RUSH: Obama is out in Green Bay today, and he's doing a town hall meeting on socialized medicine, government health care. The reason he's out there doing this is because the polling on this is not looking good. Conservatives for Patients' Rights is a group that's stopping Obama, and they've got a post on their website today that cracks are forming around public opinion and government-run health care. I'll tell you, cracks are forming on all of Obama's policies. Now, his approval number is still 62%. The Fox News poll just came out today, they sent it to me, and he was at 60% in the last reporting period a couple weeks ago, his approval rating is 62%. But if you look at issues, it's all falling apart on him. Nobody approves of his issues on things. It's the most amazing thing. And he knows it. I think there is panic going on in the White House. We're not even six months in, this guy was supposed to be universally loved and adored. There was not supposed to be one word of criticism that anybody would take seriously or listen to. And those people, the critics would all be marginalized, and we were all gonna be yummy, hummy, coming together, all this unity, no more shootings at Holocaust museums, no more shootings in Arkansas, none of this was supposed to happen. And now we find out it's worse, things are worse in this country than when Obama took office.
In fact, here it is. "American households lost $1.33 trillion of their wealth in the first three months of the year as the recession took a bite out of stock portfolios and dragged down home prices. The Federal Reserve reported Thursday that household net worth fell to $50.38 trillion in the January-March quarter." Americans' net worth shrinks by 1.33 trillion in the first quarter, gone, poof, since Obama was put into office. Don't say that January wasn't his. He was running the show behind the scenes as part of the transition. He was urging Bush to bail out General Motors. He was doing a whole bunch of stuff. One-point-three trillion, poof! So, he's out there in Green Bay today, he's trying to revive the polling on health care, and he gets a very tepid response, very weak applause to his presentation here of public insurance option.
OBAMA: One of the options in the exchange should be a public insurance option. (applause) Now -- and the reason is not because we want a government takeover of health care. I've already said, if you've got a private plan that works for you, that's great, but we want some competition. If the private insurance companies have to compete with a public option, it will keep 'em honest and it will keep -- (applause) -- help keep their prices down.
RUSH: My friends, look, I really resent the position this man puts me in, but that's a lie. There will be no private insurance once they get a public option. That's the dirty little secret. There will be no competition. That's the dirty little secret. Once a public option is in place, the insurance companies are not going to be able to compete. They're not even going to try. The insurance companies are going to try to off-load. Once there is a public option you're going to see the insurance companies get out of it and get on board the government plan for a whole host of reasons. The dirty little secret here is that the idea of a public option is to end up with a single payer, and that's the federal government. Now, the response, to me, did not sound tepid, but it was. It may not sound tepid to you, but if you looked at it on television and saw it, you would agree that the applause here is not roaring. I mean, it's not like he's used to getting. Here's the next sound bite.
OBAMA: I'll be honest, even with these savings reform will require some additional up-front resources. And that's why I've proposed that we scale back how much the highest-income Americans can deduct on their tax -- taxes, back -- take it back to the rate that existed under the Reagan years. And we could use some of that money to help finance health care reform.
RUSH: That's not very much applause. We scale back how much highest-income Americans can deduct on their taxes, take us back to the rate that existed under the Reagan years. Well, now, there were many rates that existed under the Reagan years. This is also designed to fool you because everybody associates Reagan with tax cutting, properly so. Do you know what the top marginal rate was when Ronald Reagan took office? Seventy percent. The top marginal rate when Ronald Reagan left office was 28%. But it took eight years to lower those rates, so what rate is he talking about here? Seventy percent? Fifty percent? What rate's he talking about? He doesn't specify. He just wants more taxes on the rich and somehow this is magically going to pay for health care and all these people are going to get it for free. That's the impression he's trying to leave. Here's the next one.
