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The Obamacare Mandate is Unprecedented

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RUSH: There are a number of stories today on the individual mandate that the court's deciding, "Hey, that isn't any big deal.  Do you know how many mandates there already are out there?"  And one of the mandates that's already out there that's being cited by the media -- these stories, by the way, are designed to put pressure on and influence the justices of the court, not you.  The media has now focused its attention on health care, the Supreme Court, on the justices, and one of the mandates that they are citing is the requirement that when you show up at the emergency room, you must get treated.  That is a 1986 law.  It happened during the Reagan administration, and they're trying to say that Reagan was for it, but you have to remember -- well, you don't have to remember; I do.  And I will tell you.  Reagan shut down the government a number of times. 

Reagan made famous a tactic or technique. He'd go to the State of the Union show and he'd hold up the latest omnibus budget, stacked all those pages, and say, "There's stuff in here that there's no way in the world I'm in support of but I've got no choice.  This is take one, take all.  I can't single things out of it I don't like."  And mandating that everybody get covered could have been something like that in an omnibus budget bill.  I don't know that it was, but it could have been.  They're also trying to say that another mandate is the requirement that we all pay taxes to fund Medicare and Medicaid.  And these, while I have to give 'em credit for being really clever and slippery here, they're not analogous.  This Obama mandate that everybody buy health insurance or pay a fine is unprecedented.  There's nothing else like it.  It hasn't happened.  It's not standard operating procedure.  It's not accepted societal norms now, as the solicitor general attempted to argue. 

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RUSH:  By the way, folks, I wish I had made note of this last week during the oral arguments at the Supreme Court.  Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is often referred to as the wise Latina on the court, I was wondering, Snerdley, would you call the New York Times, call somebody over at the style desk at the New York Times and ask if it would be appropriate or inappropriate to refer to her as the "white Latina" on the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor.  If you were with us last week, you recall that so much happened that I made a number of observations practically begging you to climb down from the view that leftist intellectuals are vastly superior in smarts, intellect, than all the rest of us.  It's just the exact opposite. 

They have led such cloistered and closed lives, talking only amongst themselves, that they really are unaware of other worldviews, and their conceit and arrogance is such that they don't accept them even when they are exposed to them, don't even consider them.  And, as such, they really are ill-informed people masquerading as the smartest people in the room, the most caring people in the room, the most compassionate, most open-minded, most tolerant.  None of those things are accurate about them.  And they actually are quite ill-informed.  And Sotomayor was just one of many of the justices on the court, the liberal justices, along with other commentators that illustrated it. 

For example, everybody in this country knows that it is a law that you get treated in the emergency room if you show up, whether you can pay or not.  You get treated.  That is the law of the land.  In fact, it's so widely known that the media today is attempting to cite that as a mandate in saying that, hey, Obama's mandate's no big deal.  Why, this is common, accepted societal norms or some such phrase is being bandied about now.  The solicitor general, Mr. Verrilli used the phrase "frequently" in describing accepted societal norms, and he said we've obligated ourselves to these, so what's the big deal?  At that point Scalia, if you'll recall, said, "Well, why don't we not obligate ourselves to these things?"  Because what Verrilli was talking about, (paraphrasing) "Look, we've already codified it. We will use other people's money to pay for other people's needs. That's already been codified. That's an accepted societal norm."  And Scalia said, "Why?  Why is it accepted that we'll use other people's money?"  In other words, wealth transfers or redistribution of wealth. 

And Verrilli cited the fact that everybody gets treated in the emergency room.  Well, Sotomayor didn't know that.  It was shocking to me that her questions during oral argument last week showed that she doesn't know that it's already against the law for a US hospital to deny anybody medical coverage because they might not be able to pay for it in the emergency room.  She didn't know it.  She offered that as a solution to a problem.  It was stunning and I was remiss in not mentioning this to you last week.  Now, here's the point about this.  The media is now focusing on the justices in trying to get them to understand that Obama's mandate's just one of many that's already there. There's nothing special here, and there's no reason to say this is unconstitutional.

Now, we know there are 2,700 pages in this bill, and it's filled with mandates, by the way.  That's the problem.  Folks, 2,700 pages is not even a law.  What is a law?  A law says you can't rob a bank.  A law says you can't kill anybody.  A law says that you can't beat somebody up without provocation.  Laws have a relative simplicity to them, genuine laws do.  There's no way that 2,700 pieces of legislation is a law.  It's impossible for every citizen to know.  The justices don't know, and Scalia made it clear that he doesn't expect his clerks to read all 2,700 pages.  The people that voted for this didn't read it all.  It's not even a law.  In this 2,700 pages, mandate after mandate after mandate, and Health and Human Services will add endless regulations.  There is a lot of open-ended stuff in this legislation that allows the secretary of Health and Human Services to be the final arbiter in what happens, what's decided, what ends up being the law or not. 

But the individual mandate, you're probably going to be hearing this all week, that the emergency room requirement's no different than this mandate.  I just want to impress upon you that the individual mandate in Obamacare is different for all the reasons that we have explained a thousand times.  And, frankly, I'll be glad to explain it another 1,000 times, but it gets frustrating to have to do this.  Because what we're up against, this NBC doctoring the tape, this is just the latest example of it, there's no moral core that we are up against.  We're up against people without one.  We're up against people who will lie and fabricate and make things up repeatedly.  They do not live anywhere near reality.  They create their own.  But the Obamacare mandate is a not a tax for a benefit, like Medicare is.  The mandate is not anywhere similar to emergency rooms or hospitals being forced to treat people who walk in. 

The Obamacare mandate forces someone to buy something from somebody else, to enter into a contract.  It forces us, it compels us to enter into a contract.  There's no contract when you walk in the emergency room.  There's no contract between the emergency room and the government.  There's just a law out there that says they've gotta pay for it.  And, by the way, the fact that that exists, you might think it's awfully compassionate.  But it costs us.  Nothing is free.  If the hospital treats emergency room walk-ins who can't pay, who pays the hospital?  You do or your insurance company does or your employer, however you want to look at it.  But the hospitals raise their rates elsewhere to pay for this.  There's no free lunch.  It isn't free. 

All these things that they are trying to say in the news media today and over the weekend that are mandates, are not.  They are taxes to fund a program or a benefit like Medicare or Medicaid.  They are the denial of a benefit should an individual refuse to comply with a mandate.  But the individual mandate's none of that.  This Obamacare mandate federally is unprecedented.  Something of this scope has never been done before, never been ordered, never been attempted.  And it's not like anything else that is out there. 

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