U.S. Sen. Rand Paul will trade the weighty topics of national debt and health insurance, which he talked about Thursday with the Lexington Rotary Club, for surgical garb Sunday morning.
Paul, a licensed ophthalmologist in Bowling Green, will perform six free cataract eye surgeries as a volunteer for the non-profit organization Surgery on Sunday at the Lexington Surgery Center on Harrodsburg Road.
Senate rules prohibit Paul from receiving pay for performing surgeries, so he keeps his practice sharp by performing them for free.
Paul joked before a crowd of several hundred at Fasig-Tipton that his volunteer work for Surgery on Sunday "is kind of a selfish thing on my part.
"While I won't get paid, I want to have a backup in case I lose my day job," he said.
Founded in 2005 by Dr. Andrew Moore of Lexington, Surgery on Sunday, Inc., provides outpatient surgical services for people who cannot afford insurance and are not eligible for federal or state programs.
Patients are referred from organizations in the community.
Surgery on Sunday's volunteers conduct a free surgical clinic on the third Sunday of each month.
In 1995, Paul founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic, which provides eye exams and surgery to needy people. He has a residency in ophthalmology from Duke University Medical Center.
During his speech about his "day job," Paul claimed that the federal government overregulates businesses.
He also asserted that the Obama administration has provided waivers to states for provisions in the new federal health care law on a partisan basis. He also predicted the age for new recipients of Social Security will rise to 70.