RUSH: Now, there are conservatives in the media and elected conservative Republicans, Republicans as well, and I mentioned this yesterday, who are suggesting that, "Well, you know, look, Obamacare is the law of the land, and we're law-abiding conservatives. And there's no point in rolling this back or trying to repeal it. It happened." But every day we learn more and more about this program. Every day we learn more and more about the absolute punitive oppression that is in this plan. It's already unpopular. Well over 50% of the American people don't want it. It becomes more unpopular seemingly with every passing revelation about its contents, and there are a couple of new discoveries.
From The Corner, National Review Online, by Jillian Kay Melchior. "The president’s health-care law causes plenty of headaches for businesses, and now grocery stores are the latest to worry about compliance problems. The health law mandates calorie counts in most restaurants and other food-serving establishments." Oh, yes, it does. Health care. A health care bill, which everybody thinks is about making your premium cheaper and your access to coverage better. Oh, yeah. Obamacare mandates calorie counts in most restaurants and other food serving establishments. "The AP reports the Food and Drug Administration is finding it 'extremely thorny' to write the specific regulations."
Here's another thing. Most of the regulations haven't yet been written. Obamacare, even at 2,700 pages, is an open-ended piece of legislation that lets the secretary of Health and Human Services and various bureaucracies write the regulations as we go. That's why nobody really knows all that's in this bill and what's coming our way. "Erik Lieberman of the Food Marketing Institute, which represents retail grocery chains," has discovered something that's headed his way, and he says "It's a huge problem for us."
Erik Lieberman, Food Marketing Institute -- and again, they represent retail grocery chains -- says that "the rules could cover thousands of items in each store, unlike restaurants, which typically have fewer items. The rules could go beyond just the prepared foods case and extend to cut fruit, bakery items like pies and loaves of bread and other store items that aren’t already packaged and labeled."
You go into your neighborhood grocery store, you could go into a Publix, and they got their own bakery in there where either their chefs or outside third-party contractors bake stuff and bring it in. That stuff's all gonna have to be labeled and calorie counted, and that means it's gonna have to be sent for testing. Every item, folks! Every item is going to have to be sent out to laboratories and tested for calorie counts, and then there's the paperwork necessary to justify all of the ingredient and nutritional information that is claimed.
Believe me, I know about this.
I've had to go through this (I should say, "We have had to go through this") at Two If By Tea. Every bottle has to have a nutrition label on it, and there are hoops you have to go through to prove what you allege so that the allegation is not an allegation but actually a claim. If you say, "There are no calories in this," they gotta send it out to a lab to be tested to prove that. There has to be paperwork backup. It is a logistical nightmare. Imagine grocery stores having to do this for every item.
The Pez dispenser, every item in the grocery store! This is why the FDA is finding it extremely thorny to write the specifics because the umbrella under which all this happens is that calorie counts have to be on everything sold if it's food. After all that's done -- after all the paperwork, after all the lab testing, after all the nutritional information for each item has been done -- it has to be sent to the FDA. Then they have to approve it. Then after that's done, and only after that's done, do they then go print the labels, which is called the signage.
Then they have to train the employees how to use it when Joe Shmaltz walks in and wants to argue about the calorie content on the Pez dispenser, or maybe Joe Shmaltz doesn't want to argue about it. He just wants to know. Let's say the Pez dispenser says that there's 18 calories per Pez. Joe Shmaltz doesn't believe it. He's gonna sit there and talk with the clerk or not buy it because that's too high. This will be unmanageable. This is going to require brand-new, 24-hour-a-day/seven-day-a-week departments just to keep up.
You know the items in a grocery store are never static. They change constantly. One day you might go in and be able to get a chocolate cake. The next day you want a white trash cake, but it's not there. The coconut is. Every one of these items is gonna have to be individually tested. Now, the processed foods, the potato chips and stuff that you buy, that is already done. But I'm talking about all of the private-label stuff. There's lots of it. and this could lead to a reduction in availability.
