RUSH: This next story comes to us from the San Jose Mercury News and there are two people in this story about whom I would like to tell you. Tom Waschura is a father of two. He is an Obama supporter and was an Obamacare supporter. And then Cindy Vinson is another. "Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama."
Now folks, as I get into this, I want to mention to you that these are the kinds of people, when you talk about a tipping point, something is going to happen that will change people's minds, these are the kinds of people that we're talking about. Now, by mentioning their names, they will build up a resistance and they will refuse to be moved by this despite what they say. But their names have been mentioned, they're out there, whether I mention them or not. But the fact that I've mentioned them is going to steel their resolve against what they are inclined to do now, which is abandon Obama. But they won't do that since they've been named. It would be too embarrassing. But there are people like them all over the country.
This is happening all over the place. This is why the Republicans are not losing the Obamacare fight. They are not losing the defund Obamacare fight. I don't care what anybody says, they are not losing it. Now, I'm distracting myself here, but I've not lost my place. Just hang with me here. There is an upcoming event October 17th or thereabouts, the debt limit fight, it must be raised, the debt limit ceiling must be raised and there are arguments, strategic arguments over should the Obamacare defund and the debt limit ceiling increase be tied together or not.
There are people making arguments on both sides. And one argument is tie them together because we're winning the Obamacare fight. We have the American people on our side on this. And you know what the main reason is? There are two main reasons, I think anyway. I think the obvious main reason is the reality of what Obamacare is and what people are discovering as they log onto this website and find out what the cost is going to be, which is what this story's about. But there's another aspect to this, and you might poo poo this. I would have attempted to poo poo it, but I'm trying to look at these things in a little bit different way now.
I think Obama and the Democrats, in fact, are losing this because they are the ones who appear to be unwilling to compromise. I kid you not. I think they are losing this in part because they appear to be the ones, well, they are, who will not negotiate. Now, the Republicans could still snatch defeat from the jaws of victory here. I don't want to get premature. But as of now, on the minds of the American people where Obamacare is concerned, most people are opposed to it anyway. By the way, Obamacare offends a lot of people. Why don't we just get rid of it?
Anyway, it is not the Republicans who are seen as unwilling to negotiate. It's the Democrats. Now, you might think that's not a big deal, but to the precious independents and moderates who want everybody to get along and want all the partisan bickering to end, I mean, they're still there. The Democrats are letting everybody know this is the case, the way they are behaving, apologizing and all this. The vast majority of people see Obama and the Democrats as unwilling to compromise.
Now, back to this San Jose Mercury piece. This piece, by the way, has 2,312 comments. Is anything local anymore? It's a local newspaper, local website, 2,300 comments, and the vast majority of which are anti Obama.
"Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama. Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance --" these are self payers "-- they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law. Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four."
These people in this story admit being shocked. They admit being disbelieving. They thought their premiums were going to go down. They bought it all. They heard what Obama said. They believed premiums were going to go down. They believed the uninsured were going to be insured. They thought costs were going down. They can't believe what's happened. Now, in California there's more on them in a minute, but I'm going to give you some setup details here. In California almost two million people buy insurance on the open market. They don't get it from their boss. This is according to officials with Covered California which is running the exchange out there. And many of these almost two million people are steaming mad.
"Jonathan Wu, a co-founder of ValuePenguin, a consumer finance website, 'There's going to be a number of people surprised by their bills. The upper-middle class are the people who are essentially being asked to foot the bill, and that's true across the country.'
Covered California spokesman Dana Howard maintained that in public presentations the exchange has always made clear that there will be winners and losers under Obamacare."
Well, you might have made it plain during presentations at the exchange, but that was last week. Most people who voted for Obama and who supported Obamacare think that their premiums are going down $2,500 a year, think that maybe they are getting it for free. They don't think, they don't believe there are going to be winners and losers involving them. To the extent that they think they are going to be winners and losers, they think it's the rich who are going to be the losers, but not them.
Now, most of the people we're talking about are middle class or upper middle class. Dana Howard, the spokesman for covered California: "Some people will see an increase who are already on the individual market purchasing insurance, but most people will not." That's not true. "Even those who don't qualify for the tax subsidies could see their rates drop because Obamacare doesn't allow insurers to charge people more if they have pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and cancer."