OBAMA: There are some folks who say socialized medicine -- you hear that all the time --
OBAMA: -- socialized medicine. Well, socialized medicine would mean that the government would basically run all of health care, they would, you know, hire the doctors; they would run hospitals; they just run the whole thing. Great Britain has a system of socialized medicine. Nobody's talking about doing that, all right? So when you hear people saying, socialized medicine, understand, I don't know anybody in Washington who is proposing that, certainly not me. Socialized medicine is different from a single-payer plan.
RUSH: Stop, stop. No, it's not. Have you not heard what Senator Kennedy is working on? Nobody in Washington is talking about what he's -- look, I don't like being in this position of having to call the president of the United States a liar, but I'm given no choice. I've gotta take a break, but I got a whole Stack of Stuff here on health care and I'm going to get into it in the next hour because I have to go now.
RUSH: Even if there is a private option in health care, you're still going to have to pay for the government option. You're going to pay it in taxes; you're going to pay it any number of ways. I just find it amazing, if you listen to President Obama out there in Green Bay, where he's being protested, by the way, but they're not going to report that, protesters outside, it's amazing how he gets so defensive when people speak the truth about his plans. Very defensive when the truth is spoken about this man.
RUSH: President Obama this afternoon in Green Bay doing a town hall meeting, promoting his socialized medicine reform, and an unidentified member of the audience says, "What's your philosophy about primary care and the role of primary care? You subscribe to the medical home theory? How do you engage patient --" did somebody really show up with this question? I'm sorry I interrupted myself halfway through the question. I have my doubts here that somebody got up in Green Bay today and said, "I'm going to go to a town meeting, I got a question, 'What is your philosophy about primary care and the role of primary care? Do you subscribe to the medical home theory? How do you engage patients in this model so that that risk can be better managed and we can ultimately result in a population that has better health at a lower cost?'" Now, I can't sit here and believe that some citizen in Green Bay came up with this question. I'm not suggesting anything. (laughing) I'm saying that this is a planted question. Anyway, here's The One's answer.
OBAMA: The more we are incentivizing high quality primary care, prevention, wellness, management of chronic illnesses -- I mean one of the things that it turns out is that about 20% of the patients account for 80% of the care and the costs of the health care system. And if we can get somebody first of all who is overweight to lose weight so that they don't become diabetic, we save tons of money.
RUSH: Bingo, and that's exactly what he is going to have the power to do. That's the kind of power he's looking for. Once they get this, you know, Mona Charen in her syndicated column today said this is the ball game. Obama's health care is the ball game. If he gets this, this never gets rolled back. If he gets this, virtually every behavior that we engage in could be subject to regulation based on its cost to health care. Now, this statistic, 20% of the patients account for 80% of the care. Would he care to tell us the age of that 20%? Because I will guarantee you that the bulk of that 20% are people who have fewer years ahead of them than they have lived. I'm not being insulting here. I'm just saying most of our expensive health care comes as we approach the end of life. Fact of life. That ought to tell us right there where we need to stop spending money on health care. This public option versus the private option, look, all they're going to do is be expanding Medicare. That's all they're going to do, folks, is Medicare is going to be expanded to where everybody has to use it, even if you have a private option, even if you're able to go out and buy private insurance, you're still going to have to opt into the Medicare program. That's the objective.
Now, Obama said in a previous sound bite that we played that Great Britain has a system of socialized medicine, and nobody is talking about doing that. As I said, I really don't like this man putting me in a position to have to accuse him of lying, I don't like saying that about the president of the United States, but one of his first acts upon taking office was to provide $1.1 billion through the Porkulus bill for a national health care board that was designed to oversee the effectiveness of health services modeled after the UK's National Institute for Clinical Excellence. One-point-one billion was spent to create an identical type of bureaucracy that the UK has, the United Kingdom, Britain, in its health care program. He also entitled the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. Its description side steps its intent of cost containment, noting that it will coordinate the conduct or support of comparative effectiveness and related health services research. As the bill was passed without legislators reading it, the Porkulus bill, let alone studying it, many concerns have been raised since its passage both in the political and public realms regarding exactly what and who this comparative effectiveness research will analyze and how those results are going to be implemented or enforced.
