RUSH: I think this is a clear majority. Rasmussen: "55% Say Congress Should Start Over on Health Care." Clear majority, don't you think? I mean that's four percentage points more than what Obama wants to get. I'm getting e-mails from people: "Rush, you gotta remind people now the real trick here is there isn't going to be any reconciliation. If the House passes the Senate bill, it's a done deal." Obama had a meeting with all these guys yesterday, different groups of people. He said we don't have the votes for the public option right now but don't worry we're going to get it; we're going to ram this down people's throats. This is just the foundation, just the starting point. And that's damn true. This is just the foundation if they get this. They don't have the votes now. They don't have the votes now, and I'm still not convinced that they're going to get close to having the votes in the House for the Senate bill. We'll keep a sharp eye. There's two weeks to go here before Obama's resurrection deadline of Easter Sunday.
From TheHill.com: "Democrats plan 'pain' for Republicans who seek to slow or block passage of healthcare legislation, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said Wednesday night. Brown said that if Republicans try to offer amendments and use parliamentary maneuvers to grind out the legislative process, Democrats would retaliate with all-night sessions and other methods of fighting back." No! No, don't say it! All-night sessions? That's cruel! All-night sessions? How can they do it? That's torture! That's sleep deprivation. That's the kind of stuff that went on down at Club Gitmo.
RUSH: So Sherrod Brown is now threatening "pain" for the Republican Party if they drag out health care. "'I think they're going to try to do amendments, as many as they can get away with,' Brown said Wednesday evening during an appearance on MSNBC. 'I think we keep them here all night -- tonight, the next night, the next night, the next night." Again, sleep deprivation. This is what went on at Club Gitmo and here's a Democrat now advocating torture to be used on the Republicans. "If they're going to try to filibuster in the traditional sense or the more modern sense that they do, they're going to have pain, too,' Brown added." They're going to have real pain. There's not going to be a reconciliation. That's what that meeting at the White House was all about yesterday. He's bringing up these various groups of House Democrats and saying, "Look, we're not going to be able to get the public option. That's not in the Senate bill. We can't get it now. We're going to build the foundation. It's a first step." So there isn't going to be reconciliation.
RUSH: I got an e-mail question: "What do you mean, there won't be any reconciliation?" I spent some time on this yesterday afternoon and it's embarrassing that I missed this whole thing myself. All of this talk of reconciliation is just another head feint. All this talk of getting the Senate bill passed in the House and then back to the Senate for reconciliation where all the things the House wants get added in, the second bill, a third bill, not going to happen. The point is it was never the intention. It's all been a head feint from the get-go. Once the House passes the Senate bill we've got Obamacare. The Senate's already passed it, the Christmas Eve bill, and the objective is what? To pass the Senate bill. There is no new bill. There is no new Obama bill. Pass the Senate bill. "But, Rush, but, Rush, it has the abortion lingo in it." Yeah, I know, and they're telling Stupak and the boys, "We'll fix that in the reconciliation." There isn't going to be a reconciliation.
This is Sauron getting the ring and then letting Gollum have it for a couple minutes so he'd get it back. There is not going to be reconciliation. The minute Pelosi gets whatever she needs, 216 or 217 for that Senate bill, it goes to Obama, he signs it. In fact, even if there's reconciliation he has to sign it. And so Obama's bringing these people up to the White House yesterday, the various factions of Democrats in the House, Barbara Lee was up there, I think she's chairman of the black caucus: (paraphrasing) "I don't like it, there's no public option." Obama: "We don't have the votes for public option. We just don't have the votes right now for the public option, that's why it's not in the bill over in the Senate, and we can't get it in there. But this is just the foundation. This is just step one. We're going to have all kinds of goodies in this thing before it's all over with. But we've got to take the first step." That's why all the action is focused on the House here. Can Pelosi get the votes? Ignore the Senate. Everything coming out of the Senate is a distraction intended to keep your eye off where the real action is. The action is the head count in the House.
Now, one other thing, 'cause I have granted audience to some of these powerful forces that are in town for the weekend, and I've asked them what I told you I was going to ask them yesterday. What about repealing it after it gets done? Here is the problem with that. It's a realistic matter. Once Obama signs the bill, Obamacare is law. There are several things which happen immediately that will force businesses large and small to off-load their employee benefit health care plans. If, for example, a small business, medium size, large business, any business has health care costs as 14%, 10%, whatever, cost of doing business, it's around that or higher, in this bill, in the Senate bill is an option for employers. You can keep paying your own employee benefits for a while, or you can drop your employee benefits, just pay the government 8%. Pay the government 8% instead of whatever your health care expenses, just pay it to the government, and thereby all those -- it could be that within two years 50 to a hundred million Americans could lose their employer-provided health insurance because there is a big come-on in this bill, an employer can pay the government 8% per year off the top instead of whatever it's costing the employer to provide health care for all the employees, and where do the employees go to get insurance? To the Obama exchanges.