And then they cite a woman who is having her premium drop because of preexisting condition and that doesn't make any sense to anybody. Why should somebody with a preexisting condition's premium drop? I don't have a preexisting condition, my house isn't on fire, and I'm not asking for it. So why should my premium go up and hers go down. They are fit to be tied.
"But people with no pre-existing conditions like Cindy Vinson, a 60-year-old retired teacher, and Tom Waschura, a 52-year-old self-employed engineer, are making up the difference." They are paying the freight for this woman. Her name is Marilynn Gray-Raine. She is an artist, 64 years old in Danville. She survived breast cancer. She gets preexisting coverage because these other two are paying increased premiums for it. They had no idea.
Waschura has this quote in the San Jose Mercury News: "'I was laughing at Boehner -- until the mail came today. I really don't like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so [tick]ed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family's pocket each year, that's otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.'"
Hello? Mr. Waschura, who is 52, is just now learning, having signed up at the exchange, that his premium's up 10 grand in part to cover people with preexisting conditions. Listen to this now. Folks, I'm telling you this is happening all over the country. This is a golden opportunity but it has to be played right. Cindy Vinson said, "Of course, I want people to have health care. I just didn't realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.'"
So the San Jose Mercury News has found two people, one of them 60, the other 52. For one of them, the premium's going up $1,800 a year, another one $10,000 a year. They voted for Obamacare. They supported Obamacare. They thought their premiums were going to come down. They find out otherwise. They now realize why Boehner and the Republicans are doing what they're doing and they now are realizing that they are going to have to personally pay for other people to have health care.
Now, I know what you're saying. "What took them so long to figure it out?" That doesn't matter at this point. The fact is that they have. They have now seen it. Waschura, Tom Waschura, the 52 year old $10,000 increase gu,y said, "I'm not against Obamacare. It's just the initial shock. I'm holding out hope there will be a correction over a handful of years." Now, Mr. Waschura, there will be a "correction" over -- what did you say? -- a handful of years.
But your premiums are not going to be coming down over the next handful of years. Your premiums and Cindy Vinson's premium and everybody's premiums are only going to increase, as will the fines if you don't have insurance, continue to increase. So folks, this is another reason why the Republicans are winning this. Now, the San Jose Mercury News does not portray these people as angry, just surprised. They are independents, they claim, but they're very loyal to Obama, and they're very loyal to Obamacare.
They have learned that they misunderstood.
I don't know yet whether they have come to grips with the fact that they were lied to. They may never admit that -- and they may never, ever become Republican, but you don't need 'em to. Now this is happening all over the country. The San Jose Mercury News just happens to be an outlet that has found a couple people who have discovered this, but millions all over this country are learning this exact thing. It's a little frustrating because everybody in this country has been warned what would happen, and there's a part of me that's not that sympathetic (you had a chance to know this), but that would be the wrong attitude.
RUSH: Hi. Welcome back. Okay. So where are we here? Just with these two people, Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura? Folks, understand I had to mention their names. Their names are in the Mercury News. But because I have mentioned their names, I'm fully aware that they are going to dig in and remain committed. They can't afford now to publicly move off Obama or any of this. They would be humiliated and punished by people in their neighborhood.
The readership here at the San Jose Mercury News is hard left. These people are not plants. They are not Organizing for America plants. They are not Obama website plants. These are real people. What have they ended up doing? They ended up voting against their own interests, which is what they've learned. So the key would be how do you turn people like this? Is it realistic to think they're going to become Republicans? No. I think it's unrealistic.
Maybe. It could happen.
But at some point, something has to be done. An effort has to be made to inform these people and let them know exactly what they are doing by supporting Obama and the Democrats is voting against their own economic interests. They've discovered that now, these two have. "I didn't think I was going to be paying for everybody else's. I now understand why Boehner's so mad. I didn't like Boehner at all. I didn't like his tactics. Now I understand why he's so mad."
Let me grab Rod here in Bloomfield, Michigan. Hi, Rod, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Yeah. Thanks, Rush. I just had a quick comment. I'd like to give some advice to Tom and Cindy. I would invite them to drop their coverage. Don't pay any premiums. Pay the penalty. Pay the IRS or the Obamacare penalty, and then if and when they get hit, then pick up the coverage. I think it will be a financial solution for them.
