RUSH: Here's David in Greenville, South Carolina. Hi. Great to have you on the program. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. It's an honor to speak to you, sir.
RUSH: Thank you very much, sir.
CALLER: I'm calling you today because I went on hold a little while back but since then -- it was about 1:15 today -- I lost my job due to the health care reform, the thing that you've been warning everyone about. It's not going to just be hours being cut. I actually lost my job today because of this. Your listeners really need to pay attention to you.
RUSH: Wait a minute. At 1:15 today you were told you were out of your job?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: Did he tell you why?
CALLER: Yes, sir, he did. Keep in mind that this is a fellow that I fought side by side with in Iraq and Afghanistan. We started this company together a year ago.
RUSH: Oh, goodness.
CALLER: And he told me. I was actually off of work today, and my little girl was born about a month ago and I'm still home with my wife. He called me into work today and he told me, "Look, I understand that you need a job. I'm gonna try to help you mainly to find another one." Keep in mind that he wasn't even a Republican when we started this company. It's because of me and because I turned him onto your program that he became aware and his knowledge was expanded, because I let him "in the know" of Rush. I said, "Listen to Rush. He's gonna tell you about what's going on. You don't need to vote this guy into office." He did it anyway. Now he's regretting it, and now he came to me earlier about 1:15 this afternoon and said, "Look, man, I'm gonna try to cut my losses now."
RUSH: David, wait a minute. This is upsetting.
CALLER: It really is.
RUSH: He was pained at having to do this? He was upset at having to do this?
CALLER: He sounded like he was upset about doing it. He sounded like he was making an informed decision, which I can't really fault him for. But what he said when he came to me was, "I know I can't pay you much right now, and I know I'm not paying you well enough for you to have to get health insurance. But you're going to have either get it by yourself or I'm going to have let you go. One or the other."
RUSH: What, because he couldn't afford to keep you employed and provide you health insurance under the law that is being implemented?
CALLER: Exactly. And he said, "I'm going to have let you go. I can't afford to pay you enough to go out and get your own health insurance for you and your family. (chokes up) I'm going to have to let you go because it's gonna be even more expensive to keep you on and provide health care."
RUSH: How many people work at this company?
CALLER: Now five.
CALLER: I was the one that helped him start it after we came home. This is the way it's hitting people.
RUSH: I must ask you a question, and please don't be offended by the question, okay?
RUSH: I have to ask. You sound as honest as the day is long, but I have to ask, because anybody can call here and say anything.
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: Do you think that's the real reason he fired you, or could there have been some other reason and he just is falling back on that?
CALLER: No, sir. There could be no other reason, sir. Me and him were Marines together. We worked hard together. I put my money and my blood and my sweat into this company. I'm not sure if he let anyone else go today, either. But I know he did let me go, and this is the reason that he gave me. And I think it's sad that the rest of the country is not paying attention to what the president they voted into office is doing. It's not just going to be your hours. Eventually, your employers are gonna get to the point where they're saying, "It's gonna be cheaper to let you go than to even keep you here part time."
RUSH: So your boss did not want to provide you with insurance, and he couldn't afford to pay the penalty of not providing you insurance, right?
CALLER: Yes, sir. That is exactly what he told me today at 1:15 this afternoon.
RUSH: Now, are you vested or were you just a straight employee? You said you started the company with him. Do you own part of this company or you're just an employee?
CALLER: I don't own part of the company, but I did give him money when he was having a hard time.
CALLER: I gave him money through my TSP, which is a Thrift Savings Program that the military provides, that I had and I was putting money into while I was overseas. I provided him money out of that and said, "Hey, man, you just provide me a job, and I'll give you some money to go towards your company."
RUSH: I thought Obamacare didn't affect businesses under 30 or 50 employees. I'm not sure. But obviously this guy is under the impression that he can't afford you anymore because of health care.
CALLER: That's what he said, yes.
RUSH: Which is probably true. People get it as a benefit and they really don't know what it costs. I know health care premiums are skyrocketing. No matter how many employees you have, they are still skyrocketing. The premiums are skyrocketing whether Obamacare exists or not. Well, this is terrible. What kind of work were you doing?
CALLER: I worked with industrial compressors, the ones that you go and get your tire changed at Firestone, the pneumatic drills that you hear? Those work off $30,000 and $40,000 air compressors. I was service coordinator. I knew those things inside and out. I thought I was a value and an asset to the company.
RUSH: You probably were. You're not gonna be the only one, but that doesn't help you.
CALLER: No, it doesn't. But God always makes a way. We'll make a way.
RUSH: I have to do something here. I don't know what it would be, but I want to send you something that you might be able to use down the road. Would an iPad be of any assistance? Even if it's just for fun, would an iPad be of assistance to you?
CALLER: It would be something my wife can poke on while she's at home, Rush, to tell you the truth, instead of poking at me.
RUSH: All right. (laughing) Hang on here. I'll get your address. Snerdley will get your address and we'll send you an iPad 4. I'm gonna throw in a couple of my new tumblers from Two If By Tea just for the heck of it, too. So hang on, David. I appreciate the call. Sad to hear the details. Now, don't go away because Snerdley's gotta get your address for us to send this stuff. We're under the belief here that it's 50 employees. Yeah, it's 50 employees and 30 hours. That's what it is.
Well, a lot of it doesn't happen 'til 2014, but the companies are exempt with people that work under 30 hours or fewer than 50. But I guess, in this case, it's just the cost of the premiums. It has to be that that resulted in this. But that's happening. Folks, this is happening all over the country, and it has been since 2009. It actually started earlier. The big increase in unemployment started in November 2008, really, right after the election. That's when the numbers began to balloon. It really did, and it's not changed at all.