The bottom line, he's already set up a socialized medicine health care board in the Porkulus bill modeled after the UK, which he admitted is a socialist system, socialized medicine, there's no other way to describe what the man wants to do than to call it socialized medicine. Single payer socialized medicine. And it's all about control. It's not about cost. This man's not worried about the cost of anything. He doesn't care what anything costs. A trip to New York for a date, $12 trillion in debt over ten years, he doesn't care what things cost. That's just to make you think he does. He doesn't care what health care costs. In strict financial terms we don't have the money as a country to be buying anything. We don't have the money. Do you realize we only have the money because the Chinese buy our bonds? But we don't have the money. We are spending so far beyond our income. He doesn't care about that. There's no way any government program has reduced the cost of anything that I know of.
Mona Charen has this, Sally Pipes, The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care. Thirty years ago in Medicare, Medicaid and so forth there were 252 mandates on insurance companies. Today there are 1,901 mandates. That's an average of 38 per state. Now, what is a mandate? Well, to understand a mandate, you first have to beware of politicians bearing statistics. Mona Charen: "What is even more galling than misleading (or outright false) statistics is to watch politicians rail about the expense of health insurance without once acknowledging their own role in jacking up the price. Health care is expensive of course -- though it also delivers value (improved quality and length of life). But our jerry-built system has made buying insurance much more expensive than it should be. State mandates require insurance companies to cover a variety of specialized medical services (usually at the behest of lobbyists.)"
Here are some examples of mandates that some states now require to be covered by health insurance: "in vitro fertilization, marriage therapy, smoking cessation classes, hormone replacement therapy, chiropractor visits, and so on." All of these mandates -- and there were only 252 of these 30 years ago. Now there are almost 2,000, and each new mandate raises the cost to the insurance company. If you're going to force them to cover marriage therapy or alcohol and drug abuse, if you're going to force them to cover that, what do you think is going to happen to the premiums? They have to go up. All of these mandates -- and these are just the tip of the iceberg. Once they get this whole program under their belt in Washington they're going to be mandating everything and they're going to be covering it and we're going to be paying for it. So the mandates make it "impossible for companies to offer cheap, no-frills, high-deductible plans for the young and healthy."
When 20% of the population is responsible for 80% of the health care costs, what that tells us is that we ought to offer insurance plans to the young that basically handle their catastrophes, potential catastrophes and emergencies. But not every day walks of life matters like marriage therapy or just a standard checkup visit or what have you. But we do. Now, these people that are not putting much strain on the health care system ought to be able to buy insurance policies that don't cost very much money at all, but there's no availability of those kinds of policies because of all the mandates from the states that insurance companies have to cover. And, by the way, the insurance companies don't mind because guess who's paying for the insurance in a lot of cases? The employers, the government. I tell you this whole system went south the moment the government got involved in this something like 40 years ago, because when the consumer, when the patient no longer was responsible for the bill, that was the end of it.
Imagine if we had hotel room insurance. What do you think a hotel room would cost if you didn't have to pay for it, if somebody else was? Or anything, if you had insurance for any other service, car insurance, not wreck, but just to own one, what do you think would happen to the price? When the consumer figures out that he doesn't have to pay for it, he doesn't care. When the employer is providing the insurance, the consumer doesn't care. That's why consumers now all of a sudden complain about copays and how much they do have to pay because they don't expect to have to pay anything. That's the way the whole system's been built. And you haven't seen anything yet until they get what they want.
Now, the New York Times has an interesting story today: "Doctors' Group Opposes Public Insurance Plan." This is the AMA. "As the health care debate heats up, the American Medical Association is letting Congress know that it will oppose creation of a government-sponsored insurance plan, which President Obama and many other Democrats see as an essential element of legislation to remake the health care system. The opposition, which comes as Mr. Obama prepares to address the powerful doctors' group on Monday in Chicago." But the doctors, my friends, the AMA, doesn't have a whole lot of bargaining power. And do you want to know why? The reason is, if these doctors, if the AMA get too aggressive here, they risk angering Democrats who already control their income via Medicare. This is political health care at play here. "If the doctors are too aggressive in fighting the public plan, they risk alienating Democrats whose support they need for legislation to increase their Medicare fees."