It may get to the point where some of these grocery stores say, "You know what? I don't have the time or the money to invest in documenting the calorie count of everything I've got just in the bakery alone." Then you go to the cut-fruit section. Cut fruit? If they cut am fruit up, package it and sell it that way, they have to have the nutrition information on it. Convenience stores say they're gonna have the same problem, and it's not gonna be convenient anymore.
Now, this is all butting up against that judge ruling against Mayor Doomberg's soda ban, calling it "arbitrary and capricious." The same thing could be said about this rule, the calorie-counting rule. Now, my point here is, how can any conservative coming across this story twiddle his thumbs and say, "Ah, it's the law of the land"? It doesn't have to be. This hasn't been fully funded yet. It certainly is worth the effort to fight it, but that's not the only story. Here's an AP exclusive:
"Applying..." This, you knew. Now, you knew, but I guarantee you your average, ordinary, low-information voter has no clue this is coming his way. Your average, ordinary Obama voter has no clue that this is coming. In fact, I would venture to say your average, ordinary, low-information Obama voter thinks this kind of stuff is being done away with, with Obamacare. The AP has the exclusive by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. "Applying for benefits..."
Look how they word this here: "Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul..." They're putting his name to this. By the way, his approval numbers are bad. Washington Post has a story today, and they are troubled. Barack is losing independents, he's losing women, and it's all about the economy. People are fed up, dissatisfied, unhappy. It's starting to happen. We don't know if it's gonna have legs, but it is starting to happen, to the point that the Drive-Bys can't avoid reporting it.
Like this AP story. Two weeks ago this story would not have had Obama's name in it. "Applying for benefits under the new health care overhaul," is how it would have been written, but here's the news. "Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes. The government's draft application is now on the Internet," meaning the blank form that is a sample of what we all are gonna have to do.
"It runs 15 pages for a three-person family," a 15-page form to apply for Obamacare. "The online version," this draft application, "has 21 steps, some with added questions. At least three major federal agencies, including the IRS, will scrutinize your application," after you have filled it out. That's just part of the process," which lets you know if you qualify for financial help." This 15-page form is your first step in determining whether or not you qualify for Obamacare.
Now, I'll bet some of you low-information voters are asking, "What do you mean, 'qualify'? I thought it was free for everybody!" Uh, uh, uh, uh. It might have been sold that way, and you might have inferred that, but, no, no, no. You have a 15-page, 21-step form to fill out that is your application to see if you qualify. Then after you've done all that, you still have to choose a health plan. "Some fear that consumers will be overwhelmed and give up. [Regime] officials say the application form is being refined. Still, the idea that picking a health insurance plan could be as simple as shopping on the Internet is starting to look like wishful thinking."
This burns me up.
We've known this. We have all known that's what this law was gonna do. The AP has known what this was gonna be long before now. They coulda reported it.
RUSH: So while the country was busy watching Moochelle hand out Oscars, Obama's bureaucrats were busy making our lives miserable. You know, stop and think. These calorie counts are gonna have their greatest impact on the so-called fresh food section at your grocery store, or the organic section. I mean, that's the stuff that just arrived yesterday, right? How are they gonna get these calorie counts for that? And, folks, this is not at all.
This 15-page form is 21 steps just to apply for Obamacare, just to see if you qualify. It appears that there's also gonna be an increase, because of Obamacare, in the price you pay at the veterinarian's office. You say, "How can that be?" (interruption) I know. That's it. All these studies are that people ignore the calorie counts. They don't care. If calorie counts were gonna stop anybody, it woulda knocked McDonald's out of business by now. It's not gonna stop anyone from eating. It's pointless. It's worthless.
RUSH: Now, the AP, folks, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar: "Still, the idea that picking a health insurance plan could be as simple as shopping on the Internet is starting to look like wishful thinking. Some fear that consumers will be overwhelmed and give up." They've known this. You and I, because we deal with bureaucracy all the time, knew what this was gonna be -- and the AP has known this. This idea that this is some sort of exclusive, that dealing with a bureaucracy for health care isn't gonna be easy?
All of a sudden they're just now learning this? Bunk! They knew this back during the campaign. They've known this all during the fight to pass this monstrosity, and they didn't report it. None of the negatives about this, none of the things that would have killed this legislation were reported. The American people don't want any part of it. That's not how things get done. None of that was reported. Now, the vet news, it's not new, either.
