RUSH: Kevin, Morristown, New Jersey, you're next on the EIB Network. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. Pleasure to talk to you. You were talking earlier about Obamacare being a "compulsory contract," but there's another aspect to it I haven't heard anything about lately. It's kind of gotten lost. It's not just the contract that's compulsory. Isn't it the treatments? Aren't they gonna put together some kind of boards or panels that determine, you know, what the recommend treatment is for whatever it is that's ailing you?
RUSH: This is an interesting thing you bring up. Let's look at it, 'cause the short answer to your question is yes, and let's look at Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney received a heart transplant operation over the weekend, on Saturday. He waited 20 months. He got no special favors. By the way, you ought to see -- on some of the Democrat Party blogs -- some of the abject hate that is aimed at Dick Cheney. I marvel. I literally marvel at all the allegations that Obama and the Democrats make against Republicans and conservatives about "hate." They own and have cornered the market on it. Some of the stuff -- and it's voluminous; there's a lot of it -- aimed at Dick Cheney is despicable.
It would make you sick to your stomach if you saw it. But there's also another vein of criticism. And it's from the people who deny that there will be death panels in Obamacare. There are liberals and Democrats who say that Cheney's too old, compared to other people, to have received a heart. It doesn't matter if he could afford it, doesn't matter if it was paid for. He's too old. Somebody more deserving should have gotten his heart. Now, the hate for Cheney is part and parcel of this. But by their own words and by their own actions, the left -- denying that there are death panels -- are now wishing that there were in the case of Dick Cheney.
There are people (and they're not all fringe people) who are claiming that this is a very selfish act by the Cheney family to take this heart. "He shoulda just died. He's 71. He's finished working. He's performed his public service. He's written his book. He's not doing anything else. Somebody else should get that heart." Hello, death panels. So your question here about treatment? Well, the treatment may not be forthcoming. That's the whole point. You will be forced to sign a contract and forced to buy health insurance. But if this thing ever gets fully implemented, that's no guarantee you're going to be treated. That's the whole point. Because that, all of a sudden, is when costs will matter. Oh, yes, my friends! That's exactly when cost will matter.
Then they will start determining whether or not a 71-year-old former vice president should in fact get a heart.
"How many years does he have left? What kind of productivity are we gonna get out of him? What contributions to his country can he possibly make? He's 71! There are people far more deserving." That will be exactly what happens when Obamacare is fully implemented -- and they will use cost. They will say, "Look, it doesn't make any sense for us to spend all this money on a pacemaker or a heart transplant or whatever for whoever if they're 70 years old. It just doesn't." In fact, grab audio sound bites 12 and 13. Let's just put this in perspective. What we have here is from last night on ABC's "World News" weekend. Anchor David Muir spoke with the Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser about Cheney's heart transplant, and the question was: "A transplant for someone in their sixties and seventies, that can really prolong their life!"
BESSER: It's really incredible. Seven and a half years. That's the average length it will extend someone's life who has this transplant if they're over 65. It used to be that age 55 was the cutoff. Anything above that you wouldn't get transplanted. But now they look at the person as a whole. If there's no kidney disease, there haven't been any strokes, if they're in good health, age is no longer a barrier. I was talking to the program at UCLA. The average wait is three to six months. He waited 20.
RUSH: "He waited 20." He didn't ask for preferential treatment. He didn't get any. But to the hate-mongers on the left, he shouldn't have gotten it at all. Let's go back to June 24th of 2009, ABC News, a primetime special, Questions for the President. Prescription for America. A woman shows up in the audience... Now, you're probably tired of hearing me say this, but please remember this audience is growing leaps and bounds every day. (chuckles) There are people who have not been here before. So please indulge me if you find this repetitive. But when this happened back in June of 2009, I was appalled that a private citizen had to ask the president of the United States if he would approve her mother getting a pacemaker.
What have we come to?
And I don't know this woman. I don't know if she thought that this was outrageous, that she had to ask. But she was part of the show. Her mother was a hundred years old, wanted a pacemaker. One doctor said, "No, it would be a waste. She's too old." Another doctor, "Ah, she's in good shape. I'll go ahead and put it in," and her question to Obama was: Should we take into account somebody's spirit, their will to live, their joy of living, their quality of life when we make these decisions as to who gets a pacemaker in this case?
And here's Obama's answer...