I need these statistics right in front of me and I'm not sure that it's in this particular story, but right now Medicare reimburses doctors 81%, and in some cases less. The government's already telling doctors what they can earn and what they can charge with Medicare patients, which is why a lot of doctors are opting out of Medicare. One of the reasons they want national health care is to get doctors back in it and give doctors no choice. So the 81%, and if they anger these Democrats too much, the Democrats can, "Okay, we're going to cut your pay to 60%." They could do it.
Now, we've talked about Obama and his teleprompter. The teleprompter has a website, a blog, and here's the entry for yesterday. Big Guy, meaning Obama, this is the teleprompter talking to us here on its blog: "Big Guy is pretty excited that we'll be getting to go home to Chicago next week for a speech on his health care reform plan. We'll be speaking at the American Medical Association there. It might seem like the wrong forum for Big Guy to talk about how under our health care plan we're essentially going to take money out of the pockets of doctors and make them work for free, but that's overlooking two facts. This is Big Guy. And we're doing it in Chicago. As Toes says: the doctors will like it ... or they can practice medicine at the bottom of Lake Michigan and see how well that billing system works for them."
Of course it's satire and humor, but this is founded in reality; why it's funny. So the AMA, they're not happy about this at all, but they don't have much choice because they're so dependent on Medicare for so much of their income. I'll tell you, I don't know why we believe anything Obama says. He said that unemployment would not rise above 8%. He is spending this nation into bankruptcy. He has no idea how his policy will work or any of his policies, none whatsoever. He has no idea how to pay for this. He has done nothing to fix Medicare or Medicaid. Why believe anything he says? What has he ever run? He's never run anything! All he's done is agitate people in neighborhoods in Chicago. But he's never run anything, much less successfully.
I don't want to hear about good intentions. I don't want to hear about how he's going to lower costs. He doesn't know how to do this! He doesn't know the first thing about health care. He knows about liberalism and ideology. And he knows about power. He knows about authoritarianism. He doesn't know beans about the health care business; he doesn't know anything about the car business, and he puts somebody in charge who admits he doesn't know the car business, at General Motors. He doesn't know anything. I don't know why anybody believes anything he says. He has already, with projected budget deficits for the next ten years, run up a $12 trillion debt, which is going to end up higher, actually, it always does, and yet he's not done. He's not finished.
The AMA, as I said at the opening of this program, we're now being trained, we're now being told to hate the doctors and to hate the insurance companies. This is an administration and liberalism that fosters and promotes hate to get what it wants. You watch, the AMA, they're on the front page of the New York Times, "We don't like what Obama is going to do." You watch how they're going to be characterized in the next couple days. They're going to be characterized as a special interest group only out for themselves, and they're going to pit the AMA -- doctors -- against all of you for the express purpose of getting you to hate the doctors, to put pressure on the doctors to buckle and accept Obama's plan. That's how this is going to happen. You just wait.
RUSH: These Medicare doctors, they're in the same spot as the bankers are. The Medicare doctors are in the same spot as the car company executives are. They're just like Ken Lewis. They're just like General Motors, Chrysler. They are controlled by government already and they're going to be controlled even more by government. And yet, President Obama, in Green Bay, had the audacity to say this.
OBAMA: Government can't do all of this. I'm the first one to acknowledge this. That's why I'm always puzzled when people go out there and creating this bogeyman about Obama, you know, wants government-run everything I don't want government to run stuff. I -- like I've said, I've got enough stuff to do. I've got North Korea and I've got Iran and I've got Afghanistan and Iraq. I don't know where people get this idea that I want to -- I want to run stuff or I want government to run stuff. I would -- I think it would be great if the health care system was working perfectly and we didn't have to be involved at all. That would be wonderful. That's not how it's worked.