Now, once that happens, the genie out of the bottle business. Once a significant number of businesses have off-loaded their health care benefits and the government is now providing that insurance, how do you stop that? Okay, we're going to repeal this now. The Democrats are going to be out there saying, "See? We told you. Republicans don't want you to have health care. Republicans want to take your health care away. Just like you senior citizens, the Republicans want to take your Social Security away from you." The cost of doing business in the United States today, as you know, is very high. There's no economic growth. People are being laid off. People are not being hired. The growth is occurring in the public sector. In fact, for the first time, public sector employee average salaries are $7,000 a year higher than in the private sector. Sixty-seven thousand versus 60 is the average, not the mean, the average. And this is a trend that has been ongoing for quite a while.
So any business -- you go out and talk to them, the whole health care situation bugs 'em. They have to provide it. Employees expect it. They have to provide it to get quality people. But they hate it. The costs keep going up, the employees are never satisfied with all of what they're getting, even though the employees are paying no tax on it, it's a free benefit. Companies now have to have entire departments just to deal with that aspect of running their business, which has nothing to do with running the business. If you think a company will not choose an 8% off-the-top option payment to the government rather than 14 to 15% that is costing them to provide benefits for their employees, you got another thing coming, with as much pressure and stress on these people to stay open. All of this is by design, by the way. The other thing about repeal, and let me tell you something, don't misunderstand me here. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it would have to be done quick. The other thing is you have a president here who can veto any effort to repeal and do we have supermajorities in the House and Senate to override vetoes. You know he's not going to vote or sign legislation coming out of the House or Senate that repeals his most important baby, health care, Obamacare, Obama reform monument care. So that's a practical aspect of this too.
And then there is the question -- you know, entitlements are entitlements -- have you ever seen one repealed? So the focus here is stopping this. Also, don't fall for this notion, if he doesn't get it by Easter and if he doesn't get it by graduation in May, whatever, then it's dead for ten years. How many times have we heard that since last Thanksgiving? They're never going to stop coming back for this. Whenever they don't get the votes one day after one period, it's just the start of another period to try to get them.
RUSH: So repeal is going to be a campaign theme. It better be, getting it done quickly. But the focus has to be stopping this, and that's putting pressure on Democrat members of Congress from every which way it can be brought, even with Republicans in the House going and talking to them, appealing to them in whatever way necessary to get through. Who knows. But it's what has to happen. Reconciliation is not the endgame here. The House passing the Senate bill is the endgame. And that's why Obama -- again, not to be redundant, but to drive the point home -- that's why Obama had all these different factions of Democrats in the House up to the White House yesterday, to assure them that though they are unhappy with various elements of the Senate bill, it's just the foundation, it's just the start.
Quick time-out. Rahm Emanuel's brother, Ezekiel, said we have too many fat people in America.
RUSH: You are kidding me! He's serious? Oh. Oh, no. Well, the troops out there are ticked off at me. "Hey, Rush, thanks for the encouragement. Thanks for helping to convince me today that we're doomed to Obamacare. Thanks for nothing, Rush." "Dear Rush: You're being suckered on repeal. The insurance bill does not take effect for three years so there's no government insurance to convert to. Yeah, it will take two-thirds with Obama to override a veto, but after 2012 it might just be a simple majority -- and, yes, there was an entitlement repeal back in '84-'86. A health-related entitlement was passed into law, but the outcry from senior citizens was so great that it was repealed one year later." This was an addition to Medicare. It was catastrophic insurance, and it was going to cost seniors an additional $325, and they followed Dan Rostenkowski home, practically beat him up when he got out of his car, a cheap Buick, in front of his Chicago mansion.
Look, folks, I'm not trying to discourage you here, but the truth is the truth. Now, the government exchanges and so forth, yeah. The so-called benefits don't happen for four years, but the taxes and all the expenses are gonna kick in immediately to everybody -- you and me and to businesses. Look, all I'm saying is, the effort and focus at this point must remain on stopping it so that we don't get to this nightmare of trying to repeal things. I don't think they have the votes. I said this at the end of the program yesterday and the day before. I know they don't have the votes or we'd have health care right now. They do not have the votes, and I don't think they're close to having the votes. I don't believe anything Pelosi or Reid say about how, "Oh, yeah, we're getting close," or Stupak coming in and out of there.