RUSH: Well, for a while, the fines remain $95 a year. So what you think they ought to do is cancel their insurance, pay the fine -- which is 95 bucks a person -- and then when they get sick, then file for insurance?
CALLER: Sure. Why not.
RUSH: And get it under the preexisting condition clause as it were?
CALLER: Exactly. They have to be taken into a plan.
RUSH: Well, no, the only problem is that the high risk pools are out of money. They are not taking any more enrollees, until they collect more premiums from people like Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura. Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are going to be paying the freight for the subsidies of many others because they have the money, you see. This is how it works with Obamacare: Take from those who have and give to those who don't.
Now, somehow most Obama voters think that that doesn't include them. It's what I mean when I say they have voted against their own economic interests. Some people will do that because they're just ideologically rooted and it doesn't matter. Others, when they learn that, could perhaps be persuaded to stop voting against their own economic interests. But a lot of people who voted for Obama under this belief in Obamacare have done exactly what these two people did. They've given us this and they voted against their own economic interests and they're just now discovering it.
RUSH: Look, our last caller, Rod, his idea would work. Bump out, pay the fine, wait 'til you get sick, and then buy the insurance. They have to sell it to you now. It'd be a way of gaming the system and getting out from under your stupid move.
RUSH: Between our last caller Rod who was responding to the two people in California who showed up and find out that their Obamacare premiums are $1800 higher than they thought and $10,000 higher than they thought and they are Obama voters and they're Obamacare supporters and they now understand what the Republicans are doing. They thought Boehner was a nut, now they don't, and they're shocked when they learn that they are having to pay for other people's health care.
I know you say, "What did they think?"
I can't answer that.
Well, yeah, I can answer that. They believed Obama. They believe. They're Obama supporters. They believe their premiums are going down $2500, that somebody else was going to pay for it, that it wasn't going to be them. Almost everybody other than the upper crust that supports Obama thinks they're a victim of something and that Obama's out taking care of them or looking out for them. I mean, that's why they vote for him in one sense, and other reasons as well.
Now they're learning the low down dirty. So this guy called and said, "Well, look. What they should do is just bump out of the coverage. Just cancel the policy and pay the fine. For the first couple of years, the fines are nothing compared to the price of the policy. It's $95 up to $200 for a fine. That's the smart way to go. Then when you get sick, go get the insurance." I had people check with me in the e mail during the break.
"What do you mean? How do you do that? You can't just go get insurance after you got sick!" Yes, you can. Oh, yes, you can, folks. Being sick does not keep you from getting coverage. Starting next year, 2014, being sick will not keep you from getting health coverage. An insurance company cannot turn you down or charge you more because of your condition. This is what people like Ms. Vinson and Mr. Waschura identified in California are paying for, and you too.
Those of you who are experiencing premium increases out the wazoo, you're paying for this. An insurance company cannot turn you down or charge you more because of your condition. Once you have insurance, the plan cannot refuse to cover treatment for preexisting conditions. Coverage for preexisting conditions begins immediately. Now, there is a "but." There is a very big "but" with one T. There's one exception.
Grandfathered, individual health insurance plans.
The only exception is for grandfathered, individual health insurance plans. They're the kind that you buy yourself, not through an employer. They do not have to cover preexisting conditions. That's what those two people in the Mercury News story are: Self insured. So apparently Rod's suggestion would not work for them because they are self insured. But that's the only exception. In 2014, being sick will not keep you from getting coverage.
So what happens is if you have a plan -- a self insured or a grandfathered individual health insurance plan that you bought yourself, if you have one of those -- you can switch to a marketplace plan during open enrollment and that's how you immediately get coverage for your preexisting condition. If you do that, you're paying a bigger freight like these two people are. Look, I know this all sounds like hieroglyphics, right? That's the point. Folks, the simplest way to look at this is it's going to cost you more money.
There's really no way around that.
Now, these two people in California could drop their plan and sign up for a new Obamacare plan when they get sick, but they have to drop the insurance they've got now.
