RUSH: Let's go to one of the most interesting exchanges in the infomercial last night. And ABC's Jake Tapper, in describing this, says: "President Obama struggled Wednesday to explain whether his health care reform proposals would force normal Americans to make sacrifices that wealthier, more powerful people -- like the president himself -- wouldn't face. The probing questions came from two skeptical neurologists" during the ABC News infomercial on Obama healthcare reform. And the first question that we're referring to here is Dr. Orrin Devinsky. He's a New York neurosurgeon. He asked this question of President Obama: "If your wife or your daughter became seriously ill and things were not going well and the plan physicians told you they were doing everything that could be done and you sought out opinions from some medical leaders in major centers and they said, 'There's another option that you should pursue,' but it wasn't covered in your plan, would you potentially sacrifice the health of your family for the greater good of insuring millions, or would you do everything possible as a father and husband to get the best healthcare and outcome for your family?"
Let me translate the question. A neurosurgeon asked Obama: "Okay, you've got the healthcare plan that you're going to prescribe for everybody else. Your wife or your daughter comes down with a major illness. Your plan goes through the diagnosis. And then you find out that there's some other doctor out there somewhere with another procedure and another form of treatment, another opinion, but your plan doesn't cover it. Are you going to stick with the plan you forced on everybody else, or are you going to use your wealth and go outside the plan to get the treatment for your wife and daughter that other people are not going to be able to do because they don't have the money?'' That's the question. He did not answer it. Obama: "You're absolutely right. That if it's my family member, uh, if it's my wife, if it's my children, if it's my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care. But here's the problem that we have in our current healthcare system, is that there is a whole bunch of care that's being provided that every study, every bit of evidence that we have indicates may not be making us healthier."
All he did there was admit: "Yeah, I want the best healthcare possible." Well, so the hell does everybody else! That wasn't the question. The question was: "Are you going to go outside the plan that you have prescribed for everybody?" See, the dirty little secret is he's going to be exempt from the plan, as are all members of Congress. The question was a good one: "Are you going to go outside the plan if you find a better doctor, better treatment that your plan doesn't cover?" "You're right. I'd go get the best care I could. I want the best care." Then comes this irrelevant, non sequitur answer: That we have a bunch of care that's being provided that may not be making us healthier. Folks, I'm telling you, the answer to this question you need to focus on: Obama is looking to cut healthcare. He's looking to cut it because that's the only way he can keep costs where they are or reduce them, which is not going to happen anyway. We have the best healthcare system in this country and he's going to restrict access to it, as a means of saving money.
That's the only way he can do it. So he wouldn't answer the good doctor's question. The answer to the question is, for President Obama: "Yeah, I'm going to use the wealth I've acquired and I'm going to go get the best treatment I can." But the vast majority of Americans will not be able to do that because they aren't going to be able to afford it. They're going to be stuck in a plan that doesn't everything they might need, and Obama's answer is: "Well, maybe you don't need the treatment. Maybe you don't. Maybe your quality of life is such you don't need it anyway. We'll save money." Next question. Member of the audience. Jane Sturm: "My mother is now over 105. But at 100, the doctors said to her, 'I can't do anything more unless you have a pacemaker.' I said, 'Go for it.' She said, 'Go for it.' But the specialist said, 'No, she's too old.' But when the other specialist saw her and saw her joy of life, he said, 'I'm going for it.' That was over five years ago. My question to you is: Outside the medical criteria for prolonging life for somebody who is elderly, is there any consideration that can be given for a certain spirit, a certain joy of living, a quality of life, or is it just a medical cutoff at a certain age?"
Obama: "I don't think that we can make judgments based on people's 'spirit.' Uh, that would be, uh, a pretty subjective decision to be making. I think we have to have rules that, uh, say that, uh, we are going to provide good quality care for all people. End-of-life care is one of the most difficult sets of decisions that we're going to have to make. But understand that those decisions are already being made in one way or another. If they're not being made under Medicare and Medicaid, they're being made by private insurers. At least we can let doctors know -- and your mom know -- that you know what, maybe this isn't going to help. Maybe you're better off, uhh, not having the surgery, but, uhh, taking the painkiller." Do you realize how cold and heartless that answer is? This woman is asking about her mother. And everywhere she went, except one doctor, refused to put in the pacemaker. "Nah, she's too old; she's going to die anyway."