We reported to you back toward the end of last year about the possibility that the tax on medical devices would impact those of you going to the vet to take the pet to the pet doctor. The Heritage Foundation had a story, December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day. "Obamacare May Hike Your Pet's Health Care Bills." Yet now, CBS Miami has the "exclusive." Again, this has been known. Now, here's a good point. I checked the e-mail during the break. I'm detecting more and more mail, by the way, from subscribers to the website who are low-information voters.
There were a couple of people asking, "Well, Rush, does Obama know about this?" Do you realize how frequently that question is asked? Remember back during the Van Jones controversy, when it was discovered Obama had this actual communist sympathizer working in his administration? Van Jones, he was the green climate outreach guy or something. I'm not sure what he was. Anyway, when it was discovered who he was, pressure was brought to bear, and the regime asked him to leave. He's now over at CNN doing the same thing.
People back then asked, "Gee, how did that get past Obama? Did Obama know?" Of course we said back then, "Not only did Obama know, Obama chose him. All of these people are Obama." Now, you low-information people. On things like the 15-page tax form-like application to see if you qualify for Obamacare, I imagine some of you are saying, "It's 2700 pages. Did Obama know?" The correct answer to that is, "He doesn't care about the details of this.
"All Obama cares about is that one-sixth of the US economy has been transferred to government control. The daily machinations of this and how it's all gonna shake out and how it's gonna affect people? He couldn't care less. He's not a detail guy in that regard. The only way he's gonna react is if there is an uprising over this and then he'll act like he didn't know and act like he cares, and he'll maybe make some move to make it look like he's trying to do something about it, but nothing will change.
The optics will be the opposite of that, of course, but nothing's really gonna change. But does Obama know? Well, it's his law. This is the kind of stuff he believes in. This is not about free health care for people. This is not about making sure the poor, the disadvantaged, or middle-class people that can't afford it have health care. It's never been about that for Obama. It's about the government running it. Once the government has control over your health care, they control every aspect of your life.
As important as health care is to everybody, if the government says, "You gotta do A, B, and C in order to get health care," you'll do it. You'll be too scared not to. Nationalized health care has always been one of the first objectives of any of the famous totalitarian regimes. Hitler, National Socialism. Nationwide health care. The socialists in the UK, nationwide health care. You get that, and you control everything about how people live -- and that's what this is.
So these details of the 15-page form come out, and people ask, "Does Obama know? How'd that get past Obama?" He doesn't care. He doesn't have a problem with it anyway. Government is great! Government's good! Government's infallible! Obama and guys like Michael Dukakis love this "process" stuff, folks. They love the whole process of government being involved in everything. They believe that nothing can ever succeed or be accomplished or be any good if the government isn't involved.
Now, the veterinarian stuff. Again, we reported this late last year. It's being reported yesterday by the media as if it's brand-new stuff. But they've known this, too. "Pet owners listen up: You may want to start saving more money for veterinarian care this year. The reason goes all the way back to Washington and an unintended consequence from medical reform," Obamacare. "Dog owner Lori Heiselman was surprised where her veterinarian posted a warning on Facebook.
"The notice read: 'Because medical equipment and supplies will be going up in cost, that extra expense will have to passed on to the customers.' So Lori is already tightening her belt to pay for the increase in her dog's care. Though she doesn't like it, she's willing to pay more for her pets. Heiselman says, 'They're very important. They're members of the family.' Why the increase? It's part of a new 2.3% federal excise tax on certain medical devices that just went into effect," but that everybody in the Drive-By Media has long known of.
"The tax will help fund ... Obamacare, intended for people, not pets. Manufacturers pay the tax, but a recent survey found more than half plan to pass it along." No! You're kidding! You mean those businesses aren't just gonna eat it? That's right. The manufacturers are gonna pass the 2.3% excise tax on to you, as every business tax is passed on to you. You're the end user! You pay all the taxes that happen incrementally. They're all built into the price of everything.
"Some vets say they can't afford" to pay this tax.
