RUSH: Jennifer, Milford, Ohio. I'm glad you waited. You're next on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Very good. Thank you.
CALLER: Love your show. I got hurt at work, and I've been on temporary disability, and the insurance company that I deal with, I only get $241 a week. If I get that, okay? That's the only income I have.
RUSH: Okay, now, wait. I need to follow this because I don't know anything about this. So you are speaking a foreign language to me. You gotta go slow.
RUSH: You got hurt at work. You've been on temporary disability. Who allows that? Where do you go? Who proclaims you to be on temporary disability?
CALLER: Well, what had happened... The company I work for, I hurt my knee, and they disregarded that, and said, "You know, there's nothing wrong. Nothing needs to be fixed." Well, my knee was literally -- the kneecap would literally come off of my knee, and I was watching one day, and I fell when it gave out.
RUSH: My God.
CALLER: I had blown out a disk so bad myself from my knee injury, from my work.
RUSH: So the kneecap was floating around in there, and that caused you to fall over, and then you blew out a disk when you fell over?
CALLER: Yeah, when I fell -- and then I was paralyzed.
RUSH: Oh, no!
CALLER: Oh, yeah. From my chest all the way down on my left side.
RUSH: So the kneecap led to the fall, which led to the disk, which led to paralysis?
RUSH: And you were only "temporarily" disabled?
CALLER: That's what they have me as now. I have gone through two back surgeries. I have two more. I'm only 41, and when the doctors look at my film, they just can't believe it, because they have totally destroyed my life.
RUSH: Who is "they"? Who is "they"?
CALLER: The company.
RUSH: The company?
CALLER: I used to work for Comair, and I would be outside. I worked the ramp. I've always been a hard worker.
RUSH: Right. But they ruined your life because they did all this.
CALLER: Right. Because if they would have only fixed my knee from the get-go, I would never --
RUSH: But they didn't believe you?
RUSH: You told them your kneecap was floating around in there and they didn't believe you?
CALLER: Right. Their doctor said there was totally nothing wrong with me.
RUSH: Well, you certainly proved them wrong, didn't you?
CALLER: Yes. I've been fighting them for five years, now. I won the case, and I still have to go back again. But, you know, I have severe, chronic lower-back pain. I have major nerve damage on my right side. You know, I can't enjoy the things I used to do.
RUSH: Wait a minute, you're paralyzed...? Let me go through this. Your kneecap was floating.
RUSH: That caused you to fall, which blew out your disk.
RUSH: Then you became paralyzed from the chest down on the left. Now you've got chronic lower-back pain, and major nerve damage on your right side.
CALLER: Right. The paralysis is gone. They fixed that.
RUSH: Oh! Oh good.
RUSH: The paralysis is gone. They fixed that.
CALLER: Yeah. That was awful.
RUSH: Okay, what needs to happen for you?
CALLER: Um, jeez. (long pause) You know, I've been through so much.
RUSH: I mean, why did you call? What's the point that you're trying to tell people about, here?
CALLER: I was talking to Snerdley about the food stamps.
RUSH: Oh, we haven't even gotten to that yet.
CALLER: Well, I make between $10,000 and $12,000 a year.
RUSH: How can you do that with all of your injuries?
CALLER: Well, the only income that I get is the insurance check from the company, with the temporary disability.
RUSH: Right, the disability insurance for the rotten company. Right, yeah.
CALLER: Oh, yeah. Like I was telling Snerdley, you know, I'm supposed to get 'em every week. It could be $241. That's all I live off of for a whole week. Now, with food stamps, I had to get help, because I was raising a son. Here I am, you know, disabled and going through all this stuff.
RUSH: Okay. What I'm still trying to get at here, Jennifer, is why did you call Snerdley and want to tell him all this and then tell me? Don't misunderstand. I'm just trying to get to where we're going here. I hear you, and it's terrible what's happened to you, but I know that's not why you called.
CALLER: I know, I'm just nervous. Well, last year I was receiving just a hundred dollars with food stamps. This past January, it got knocked down to $50 a month.
RUSH: Well, but wouldn't you rather live not needing any of this stuff?
