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Callers Try to Make Sense of Obamacare

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here's Debbie, Salem, Oregon.  Great to have you on the EIB Network.  Hello.

CALLER:  Thank you for taking my call.

RUSH:  You bet.

CALLER:  Won't the IRS force people to put policy information on their tax returns, and then the government will use their incredible database to try to confirm them?

RUSH:  What do you mean, policy information?  Identify your party affiliation?

CALLER:  No. 

RUSH:  Oh, you mean insurance policy.

CALLER:  Right, right.

RUSH:  I thought you meant public policy.

CALLER:  No.

RUSH:  'Cause that's possible, too.

CALLER:  Well, yeah, but, I mean, to verify that you in fact supposedly have it.

RUSH:  Okay, so let's go back, what is your question?  Isn't the IRS still gonna ask you if your policy information -- yeah.

CALLER:  Could they force people to put it on their tax returns?

RUSH:  Yeah, but that's the point now.  There is no way to verify --

CALLER:  But once you write up a policy at the exchanges or whatever, won't it go into the database for them to refer to later?

RUSH:  Perhaps, but I wouldn't count on that.  The employer was, in the early stages, going to provide the mass of information, the majority of information on verification, because most people still get their insurance there.  Now that huge database is not gonna exist.  And this is an example here --

CALLER:  Wouldn't it all go into the same database, though, whether it's an individual or an employer?

RUSH:  Yeah, but this is my point.  I don't think that they have any way of actually collecting this data and entering it and have it present, able to be called up with a snap of your finger.  It's too massive.  It's too big. There's too much fraud. There's too much dishonesty. Not everybody's gonna be in the exchanges. They're only in 26 states, and the other states, the Feds have to set up an exchange, and they haven't even started.

CALLER:  Oh.

RUSH:  The Feds, the law did not contemplate the federal government. In fact, the law says, Debbie, that the federal government cannot run an exchange.  The states have to do it.  But 24 states have said, "No way, we don't want any part of it."  Only 26 states are doing it.  And only a fraction of people in those states are gonna be in the exchanges.  We're talking about, what's the population, over 300 million people in the country here.  There's not gonna be a database that's gonna be sufficient for the IRS to be able to rely on.  So the whole point here, I think, is to drive as many people to the exchanges as possible to get them signed up. Obama wants people, as many people as he can get, covered by the government, exchanges, however you want to phrase it, and the more the better, and the sooner, the better, making it impossible to take it away. Meaning, making it impossible to repeal Obamacare.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Here's Paul in Vero Beach, Florida.  Welcome, sir.  Thank you for holding on.  I appreciate it.

CALLER:  Hey, Rush, just to make the point you guys made earlier, you made earlier, which is rationality --

RUSH:  Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh.  "You guys" made earlier?

CALLER:  I meant, well, I was thinking of you and Mr. Will, so --

RUSH:  Ah.  Okay.

CALLER:  It was you and Mr. Will.  And that is, rational thought is the worst enemy of Obamacare, and a good case in point is the preexisting condition requirement.  If I'm a 20-something, I'm gonna take my chance with the penalty if I'm thinking rationally rather than paying the full freight on a policy because if I get sick today, I buy a policy tomorrow, and I'm covered, and I've foregone, you know, however many months, years without coverage until I've actually needed it.  So the crowd of 20-somethings that Obamacare's counting on buying into the risk pool, if they're thinking rationally, they're not gonna play. They're going to stay out, paying the $300, $1,600, or $2,000 penalty, whatever.

RUSH:  Well, actually, on that example, I think that the regime is not counting on irrationality.  I think the original purpose -- it may be out the window now, what with the delaying of the employer mandate, but the original purpose of the fine being so much cheaper than a policy was to get people out of the private sector health insurance market, which is what Obama wanted to eliminate so as to turn everybody to the government, eventually wants a single-payer system.  So he makes the fine cheaper than a policy. He wanted kids paying the fine. He wanted them doing that instead of having insurance.  And then in a few short years, the fines become more expensive than the policy, which will then force them to the only place remaining to get a policy, the exchange.  I think that was by design to do great damage to the private sector health insurance market, which Obama wants to eliminate. 

We all know his objective is single payer with the government running everything.  He said that.  He's a liberal, that's what they want whether they say it or not, but he did say it, to his union buddies at the SEIU I think back in 2007.  We've played the sound bite for you here I don't know how many times where he talks about how it's gonna take years. The union guys want it tomorrow.  He said get me elected here, gang, and give me five, 10 years, and we'll get that done, maybe take 15 but it will eventually get done.  Can't do it all at once. 