RUSH: Ken Lewis, Bank of America chief executive, testified today in Washington and said this.
LEWIS: It is true that we were told that if we went through or -- I can't exactly remember the exact words so please give me license with word-for-word -- but basically if we went through with calling the MAC, that the government could or could remove management and the board. And I've said in the past that it was the threat -- the threat was not what gave me concern -- what gave me concern that they would make that threat to a bank in good standing. So it showed the seriousness with which they thought that we should not call a MAC, a material address change. And so as a result of that, that was a factor in our decisions because here your regulators and the federal government was saying, "We don't think calling the MAC is the best thing for you or the financial system."
RUSH: So Obama doesn't want to control anything. This is Ken Lewis basically admitting that he, Bank of America, was pressured into buying Merrill Lynch. Obama doesn't want to run anything! He doesn't want to run anything? He's not doing a thing about Iran or Afghanistan or Iraq. He is running General Motors. He is running Chrysler. He is appointing people. He's firing CEOs. What does he mean he doesn't want to run anything? Good God, folks.
RUSH: Do you remember this story from back in April? "In the past six years..." This is from the Austin American Statesman. "In the past six years, eight people from Austin and one from Luling [Texas] racked up 2,678 emergency room visits in Central Texas, costing hospitals, taxpayers and others $3 million, according to a report from a nonprofit made up of hospitals and other providers that care for the uninsured and low-income Central Texans." Nine people in six years went to one emergency room 2,600 times. This points out something that is never discussed in health care, and that is the abuse of the system by American citizens -- abuse that is paid for by everybody else.
What has become part and parcel of the whole health care debate is that we're all sick all the time. We are all justified in going to the doctor every day, because we're told every day that drinking this is going to kill us or eating that's going to prolong your risk to cancer, or we're driving too fast. We're told we're sick every day. The sun can make us sick. So people go to the doctor all the time. We never talk about curbing that. We never talk about people curbing things. We do try to get people to drive less. We do try to get people to drive smaller cars, but we don't ever tell people, "Stay away from the doctor. You're not sick!" Here are people going to the ER because there's a law in the country that says if you don't have any health insurance coverage you can still get covered at the ER.
That's why it's always been bogus to talk about the number of people without health insurance because nobody is denying medical care here, of an emergency nature. Go to the ER. We never, ever talk about those of our fellow citizens who are not little angels and victims of whatever is going on. They're a bunch of spoiled-brat, slothful, hypochondriacs who abuse the system and cost everybody a whole bunch of money. We never, ever hear that. We only hear the opposite, that everybody is sick all the time and everybody is justified to every trip to the doctor they make. (sigh) All right. I'm ... (interruption) Of course I know what I've just done. I guarantee you more people agree with me than not. How else do you get 2,600 visits from nine people to one ER over six years? What the hell else is this?
Nine people, Snerdley! Of course I know what I just said. Nine people, one emergency room, 2,678 visits in six years. Nine people! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine people. Do I know what I just said? Not only do I know what I just said, I'm damn proud of myself for saying it. Just like we have trained a whole generation of people to not work and think they're entitled to be paid for it anyway, we have created millions of people who think they're entitled to a doctor visit every day with one sniffle, one sneeze or one cough. We've got everybody thinking that everything in life is going to kill them, that they're getting sick every day. The dangers inside the house (we just had that story) and the dangers outside the house. My God, folks, do you realize life is such a risk we all shoulda just been aborted!
Now we got a story today that maybe in a couple of billion years, the Earth might collide with Mercury. So for those of you still alive a couple billion years from now, that's another thing you have to be afraid of. And so you can develop a psychosis and go to some psychiatrist if your health care insurance covers it, because somebody told you the Earth's going to collide with Mercury in a couple billion years! See how this works? No wonder! My gosh, how many walking zombies we have in this country -- and it's not all their fault. I mean, all they gotta do is watch government-run media for one straight week, and they will hear a minimum of ten different things that are currently killing them or threatening to kill 'em. (sigh)