CALLER: I would love it, Rush, but it's so hard. I am a very humble person.
RUSH: Okay. It sounds to me, as I listen to your plight, you're sitting there maybe justifiably angry at this rotten, no good company that you worked for. But it sounds to me like, when you start talking about food stamps, it's Obama that's taking food out of your mouth.
CALLER: Well, you know, it's kind of hard because here I am trying to life, and that helps me out a little bit. I'm very, very thankful and I would like to get off of the system. You know, I don't cheat the system and perhaps never will. But $50 is like buying milk, bread, and eggs.
RUSH: Well, Michelle Obama says you shouldn't be eating that kind of thing anyway. If you want to buy tofu, you might save some money that way.
RUSH: Jennifer from Milford, Ohio, because time was dwindling down, I was trying to nudge her into the point that she was making. She didn't call just to recite her circumstances. The point that she was trying to make was pretty similar to the previous caller, is that she has all of these, in her case, legitimate disabilities, and yet she kept facing cutbacks in food stamps from 200 to 100 to $50, and she didn't understand why, and she didn't know what she had to do to change it. And because of her injuries she had become totally dependent on government agencies and she couldn't navigate them. What they were providing for her wasn't enough.
Now, what this illustrates, there are people who are in legitimate circumstances where they have suffered injuries or they are in circumstances where they're just not capable of taking care of themselves, where they just can't, either through bad luck or just circumstances. Those are the people that nobody objects to helping. Those are the people that nobody has any problem helping. That's why we are considered such a compassionate society. She does not know how to game the system, essentially, our last caller, Jennifer. She worked the line at something like an FBO, fixed base operation. But regardless, she doesn't know how to game the system. She doesn't know how to manage prescriptions and all that kind of thing.
The price of everything is going up, as it is for everybody, and her food stamp allocation is shrinking and she doesn't know what to do about it. We live in an era where everybody believes we're doing more for those kind of people than we ever have because we finally have a compassionate administration. So these stories surprise people. They shouldn't be happening. And I'll tell you it's only gonna get worse.
Here's another one of these stories, AP: "Millions of people who take advantage of government subsidies to help buy health insurance next year could get stung by surprise tax bills if they don't accurately project their income." And folks, I'm gonna tell you that the people that are gonna get hurt by this have no idea how to project their income, accurately or otherwise. They don't know really what it is. "President Obama's new health care law will offer subsidies to help people buy private health insurance on state-based exchanges, if they don't already get coverage through their employers. The subsidies are based on income. The lower your income, the bigger the subsidy."
Well, right off the bat people are gonna figure out that the best way to get the best government deal is to work the least so as to keep your income low. This is called a disincentive. This is the exact opposite of what we ought to be inspiring people to do. If the Republican Party is looking for a way to get their message out, it's built in right here in this program.
I want to go through this again. "President Obama's new health care law will offer subsidies to help people buy private health insurance on state-based exchanges, if they don't already get coverage through their employers. The subsidies are based on income. The lower your income, the bigger the subsidy."
Now, off of the top of your head, that sounds compassionate. But what's the incentive here? The incentive is to not better yourself. The incentive is to sit there and basically just subsist because that's how you get the biggest benefit.
Now, some of you might be saying, "But, Rush, it costs so much that there isn't enough hard work you can do to pay for it. It makes more sense to take the subsidy." Sadly, true. It illustrates the scope of the problem that we face. But here's the next part of the problem. The government doesn't know how much money you're gonna make next year, and you don't, either, unless you have a contract, and even if you have a contract, it's subject to any number of things that could change it. You could end up with a bigger subsidy than you're entitled to, and if that happens the law says you have to pay back at least part of the money when you file your tax return in the spring of 2015.
All people want to go is go to the doctor. That's all they want to do, get sick, go to the doctor. Now look what they're gonna have to do. They're gonna have to keep their income low if they don't have employer-provided health insurance. And, by the way, that's not even gonna be a factor in five years. There isn't gonna be any employer-provided health insurance if Obama gets his way. But that's another discussion. So if people don't have employer based health -- and our last caller, Jennifer, she doesn't have employer based health care. What is she gonna do? She's gonna go to the exchange, and it's gonna be in her best interests to have no income.