Which they might want to do. Here's another example: "A Fountain Hills man says he may soon have to get another job just to pay for health care insurance under the new Affordable Care Act," Obamacare. "Michael Cerpok, is a high school drop-out, one of six kids born to a school teacher, and doesn't come from a wealthy family.
"He has run two businesses for more than 25 years and says he may have to do more to literally stay alive. 'I've worked hard because I've had to, and I've had to, because cancer runs in my family,' says Cerpok, who picked his current health insurance based on that family history. His monthly premium is just about half of his monthly take-home pay." That's what my house payment used to be. More than that. So I know where the guy is.
"Back in 2006, he found out he had an incurable form of leukemia that requires ongoing treatment until he dies. In 2012, his treatment bill was more than $350,000. But because of his insurance, his out-of-pocket was only $4,500. That's about to change because Michael just got a letter from his insurance carrier saying as of January 1, he would be dropped from coverage because of new regulations under Obamacare. His doctor at the Mayo Clinic may be gone as well.
"'Now it doesn't mean I can't go see my current doctor, but my $4,500 out-of-pocket, is going to turn into a minimum of $26,000," because, you remember, they removed the caps! That was one of Obama's many autocratic changes that he just instituted with a wave of his magic wand. He just lifted the limits on the cap on out of pocket expenses.
So this guy is going to see his $4500 out of pocket go up to $26,000 to see the doctor he's been seeing the last seven years.
Now, this is a local ABC story from Arizona. Listen to this: "Michael realizes millions of people will benefit from the coverage, but he wants them to realize that others are making sacrifices to make that happen." So they still have to throw in there: Oh, all kinds of people are going to benefit from Obamacare, and this poor guy just wants everybody to know "that others are making sacrifices to make that happen." Michael, you're not going to get any sympathy, not in America 2014.
America 2014 is riddled with people who think they're owed. They're owed this just because they were born here. It's how they've been raised. It's what they think being an American is. So, that's the latest on this.
Atlanta. This is Chris. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Are you going to the football game tonight, Chris, the Jets and the Falcons?
CALLER: I'm not, Rush. I'm working. I'm an entrepreneur.
RUSH: Too bad. You're going to miss the pink penalty flags that they are using in the NFL this month.
CALLER: Yes, they are.
RUSH: I kid you not, folks. Pink penalty flags. You'll have to look twice to make sure they're penalty flags.
CALLER: I saw that yesterday.
RUSH: Anyway, what was it, Chris, that you dialed us about?
CALLER: Well, Rush, I wanted to talk to you about two things. One was about the 60 Minutes piece yesterday about the Social Security disability fraud that's going on that 60 Minutes did, and the second was I wanted to give you something. But I don't know if you saw the Social Security piece but basically it speaks right to your gap between rich and poor because people are running out of unemployment insurance. They're getting onto Social Security disability, Social Security disability payments and they're taking advantage of the system.
CALLER: At no point in the piece was that talked about. It was just about how destitute these people were and how they had no other options.
RUSH: You know, this is amazing to me. Did they make any connection here to who's president?
CALLER: No, of course not. Of course not.
RUSH: And did they make any connection to who's been president for almost five years?
CALLER: Not at all. Not at all.
RUSH: So on whom did they blame this? Just the countries at‑large?
CALLER: The lawyers that are taking advantage of the system.
RUSH: Lawyers? Oh, it's the fault of lawyers!
RUSH: Otherwise known as Democrat donors.
RUSH: Really, they were blaming this on lawyers gaming the system for clients?
CALLER: It was a Steve Kroft piece and he tried to interview a couple of lawyers and, yes, they were blaming it on a couple of the lawyers.
RUSH: I thought the Steve Kroft piece was some Republican businessman being destroyed. That must have been a different 60 Minutes.
CALLER: No, it had Senator Coburn on there talking about his investigation into Social Security disability fraud.
RUSH: And then you have judges that approve it.
RUSH: So basically what was going on, they were alarmed at the financial state of the federal disability program.
CALLER: And the cost that it was going to be on the American taxpayer for years to come because they were automatically getting rubber stamp approval.