OBAMA: I don't think that we can make judgments based on people's "spirit." Uh, that'd be, uh, a pretty subjective decision to be making. I think we have to have rules that say that we are gonna provide good quality care for all people. End-of-life care is one of the most difficult sets of decisions that we're gonna have to make. But understand that those decisions are already being made in one way or the other. If they're not being made under Medicare and Medicaid, they're being made by private insurers. At least we can let doctors, you know -- and your mom know -- that, you know what, maybe this isn't gonna help. Maybe you're better off not having the surgery but taking, uh, the painkiller.
RUSH: It's not his decision, folks. It simply isn't, and it should never be the decision of the president of the United States or the secretary of Health and Human Services. It should not be the position of anybody in government whether or not a family member of yours gets a pacemaker or medical treatment. That should be up to you and whoever your insurer is. See, that's the rub, though. When they become the sole insurer -- when you have to go to them to get your health insurance and thus coverage -- guess what?
Obama can tell you to take the pain pill.
That's what's at stake here.
RUSH: You think I'm making all this up? NBC ran a headline: "Did Cheney Really Deserve That Heart Transplant?" Alec Baldwin, Democrat in good standing, has tweeted about Cheney. He wrote: "How about new hearts 4 all the 1s Cheney broke in a bogus war with Iraq. And those of families of US servicemen who gave their lives 4 oil?" (sic) These are the people who claim to have all the compassion and love for their fellow man and culture, society, and all that. They are some of the angriest, most bitter, vile, enraged people that you will ever come across -- preaching compassion, demanding that everybody else treat everybody the way they demand.
But NBC News with a headline: "Did Cheney Really deserve...?" Who are they? If Dick Cheney can afford it -- if his policy can afford it and if his doctor thinks it medically advisable -- what business is it of anybody else's, including NBC's? It is nobody's business, until the government runs everything and then everybody's gonna claim it's their business. And if you think unity is gonna result from this, if you think we're gonna have a peaceful society and culture, you haven't seen anything yet. Not until they start denying people treatment based on whatever. It's the tip of the iceberg.
RUSH: What would the media say about a transplant for Bill Clinton? He may need one someday. He's already had a number of heart surgeries. What if he needs a heart transplant? What if some of the people at the Breitbart firm start questioning whether or not Clinton deserves a heart? What do you think the outcry would be? No, I don't need to tell you. You can answer the question.
RUSH: Trevor in Ogden, Utah. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. I just wanted to tell you about the people that are supporting Obamacare. They need to talk to a disabled veteran, 'cause we know what government health care is run like. I've got an older friend of mine. He's 55, his knee is blown out, and the doctor wants him to have a knee replacement. But according to the database that the doctors have to work with, he's too young to get the knee replacement.
RUSH: What do you mean "too young"?
CALLER: Replacements last ten years and if they gave him one now, they would have give him another one ten years from now.
RUSH: Too young?
CALLER: Too young. He's 55, and he's too young to have a knee replacement.
RUSH: You mean they only want to do it once?
CALLER: That's right. They want to save money, and that's government health care right there.
RUSH: And you say this man's a disabled vet?
CALLER: Yes, he is. And disabled veterans... I've been fortunate to have a job that has private health care. So I'm also a disabled veteran, but I don't use the VA unless I have to. Because when you sit down with the doctor, all he does is type, and he can't -- and it's not their fault.
RUSH: Yeah. If you like the Veterans Administration, you're gonna love Obamacare.
RUSH: That's your point, right?
CALLER: That's my point. That is the typical. That is government-run health care, and it's very absurd. He's too young to get a knee replacement. (chuckles) It's not about the quality of life; it's about the money.
RUSH: The money is an excuse. It really isn't about the money. If it were about the money, they wouldn't be submitting budgets like they're submitting budgets. They wouldn't have budget deficits and the national debt skyrocketing. That is a convenient excuse not to do it. But it really isn't about the money. There are many other factors going on here. You know, government loves to turn down people for knee replacements. If you're too fat, they'll tell you that it's a waste of money. If you're too thin, then it's gonna be a problem. But that's all the doctors will do from now on, what you just described.
They will type.
They will fill out papers.
A decision will be made from afar based on what the doctor types on the form.
He'll be told what he can and can't do and what he will be compensated. At the VA, it's happening. In Medicare, this happens already. It's what we're all headed for if this thing ever becomes fully implemented. Once it does, I use the phrase "it's ballgame," and I think Mona Charen first used that term. It's a common term. She's the first I saw that used it in this context in a piece that she did at National Review, but it means that's it. It's over. Once this is fully implemented, virtually every aspect of our lives will be said to have some impact, cost impact on government health care. And that's how they believe it exerts control over the things that we are permitted to do -- eat, exercise, all of these things -- because of the impact on eventual health treatment that we will need because of it.