Now, how is that helping anybody? How does that help the country? How does that inspire people to greatness? How does that inspire people to making something of themselves and their life? The objective, you're gonna have to make sure you don't earn very much so that your health care subsidy will be high. Sorry, that's not a recipe for greatness. "Mr. Limbaugh, we're not talking about that many people." Yes, we are. That's the sad thing. We're gonna be talking about more and more people, as this economy continues to stagnate along, as wages continue to stagnate, as inflation continues to go up.
This is gonna end up ensnaring a lot of people. The message we're sending is: don't earn too much. And it's not just here. If you earn too much, you don't qualify for food stamps. And they want you to stay qualified. So the government will help you find ways to keep your income low. How is that helping anybody? I'm sorry. It may be rooted in compassion. I understand how people will fall for that. But I don't think human dignity? This is not something that we ought to be advising people to do. If I were growing up today, and my dad said, "Now, son, when you get out there and start working, don't earn too much, 'cause then you won't qualify for X, Y, Z." You know that kind of education is going on today. It's what I meant in the first hour. I went through a little monologue on this.
My dad, my whole family, the exact opposite. My dad worried that I wasn't gonna amount to anything because I wasn't gonna get a formal education. I told the story a gazillion times and I won't bore you with it again. But he was interested in my success. My independent, thriving success. I can't imagine growing up and being told, "Now, don't earn too much, because you won't qualify for this or that, and you can't get through life without that, son. You can't get through life without the government helping you with your health insurance. You just can't do it anymore."
It's a sad reality people are being raised that way. Now, we add to this the fact that people are going to have to project for the law what their income next year is going to be. 'Cause the government doesn't know how much you're going to make. So when you apply for the subsidy this fall, the government's not gonna know how much you're making this year. Unless you tell the government otherwise, it will rely on the best information it has, and that's your 2012 tax return, which has to be filed by April 15th of this year.
So what happens if you or your spouse get a raise and your family income goes up next year and you didn't know you were gonna get the raise. You don't want to lie on these forms. You don't want to over-project your income. You don't want to under-project it, but you certainly don't want to over-project it. You can't calculate a raise you're not gonna get, but what if you get it? Well, you could end up getting a subsidy bigger than you should because you weren't honest on your income. You weren't dishonest. You just didn't know you were gonna get the raise, in this example. So if that happens, Obamacare says that you have to pay back part of the money when you file your tax return. That could result in smaller tax refunds or a surprise tax bill for millions of people.
Joan Baird of Springfield, Virginia, they found somebody that works in health care, "That's scary. I had no idea, and I work in health care." She is a health care information management worker, and she has no idea that this is part of the law. So the bottom line is that millions of Americans could be surprised with tax bills way higher than they ever imagined under Obamacare if they don't accurately project their income. So it's not enough now to file your tax return, you're gonna have to project next year's income in order to qualify for a subsidy on your health insurance at the state exchange. And all you want to do is go to the doctor.
RUSH: By the way, folks, even without messing with projecting your income and all of that we just talked about, the form that you have to fill out in applying for a subsidy at a state exchange under Obamacare is 61 pages. It is an application for subsidy. It's 61 pages, and it's in that 61 pages that you are gonna have to project your income for the next year. Every year you're going to have do that. Every year that you're qualifying for the subsidy, you have to project the next year's income and you better get it right or you're gonna end up owing a whole lot of surprise dollars. But how many low-information, even high-information people, are gonna be able to fill out a 61-page application for a subsidy anyway?
And here's this. Subsidies are available for couples making up to $62,000 a year and a family of four up to $94,000 a year. Now, why are we subsidizing those people? "Mr. Limbaugh, we're subsidizing those people because the cost of health insurance has skyrocketed so high because of the greedy insurance companies." Oh. The insurance companies are so evil, so greedy, that we have to subsidize a family of four earning 94 grand to buy their health insurance if their employer doesn't provide it. Yep. I'm gonna tell you, folks, my parents would not believe life in this country today. People that came out of the Great Depression would not believe this, 94 grand and you get a subsidy?