So they found a specialist: "Maybe this woman really loves living. I'll put it in." She's lived five years with the pacemaker, and still Obama: "Maybe you're better off to tell your mother to take a pill, take a painkiller." See, we have to have rules. "We have to have rules. Your mother should have died five years ago, lady. She would have been better off taking that painkiller." Who says we have to have his rules? The President of the United States is not a king. He's not an autocrat. He's not a ruler. He doesn't get to set the rules. Obama has taken it upon himself to do so. This woman found a way to get her mother a pacemaker. With Obamacare, you just heard the answer: It wouldn't have happened. I know how this stuff works.
The hospitals are under pressure to free up beds. If they think somebody's terminal, get them out of there. I understand how all this works. But we're not talking about a terminal woman. We're talking about a woman who needed a pacemaker. "I don't think we can make judgments based on people's 'spirit.' That would be a pretty subjective decision to be making." Maybe not if the government's in charge. That's the whole point. What about if families... Do not families have the right to judge the spirit of their fathers and mothers and family members? Of course! Do we want to have a cold, cruel, unfeeling government saying, "Spirit doesn't matter to us"? That's exactly right. Obama wants you... The best way to put it, and it's working, is he's trying to kill spirit. All this hope and change? He's trying to kill it. You know how many frustrated Americans there are out there at what's happening?
This Sanford business. I've got to tell you one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind with Mark Sanford. This is the first thought: "What he did defies logic." This is more than being 180 degrees out of phase because of lust or love. To split the scene for five days, and we know he's been separated -- and he knows, by the way, that the newspaper in his state has the e-mails between him and his concubine there in Argentina. He knows this. He knows that somebody knows what's going on. He knows his wife knows. So he ups and leaves for five days. He doesn't leave anybody in charge of the state in case there's an emergency. This is almost like: "I don't give a damn. The country is going to hell in a handbasket and I just want out of here." He had just tried to fight the stimulus money coming to South Carolina. He didn't want any part of it. He lost the battle.
He said, "What the hell? The federal government's taking over. What the hell? I want to enjoy life." One of the first things I thought, now today he's saying he doesn't want to give up office, he wants to stay in office. (sigh) But even Charles Krauthammer said last night: this is like self-inflicted political suicide. And it certainly appeared to be. The point is there are a lot of people whose spirit is just broken. They're fed up with it and saying, "To hell with it. I don't want to fight it anymore. I just want to get away from it," and here's Obama admitting: "Well, we can't start making judgments based on people's spirit." Imagine if we had had presidents in the past who said we couldn't make judgments on any number of political issues using "people's 'spirit.'" It's the American exceptionalism the spirit-can-doism that built the country. Spirit's everything. Energy, desire, get-up-and-go. Ambition! The woman's mother had ambition to live. She just needed a pacemaker. It didn't matter. She should take a painkiller! I'm telling you, this is a coldhearted, ruthless guy. Not a cool, calm, and collected one.
RUSH: A couple more bites on this infomercial. It was an embarrassment to what used to be a great news organization, ABC. And, again, it came in last in its time slot last night; the 10 p.m. time slot, it was last. Obama is not the big ratings draw that everybody thinks. Obama fatigue is settling in. If they wanted people to watch, they should have had me on. Anyway, one of the techniques that the State-Run Media is using to support Obama is to try to demonize (even further) the insurance companies.
And lo and behold, they had a guy from Aetna Insurance in the audience last night. Here's Diane Sawyer asking Obama for permission to question a CEO of Aetna.
SAWYER: If I can reverse the order a little bit, Mr. President, I'd like to ask a question of him and then let you comment on his answer."
SAWYER: Mr. Williams, Aetna, to take one, an insurance company. We hear all over the country people see their premiums going up 119% in the last several years. They see the profits of the insurance companies in the billions and billions of dollars. Even in a lean year, they see profits in the billions of dollars. Is the President right that you need to be kept honest?"
RUSH: Oh, now, this wasn't an infomercial, was it? This wasn't a stacked deck. "Is the President right, you people are a bunch of greedy SOBs? They can profit. Who the hell do you think you are making profits?" She wouldn't know the first thing about the risks anybody in the insurance business takes. She doesn't pay for her own health care, either. So let's bash the insurance companies. This is CEO Ronald Williams, Aetna president and CEO. This answer is one of the few things that made sense on ABC last night.