By the way, don't put your eggs in Stupak's basket, either. It's possible he's being legit on this, but he's still a Democrat, for crying out loud -- and don't forget this. You know, Stupak had a chance to vote to defund Planned Parenthood and did not vote for it. Now, Planned Parenthood conducts most of the abortions that take place in this country. If you could defund Planned Parenthood, you would reduce the number of abortions that take place in this country by an astounding percentage -- and the Republicans last year, they knew they were not going to get this past. They didn't have the numbers. But they submitted a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood as part of another spending bill of some kind, and Stupak would not vote for it. Now, this guy is supposedly willing to hold up Obamacare because he's so committed his heart and soul to stopping abortion?
Yet the number one way to stop abortion is defund Planned Parenthood. Just stop the federal grants to Planned Parenthood like you stop the federal grants to ACORN. But he didn't vote for doing that. We're dealing with Democrats here. We have to know who we're dealing with. What they want is for us to give up. They want us to give in. Their relentless pursuit here is designed to dispirit us. You cannot get angry at anybody for telling you the truth of their strategy and what's going on and how close they are to it and say, "Okay. Well, I give up," because I'm not saying give up. I'm not saying it's over. I'm not saying they have the votes. I'm saying they don't right now. They want us to just assume the fetal position, lose our steam, and they'll run over us. We have to keep opposing this in every way available to us. We, folks, are the only reason Obamacare hasn't passed yet.
The Democrats, up 'til January 19th, had more than enough votes to get this done. The only thing that stopped 'em was you: The tea parties, the elections in Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and there are going to be others. The unions are behind this. The unions desperately want this. Obama desperately wants it, too. There is a movement happening, and you are it. You are part of it. You are part of this conservative ascendancy that can stop it all. You have stopped it all in less than a year. All I'm saying is: If he doesn't get it by Easter, don't think it's dead. Don't believe this "Well, it's dead for ten years." Folks, I wish I could come up with an analogy. Think of Obama having been told by whoever he respects most that his life is over and he will die if he doesn't get this, and he loves life. I don't care. Whatever analogy you can come up with yourself to persuade you how important and intent he is on getting this done.
Now, the Republicans up there in Washington have to do everything they can to plug the holes in the dike up there. When they have done a good job of it, until we can get more elected help up there to reconcrete the walls, we've got to hold out here and toxin this, put the brakes on through November -- and actually then through January when the new House gets sworn in. There's a chance, and the best evidence of the fact that there's a chance is that they don't have it now. With all the majorities that they had, with all the media help that they had, with all the propaganda that they had, with the power of the personality and the persuasive abilities of Barack Obama, they don't have it. Look at the public opinion polls on this: Fifty-five percent want to start over, want to scrap it. That's a clear majority, Mr. President, bigger than the 51% you claim you want with reconciliation. The action is in the House.
RUSH: Here's a good analogy. Not of how to look at Obama, but how to look at the health care bill -- and maybe Obama, too. The health bill is like the first Terminator, the first Terminator movie. It starts out looking like it's just what we need, and then it's exposed for what it really is. It's nothing at all like we see it or imagine it. But every time you kill it, every way you kill it, it keeps coming back in a new form. That's the way to look at this.
RUSH: Here's Bart Stupak last night on Greta Van Susteren's show on the Fox News Channel. She said, "Has Chairman Waxman said, 'Don't worry, you're going to get the language that will satisfy you?'"
STUPAK: Chairman Waxman is very concerned about my language, but he's also very concerned we don't have the votes, so we're trying to work out -- we're having good discussions. No negotiations 'cause there's no bill. The president has to put his proposal in writing. There is no proposal. The president could take this issue right away from me and just put in there, "Here's my proposal, Congress. No federal funding for abortion." That resolves the issue.
RUSH: He doesn't have a bill. Everything he said in his 440,000th speech on health care this week was meaningless. There are no Republican compromise ideas. I still think it's ridiculous to say, "Oh, yeah, we're going to get rid of Medicare waste and fraud, that's a good Republican idea," as though if the Republicans hadn't suggested it, we'd keep waste and fraud in it. And then some grants to study tort reform? But they're not in there because there is no bill. Here's Dick Turban yesterday morning on the Senate floor talking about Medicare.
DURBIN: Some of our critics on the other side of the aisle said, "You know, they're going to cut hundreds of billions of dollars out of Medicare," and the simple answer is, yes.
RUSH: Now, remember what they did to Newt Gingrich when they lied about, "Newt just wants Medicare to wither on the vine." But here's the truth. They're not cutting Medicare. They're going to take $500 billion out of Medicare and transfer it over to Obamacare. And they're doing this so that they can create the illusion of reducing an entitlement, cutting Medicare, bringing it into a more responsible financial position.
REID: Today is a big day in America. Only 36,000 people lost their jobs today, which is really good.
