Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is traveling to Canada to have hernia surgery, the Louisville Courier Journal reported Monday.
The surgery is because of injuries Paul sustained in 2017 when he was attacked by his neighbor, Rene Boucher, in a dispute over lawn debris, according to court documents cited by the Courier Journal.
Boucher pleaded guilty to attacking Paul and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. Paul has also filed a lawsuit against Boucher over the incident.
The Courier Journal reported that Paul is scheduled to have surgery next week at the Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario.
Paul has been an outspoken opponent of universal health care. But his office said Monday that critics attacking the senator for seeking medical care in a country with such a system were out of line, noting that the hospital where the surgery will be performed is privately run.
“This is more fake news on a story that has been terribly reported from day one — this is a private, world renowned hospital separate from any system and people come from around the world to pay cash for their services,” Sergio Gor, Paul’s deputy chief of staff, said in a statement. “The Courier Journal should know better!”
Gor did not respond to a request for comment on why Paul was seeking medical care outside the United States.