RUSH: Well, see, that raises another question. Let's take a look at all this debt. Depending on who you listen to, the national debt is either $17 trillion or $83 trillion. If you add up all the unfunded liabilities on pensions and Social Security, Medicare and any number of other programs, last week I saw somebody (I wish I could remember who) was claiming that the real debt is $83 trillion in terms of, if you had what the Feds printed and done with QE.
It's just added up with the interest payments and everything. But once you get to $17 trillion, $83 trillion, we're not going to pay back $17 trillion. How are we going to do that? How are we ever going to pay back $17 trillion? So these guys on 60 Minutes all worried about the system and the drag on taxpayers? What's going to happen here is the claim of the necessity to reduce this debt will be used to justify massive tax increases on people.
But that money is just going to be recycled and re-spent. We don't have any debt-reduction plans in process. They're talking again about raising the debt limit on October 17th. So just off the top of your head -- and I don't mean to put you on the spot. If you'd rather not take a stab at it, feel free. I'm just speaking off the top of my head, here. How are we going to retire any of this debt, be it from disability or otherwise? There's no way, is there?
CALLER: Nobody in Washington's getting serious about that. There's no discussion about that.
RUSH: Even if they were, what would we do?
CALLER: That's a good question, Rush. There's no trigger. I like to call it "the trigger that propelled the American economy forward." In the Forties, it was World War II. In the Eighties, it was the Cold War. What's the trigger this time? I don't know.
RUSH: Yeah, I don't know. They just can't zero it out. There's all kinds of scare talk about, "Well, let's just zero it out. Let's just wipe it out. Let's just say we've paid it." (interruption) Well, but isn't gonna happen. Snerdley is saying, "Cut entitlements in half." Okay, let's do that. Let's actually say we propose it. Members of Congress talk about it. They debate it. Half of them get shot. There are assassinations left and right of the people who are talking about doing this.
I'm speaking euphemistically here.
If a bunch of old people are going to drag Rostenkowski out of his car over a hundred bucks, then imagine eliminating half of the entitlement benefits that are out there. (interruption) Okay, means test it? There aren't enough rich people to exempt from it that make a dent in it. Now, the budget deficit is a different thing. You could freeze the budget in five years and maybe balance it in seven or eight if you just said the spending increase is no more than inflation.
But it's a vexing question, because there's no way to pay it back.
However, there is a lot of value in making it looks like you're trying.
For other investors in the debt, credit markets, if you make it look like you're trying to -- the optics, if it appears to be a policy objective to -- reduce the debt, then oftentimes that would be enough. But the idea of actually retiring $17 trillion? Stop and think about that and say, "How in the world...?" (interruption) Waste and fraud? How about identifying all the fraud, which, 60 Minutes' piece last night was focused on that, and just eliminate that. You have the same reaction. We've created such dependency. There are so many people literally living off of a government check that if you take it away from them, you have... Do you even want to think about what you would have?
Do you think, El Snerdbo, that the recipients are just going to sit there and say "We are happy to help. We'll gladly only accept half of what we have been getting"? Some will work, but what if there aren't any jobs in the economy to absorb them? What if there's no place for them to go work because Obamacare policies are in effect? You take their bennies away, forcing them in the job market, but there aren't any jobs to be had and there aren't any careers anymore because everybody's downsizing to part time to handle Obamacare. What are we gonna do? How would we absorb these people?
If they're eating because they're getting a government check and the government check stops and they then starve, without committing crime, what are they going to do? You're still going to have economic growth. You might have economic growth because of the lack of entitlement spending, but if you've not raised a couple generations of people who understand work and appreciate work and patient hard work that pays off, you'd have a panic. You would have an abject panic if you announce this is going to happen. Even if you just gradually implement this. I'm not saying that would stop me. (laughing)
You've got 90 million Americans not working. Ninety million not working. Some of them are lying about disability, which is what this guy's talking about. They're faking a disability because they've run through their unemployment. We have made it profitable and productive to not work, the Democrat Party has. Now all of a sudden on a dime you turn around and say to these people, "Guess what. Your only hope is to go get a job." I just wonder if it can be done, if the debt can ever be repaid. I don't think it can. But I don't think there's one person in a responsible position who would ever tell you, "Oh, yeah, we can repay this debt. Here's how we do it." But making it look like we're trying might accomplish much of the same thing.