WILLIAMS: It's difficult to compete against a player who is also the person who is refereeing the game. And so I think in the context of thinking about a government plan, what we say is: "Let's identify the problem we're trying to solve. Let's work collaboratively with physicians, hospitals, and other health care professionals, and make certain that we solve the problem as opposed to introduce a new competitor who has the rule-making ability the government would have."
RUSH: See, he is right on the money, and this is the thing that nobody's paying any attention to. Obama is saying, "Hey-ey-ey. You know, our public option is going to be subject to the same rules that the private sector is." No, they're not, because Mr. Obama's plan doesn't have to make a profit, and Obama has already established himself as the referee, as Mr. Williams said. Obama says, "I'm going to sit here and I'll allow you to keep your doctor. I'll allow you to do that." Who the hell is he to "allow" us to do anything? He's not a king. He's not a dictator. He's the president. So after this answer, the brilliant Obama gives his rebuttal and calls this guy "Mr. Walters" instead of his name, "Mr. Williams."
OBAMA: First of all, I want to say that, uh, Mr. Walters (sic) has been very cooperative. We've been having a series of conversations, and I appreciate the constructive, uhh, manner in which we've been, uhh, uhh, trying to work together. Uh, but I -- I just want to make clear that, uh, the government, whatever rules it provides to insurers, a public plan would have to abide by those same rules. So we're not talking about an unlevel, unequal playing field. We're talking about a level playing field.
RUSH: This is absurd. This is outrageous. The rules? "Whatever rules government provides to insurers, a public plan would have to abide by the same rules." These are the same rules that are going to be applied to making cars. The same rules that are going to be applied to mortgages and so? What is this? Can the private plans raise taxes? No, they can't. In fact, private insurers cannot go out and raise taxes to defray their costs, but Obama can. It's not a level playing field and it never is. The government doesn't ever have to make a profit. Another thing they can do is print money if there's a shortage of it. Mr. Williams over at Aetna can't do that. All right. To the phones. People have been patiently waiting. We'll start with Steve in Fort Lauderdale, who is in residence, and he has a reaction to Obama's show last night. Hi, Steve. Thank you for waiting.
CALLER: It's an honor to speak with you, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: A couple points I wanted to make. The first one, Obama's assertion that doctors are ordering more and more tests to get more and more compensation is ridiculous. I'm compensated to see and to treat a patient regardless of what I order. But I am having to order more and more tests to protect my backside.
RUSH: Exactly right.
CALLER: So we should be talking tort reform, not driving down the cost of health care.
RUSH: You can forget tort reform, just like you can forget union reform, because the tort lawyers are the second biggest contributing base besides the unions, after the unions, to Democrats and Obama. You're absolutely right. They order all these tests to cover themselves in case some patient wants to sue them for misdiagnosis or something.
CALLER: That's exactly right. And you have to. Not only is it to protect yourself financially, but also three strikes in Florida, I'll be bagging groceries.
RUSH: Three strikes? You mean...? Give me a definition of a "strike."
CALLER: It's gone through various stages, but if you lose so many malpractice cases, you can lose your license -- and I'm not talking about gross negligent things.
RUSH: Yeah. And how hard is it to get a jury impaneled these days that's going to hate the doctor, hate the insurance company and award some schlub gazillions of dollars because somebody misdiagnosed a pimple?
CALLER: Because they want to be the next schlub that gets the next million dollars.
CALLER: The other point I wanted to make if I have the time with you is him talking about "specialists." Now, I'm in a specialty residency. And he's saying that we need to try to drive more of the compensation to the general practice folks. I think it's going to be a wash in the end without that. I'm carrying about $300,000 of student loans that's going to be accruing interest for the next five years. The people who have already graduated and are out practicing, they're not. They're also gaining a nice income at this point, when I'm not. So for him to say that somebody's doing it just for money and we need to try to compensate the general practice people more because too many people want to do certain things...
RUSH: All that means, there's a way to translate that, too. He wants more people to go to a GP rather than specialists. Forget the why. This is what he's having to do to ostensibly "cut costs." So you have the President of the United States telling private citizens who want to be doctors where they can go and where they can't go. It's exactly out of the Hillary plan, by the way.