RUSH: (laughing) Dingy Harry. I hope all of you people hear this. Obama's basically saying the same thing. Okay, I just want you to try to follow this answer. This is yesterday morning in Washington on Capitol Hill, and it's Pelosi and her press briefing, and the question from a reporter: "One issue you didn't mention is abortion, and that apparently is not going to be a part of this corrections package. You've heard Bart Stupak and I'm sure you talked to about a dozen or so anti-abortion Democrats who say, 'Forget it, you're not going to have my vote anymore if this doesn't change.' How are you going to deal with it?"
PELOSI: This is not about abortion. It's about bringing many more women into the health care loop in terms of their access to health care. So if you believe that there should be no federal funding of abortion and if you believe there should be no change in the policy, and if you believe that we need health care for all Americans, we will pass the bill, and we will pass the bill.
RUSH: She needs a teleprompter. So if you believe that there should be no federal funding of abortion, we will pass the bill, leave out all the other extraneous stuff. If you believe that there should be no federal funding of abortion, we will pass the bill. If you believe there should be no federal funding of abortion and if you believe there should be no change in the policy, and if you believe we need health care for all Americans, we'll pass the bill. And we will pass the bill. Marco Rubio, Your World with Neil Cavuto.
RUBIO: The central issues of this campaign is that this country today is being run by people who don't believe in the free enterprise system and are forcing America to abandon it through the public policy they're trying to impose on the American people. You're seeing today the president's statements. In three weeks he wants this passed and he's even strong-arming members of his own party to do it. If he has it all signed, sealed and done I think, number one, they're going to pay a heavy price in November for doing it, and then number two, hopefully we're going to elect enough people in November to the Congress and to the Senate so we can undo the horrible things that are going to get done if this legislation passes.
RUSH: Marco Rubio, Florida, running against Charlie Crist, the Republican primary here.
RUSH: Suzanne in Atlanta, welcome to the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Dittos, Rush. This is a dream come true for me.
RUSH: Well, thank you very much.
CALLER: And I love turtle soup. But the reason I'm calling, I went on the bus to DC last September, I'm very concerned about the health care bill. But I want you to tell me I'm wrong about something. I think that small businesses and big businesses really secretly want this public option because it will let them off the hook for health care benefits. And I know the FBIU or whatever that union is called wants to take care of their health --
RUSH: That's the SEIU, also known as the USSR.
CALLER: Okay. (laughing) Wants them taken off the hook for all the benefits they've promised. My husband's company told him at one of the last meetings they had that as of March of this year, they will no longer be offering their very generous health care benefits for people who retire.
CALLER: As of this year.
CALLER: And I think the reason they're doing that is because they're hoping and praying that the government's going to take care of everybody.
RUSH: Well, I don't know if what you're saying applies to all small, medium, and large businesses, but I do know a lot of them would be happy to off-load the burden of health care benefits to their employees.
RUSH: They would love to. In fact, one of the things I was saying earlier in the program, Susan, is this. In this Senate bill, which they are going to try to get passed in the House and therefore close the deal, and Obama signs it, we have Obamacare, there is a provision for employers to do one of two things. They can continue for a time to provide their employees with health care benefits. That average cost is 14%. The second option that's in the Senate bill is that you can, as an employer, decide to dump all employee coverage in exchange for paying the government 8% off the top of your business. This is done purposefully. Everybody in business knows that 8%'s a lot less than 14%. And bye-bye hassles. There are many triggers like this that will be incentives for private sector businesses to off-load their health care coverage plans to the government.
Now, they're not being called these exchanges, but regardless, it's all going to end up as public option. The single payer is where this is all headed even if they can't get it in their first big bite. So, yeah, I don't know if it applies to all, that would be a stretch, but a significant number. And, look, I've talked to people own businesses who have the same worldview and ideology that I do, and they're fed up with the rising costs of health care, they don't want to be part of it. It's such a distraction from running their business. I remember the guy that Obama fired as the chairman of General Motors, Rick Wagoner. Shortly after he took the job he said, "I had no idea, I thought I was becoming CEO of a car company, all I am is a CEO of a health care plan for the UAW and my nonunion employees." That was his number one job and it's very easy for a lot of people to take the incentive to dump that, off-load it to the government. And of course with Obama standing at the door saying, "Come on in, come on in, we'll be glad to have you," it's made even easier.
RUSH: Here's a good question. What good does it do a business to off-load health care costs if the entire damned economy goes to hell? Any smart business owner does not want Obamacare. Au contraire. Have you heard of Big Pharmaceutical? Have you heard Big Pharmaceutical is signing on, giving Obama $150 billion to support advertising that would support his health care plan? Why do they do it? It's a protection racket. When a business sees where a government is taking the country, and if they don't think they can stop it, they want to be on the right side of it, because they're dealing with the Mafia, a Mafia with unlimited resources.