody in this room knows somebody who is gaming the system," said Paul. "What I tell people is, 'If you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn't be getting a disability check.' You know, over half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts. Join the club! [the group laughs] Who doesn't get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts?! Everybody over 40 has a back pain."
 -Rand Paul, Senator

Sadly, the misconceptions around those who live with debilitating injuries and illness continue and statements like the ones made by Senator Paul stand to only further create hostilities and discrimination. 
We are urging our Advocates, members of the pain community and pain patient organizations to contact Senator Rand Paul directly and express how such statements can impact the progress of this nation when it comes to chronic pain perception.

Paul Gileno's reaction to Senator Rand Paul's remarks:
As President and Founder of U.S. Pain Foundation, I find this  absurd and offensive. As a person with pain, I find it appalling and sad. As an American, I can only see the disconnect he has from people with pain and INvisible disabilities.

Rand Paul, expect a huge backlash from this, as I will not sit quietly nor will the pain community. I plan to stop by your office tomorrow and every time I am in DC to meet with you about this. This is an open invitation to tell me to my face your feelings. I encourage everyone to write, call or drop by his office to discuss this. I want others to share this and to make comments. Let's show this person that we will not stand to be judged. 
- Paul Gileno, President & Founder of U.S. Pain Foundation

Speak Out!
Submit your reaction as a comment to online articles 

Share your reaction to Senator Rand Paul's comments, how it makes you feel as either a person living with pain, as a caregiver for someone who lives with a rare disease or from one of the many Americans utilizing federal government programs such as the  Social Security Disability Insurance program. 

You can leave a comment on any of the online articles found below :

Social Media Savvy? Direct your comments using Twitter or Facebook, tagging Sen. Paul!
Twitter handle: @RandPaul
Facebook Page: www.Facebook.com/RandPaul

Feel free to also tag U.S. Pain in your posts (@US_Pain, #USPain)

Reach Out! 
Send a personal letter to Senator Rand Paul

Although President and Founder of U.S. Pain, Paul Gileno, has vowed to make it a point to visit Senator Paul's office in DC and to reach out using social media and other platforms, the U.S. Pain Team is personally asking that you consider taking the time to write or type a letter. 

Much like it is a pain patient's role to advocate for their health, it is also the responsibility of advocates, caregivers and healthcare professionals to continue providing educational resources and information to communities and lawmakers. Comments like this from legislators needs to end in order for the pain community to flourish without prejudice, succeed without societal barriers and live a life with pain and not in pain.


Washington, DC

Senator Rand Paul
167 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Phone: 202.224.4343

Bowling Green

Senator Rand Paul
Main State Office
1029 State Street
Bowling Green, KY 42101

Phone: 270.782.8303