Now, what Paul is referring to here is George Will on TV yesterday said that the only way Obamacare can be implemented the way it's designed is if everybody acts irrationally, and what he meant by that specifically was the business requirements.  If a business has 50 or more full time employees, then they all have to be covered or the company has to pay a fine.  Well, if a company has 49 employees and most of them are part time, they don't have to do anything.  The rational move is to let people go and convert them to part time.  The irrational thing to do would be sit there and take the hit.  What George Will was saying, there's no rational business that's gonna sit there and take the hit. 

This takes us back to the thing that we discuss quite frequently on this program, and that is, when government programs are proposed, there's always a static analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.  Let's look at a tax cut, for example.  No.  Let's look at a tax increase bill.  Let's say they decide to raise income taxes by X percent.  The government just assumes everybody's gonna pay it. They're just gonna sit there and be docile sheep and bend over, grab the ankles, and take the hit.  What happens is, in the dynamic, as opposed to static, in the dynamic world, people start taking steps to avoid being subject to the tax increase, and the government always ends up getting less money than they project because not as many people are gonna pay the new rate as it looks like will on paper.  That's static analysis, and that's what happened here with Obamacare. 

But look, all of this is to miss the point, and I don't mean to be uppity about it.  The idea that this is chaos and unworkable and undoable, all by design.  Now, there might have been some idealistic liberals who write a 2,200-page bill and believe that it's utopia on earth and that they can control everything, it's gonna be hunky-dory and fair and equal and wonderful for everybody, but a lot of people realistically understand that the real objective here is a full-fledged socialist country, and that means the government controlling all of this and creating chaos that upsets the status quo and forces people out of their current arrangements and into new ones run by the government is what this is all about. 

Now, the employer mandate -- remember, there were two things that happened last week.  One was on Monday and the second one was on Friday, and the one on Friday hardly anybody noticed; it's the Fourth of July weekend.  And that's where it was announced you can show up at an exchange and say you qualify for a subsidized policy and you are automatically given one.  You don't have to prove diddly-squat because nobody will be able to.  The employer was to provide the massive database of who had insurance by virtue of having the employee benefit.  But since the employer has now been granted a one-year waiver, there isn't gonna be this massive database, and so the government's not gonna know who's got insurance and who doesn't.  They don't care.  What they want is for as many people as possible heading to an exchange. 

Remember, now, the regime is out there, they're campaigning on this, as though it were another election coming up.  There are two reasons they're doing this, folks.  The 2010 midterms, the Democrats got shellacked, and it was because of Obamacare. The Tea Party erupted, spending, debt, but it was Obamacare that was front and center.  We can argue about, okay, this actually started the nineties with Clinton, health care, but Obamacare was right there in the middle, it was the bull's-eye.  And the Democrats lost big.  The Democrats want to win the House in 2014.  And what they're trying to do with this campaign is have all these Hollywood celebrities and Silicon Valley celebrities and all these people out there singing its praises, all these athletes, the NFL, the NBA, talking about how wonderful Obamacare is.  It is to get low-information voters loving Obamacare, thinking it's cool, it's the greatest thing in the world, so that it's not an albatross around the Democrats' neck when the election happens in 2014. 

The other reason for the ongoing advertising is to get people to sign up at the exchange, since the employer doesn't have to provide health insurance now.  You know, wait 'til that shoe drops.  You talk about rational and irrational behavior.  If a company doesn't have to provide health insurance now, and there's somewhere else that an employee can go get it, what's the employer gonna do?  Sayonara, see you later, head off to your exchange.  The people that are gonna get health insurance benefits are gonna be key employees, the ones that the employer really wants to hold onto.  The others, take your pick, you go to exchange, go somewhere else to find it, the employer's gonna off-load.  This was in the cards from the first day of Obamacare. 

The employers have wanted to off-load these costs for as long as I've been doing this program.  Former GM CEO, Rick Wagoner, said after a couple years on the job  (paraphrasing), "I thought I was gonna run a car company.  I didn't know that I was becoming CEO of health care.  'Cause that's all my company is.  My number one objective, my number one responsibility, takes up most of my time, is health care for my employees."  Well, if they can off-load that they are gonna do it, and now they've been given the freedom to do it, essentially, by not having to provide it until after the 2014 elections.  So it's not 'til 2015 that employers have this mandate.  And even that may not hold up. 

Now it's whatever Obama wants is what Obamacare is, because if he can sit there and just have somebody -- what did they do?  They had somebody from the Treasury department announce this on the Internet, that the employer mandate was being delayed by one year.  There are arguments on both sides, whether the law permits Obama to do this.  This is not even something I think people agree on.  Some people have analyzed Obamacare and said, "Yeah, he's got this authority. He can implement or not implement various elements of it on a whim," and other people, "No, he can't, the law's the law.  He's gotta go to Congress to get these changes."  Well, he didn't, and nobody's saying he has to, so essentially Obamacare can be whatever he wants it to be, from day to day.  Which is how he's been doing a lot of things, by the way. 

I'll tell you, I never thought I would see the day where Congress was so ambivalent about a president usurping its powers.  I never thought I would see that day, but this guy just says, "You know what, we're not implementing this portion of the law."  Now, most of the signers of the law, most of the people that voted for the law in Congress are Democrats, and their loyalty to Obama is gonna make 'em shut up, but they aren't the majority in the House.  The Republicans are.  And the idea here that the president can just willy-nilly pick a part of a law and say, "You know what, I don't like that right now. We're not gonna do that 'til 2015."  Oh.  Okay.  It's unprecedented, but it's really not the way things are intended to work.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  While we are at it, folks, the Heritage Foundation, we talk about their blog, the Morning Bell.  Today's Morning Bell lists a number of implementation failures with Obamacare.  And as these illustrate, it's not just the employer mandate that's flawed.  It's the entire law. 

"Last week, the Obama Administration attempted to spin its announcement of a one-year delay in Obamacare’s employer mandate as an effort to implement the law 'in a careful, thoughtful manner.'"

What the hell is that?  You mean it hasn't been carefully thought out until last week? Last week they just thought about being careful with this?  Look, folks, even Democrats have admitted this thing has turned into a massive train wreck.  There are delays, glitches, problems.  It's unworkable.  It is going to implode on itself.  The danger is that when that implosion happens, there are gonna be so many people enrolled in it that we're not gonna be able to repeal it.  So here are some things that were implemented that have been failures and some repealed. 

"1. The CLASS Act: ABANDONED, THEN REPEALED
One Democrat famously called this new long-term care entitlement 'a Ponzi scheme of the first order, the kind of thing that Bernie Madoff would have been proud of' -- and so it proved. In the fall of 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) admitted CLASS could not be implemented in a fiscally sound manner -- and Congress eventually repealed the program outright.

"2. Exchanges: MISSED DEADLINES
Most states resisted Obamacare’s call to create insurance exchanges, choosing to let Washington create a federally run exchange instead. However, a Government Accountability Office report released last month noted that 'critical' activities to create a federal exchange have not been completed."

Many of them haven't even been started. 

"3. HHS mandate: DELAYED; UNDER LEGAL CHALLENGE
Last year, the Administration announced a partial delay for Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate. However, many employers have filed legal actions against the mandate, which forces them to fund products they find morally objectionable or pay massive fines."

That's been a fire drill. 

"5. Child-only plans: UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
A drafting error in Obamacare has actually led to less access to care for children with pre-existing conditions."

As I go through this list I remember talking about all of these when they happened. 

"This government-run plan for states, created as part of Obamacare, has also been delayed, prompting one Democrat to criticize the Administration for failing to “live up” to the law and implement it as written."

Anyway, the list goes on.  There are 12 elements here of Obamacare that have either had to be repealed or delayed or just erased, and they all affect people in substantive ways.  One of the ones mentioned here again is the Medicare expansion. "Last year, the Supreme Court made Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion optional for states, ruling that Obamacare as written engaged in 'economic dragooning' that puts 'a gun to the head of states.' Many states are resisting Obamacare’s call to expand Medicaid," meaning pay for it, "knowing that expansion will saddle them with additional, unsustainable costs," that they don't have, money they don't have. 

This is Obama off-loading expense to the states so they get that federal cost under that magic number of $1 trillion.  Anyway, the whole thing is a disaster.  The whole thing just needs to be torn up and thrown away right now. You know, I've heard some people say, "Well, we need to delay the implementation of the personal mandate."  No, no, no.  Don't start playing games with what exists.  Get rid of what exists.  That ought to be the play, in my humble, unprofessional, I'm-not-a-Republican-consultant, mind.  Just trash the whole thing.  It could not be worse than what this is gonna end up being. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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