"Dr. Mike Hatcher is one of them. He explains, 'I'm extremely concerned how this is going to be a hidden tax to our consumers that is going to be passed on.' How does this work? Medical devices used only on animals are exempt. However, items including IV pumps, sterile scalpels and anesthesia equipment, which are medical devices that have a dual use, meaning they can be used on people and animals, will be taxed." So if your pooch needs an IV or your cat needs an IV, the doctor's gonna have to pay a 2.3% excise tax when he buys that equipment. He's a vet, and it gets passed on to you.
RUSH: So my point in all of this, actually, two points. The media has known all of these things that they are just now discovering. They could have reported this back when it mattered. What's the point in telling people now, when they can't do anything about it other than get ticked off, which we need? The second point is, with these revelations of people that don't know this stuff, how can any conservative sit there and just say, "Well, it's the law of the land, and there's nothing we can do about it. They won the election, and they get to do what they want to do"?
Where's the fight? Where's the principle? At least, where is the effort?
RUSH: John in Northern New Jersey. Welcome, sir, to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. How are you, sir? Good to be on with you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: So I'm a medical device rep in northern New Jersey, and I want to talk to you real quick about the excise tax that has been forced on us.
CALLER: The whole point of a medical device is to help patients, and what this excise tax does is, the companies are forced to pay 2.3% more. So they then, in turn, raise their costs to the doctors, who then, in turn, raise their costs to the patient. So what I don't understand is why we live in a country where people allow this to go on.
RUSH: They didn't know. John, the people that elected Barack Obama didn't know. The media did not spread the word on this. You had to dig deep, you had to read the legislation to find this excise tax. We did, friends of ours did. That's why we were able to tell people what's in it. But conservative media's been mischaracterized as a bunch of liars and exaggerators, and if you're a low-information voter you might not have believed us. The media wasn't telling anybody that. It's new news, it's not.
RUSH: The medical device thing, this guy's question. It is true that during all of the pressure-packed debates and congressional votes -- the year and a half to two years spent on this -- there were two camps of media. There were us in the conservative media who read the 2700 pages. We had people writing articles and columns providing details of what was in it. The other media, the State-Controlled Media, did nothing but approach Obamacare in the most general of terms.
"It's gonna increase coverage to 30 million people!"
"Oh, that's wonderful!"
"It's gonna reduce your premium by $2500!" The president said that.
"Oh, that's wonderful!"
"Health care is gonna be more affordable to millions more people!"
"Oh, that's wonderful!"
They gave us this little bullet-point list. It was a wish list. It was a utopian panacea that wasn't true. And then the other media, us, we're telling people about all the bureaucracy, all the rules and regulations, the death panels. We're telling people about the medical devices. Do you know when Obamacare was first written and for a long while afterwards, condoms were considered a medical device? Q-Tips were considered a medical device!
Contact lenses were considered a medical device that would be subject to this 2.3% excise tax. We're out there telling everybody this, everybody in our audiences. Senator Max Baucus said, "You know, we can't have condoms be a medical device or contact lenses or Q-Tips." So they wrote an exception: Any medical device that costs less than $100 was exempt. So now a condom is not a medical device, but it was at one point. Q-Tips and contact lenses were medical devices at one point, in the bill.
Now, the people who voted for Obama didn't know this, and they probably today don't know about the excise tax. They'll hear about it when they learn that it applies to treating their pets. That's how they'll learn about it. My point is the media has known all of this and chose not to cover it. I'm telling you that in all the criticisms you can offer or make about the media, one of the biggest -- and one of the most important, one of the most telling -- is to point out what they don't cover as much as the bias in what they do cover.
What they ignore and what they don't report is just as important. And this sequester business? They knew from the get-go that these cuts were not really cuts, this sequester stuff, and there was not gonna be a lot of pain. But it didn't matter. The regime was saying there was gonna be a lot of pain, so the media was simply saying, "We're just reporting what the officials are telling us." Well, where is your suspicion? Where's your curiosity? Where is your doubt?
There wasn't any.
So now all of a sudden we're getting stories on the 15-page, 21-step form that we're all gonna have to fill out just to see if we qualify for Obamacare -- and then, after that, we have to pick our plan. Now we're learning about the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices.