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President to Fighting Cancer Patient: Take the Painkiller

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, let's hit the audio sound bites.  We shared with you yesterday excerpts of a column in the Wall Street Journal by Edie Littlefield Sundby, who has stage-4 gallbladder cancer, and it was all about how she's not political, she doesn't care about any of that. She's losing her health care, losing her doctor, losing her great team of oncologists. She doesn't like it.

And Erin Burnett, CNN, got hold of her and asked her about it.  She said, "When we're talking about whether Obamacare's the problem here, you're saying you've gone through the whole market.  The exchanges with Obamacare, the plans available outside of Obamacare, you're saying categorically you can't find the plan that you have now, or anything similar for the same cost." And this goes right to my crux in the first hour.  Everybody apparently liked their plans, so why the hell do we have to do this in the first place? 

That's right.  Because there were 30 million Americans without insurance.  And the 30 million didn't have insurance because you liked your plan.  It just wasn't fair, 'cause 30 million people, greatest country in the world, and 30 million uninsured.  So they had to throw everything upside down.  But the bottom line is -- this is what we've now learned in the aftermath -- everybody apparently, or the vast majority of people liked their plans, compared to what they now have available.  So here is Edie Littlefield Sundby answering that question from Erin Burnett.

SUNDBY:  I know that for a fact.  Just like when I was hit with a curveball called terminal cancer, stage-4 cancer, I had to be quick, I had to be thorough, and I had to act.  And so when my policy's canceled, I have to be the very same. I have to be attentive, pay attention, and really, really get down to the nuts and bolts of it to make sure, because I am alive for just a couple of reasons.  I'm alive because I'm really, really lucky, and I'm blessed, and part of that luck and that blessing has been my doctors and my health care policy.  And I am alive by a very large extent because I could control who I chose to provide medical coverage and where that medical coverage was coming from.  And control is life.

RUSH:  She wasn't through.  She kept going.

SUNDBY:  I have a very vicious disease called gallbladder cancer, and less than .8% of us are alive in eight years.  Well, I'm almost at eight years, I will be in another year, and God willing, I will still be alive. But I will only be alive if I can, when it hits again, when I can respond quickly, and I don't know where I'm going to need to go.  I may need to go back to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. I definitely will be at Stanford Cancer Center because they have worked this wonderful miracle with my life or I may have to go someplace else.  I need a policy that gives me what United Health Care gave me for the last seven years.

RUSH:  That's the point, she can't find it.  She can't find it.  With Obamacare, she can't find it outside of Obamacare.  Now, why is that?  She had it.  She had a policy. She was paying. She liked it. Everybody was comfortable with it.  Obamacare comes along and it vanishes?  She can't get it as part of Obamacare. She can't get it outside of Obamacare, which is not even legal, she can't find it. She's scared to death she's gonna have a recurrence, and then what does she do?  What does she do?  Can we go back to June 24th, 2009?  'Cause here's what she's gonna do now.  There was a woman on an ABC special that asked the president of the United States about her mother. 

"My mother is now over 105, but at 100 the doctor said to her 'I can't do anything more unless you have a pacemaker,' and I said go for it.  She said go for it.  But the specialist said, 'No, she's too old.'  When the other specialist saw her, saw her joy of life, so on, he said, 'I'm gonna go for it.'  That was over five years ago.  My question to you, Mr. President, outside the medical criteria for prolonging life for somebody who's elderly, is there any consideration that can be given --" I still can't believe this question was asked in the United States of America, a citizen in the White House asking the president, "Well, can we consider my mother's spirit, her will to live, when she's 105 for medical treatment?" 

Why is this Obama's business?  Why does he get to say, "No, your mother is not worth keeping alive."  Why does he get to say that?  What the hell have we become?  So you just heard Edie Littlefield Sundby say, "I don't know where I'm gonna go if this cancer comes back. I'm already at the life expectancy with this disease. I need to go back to M.D. Anderson, Stanford Cancer Center, whatever, I can't find a policy, I don't know what I'm gonna do."  This woman asked Obama, "What about my mom, she wants to live, 105, can we accommodate her will to live or her spirit?"

OBAMA:  I don't think that we can make judgments based on people's spirit.  That'd be a pretty subjective decision to be making.  I think we have to have rules that say that we are gonna provide good quality care for all people.  End-of-life care is one of the most difficult sets of decisions that we're gonna have to make.  But understand that those decisions are already being made in one way or another.  If they're not being made under Medicare and Medicaid, they're being made by private insurers.  At least we can let doctors know and your mom know that, you know what, maybe this isn't gonna help.  Maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.

RUSH:  Maybe we just have to tell your mom that, you know, maybe you're better off not having the surgery.  Just, you know, take the painkiller.  The president of the United States actually said that to a citizen in telling her, "No, somebody's will to live or their spirit, no, we can't start factoring that in."  It's just gotta be a money thing.  It's, do we have the money to spend on your 105-year-old mother? Is it better spent on somebody in their thirties who's gonna live a long time after we offer the treatment?  That's what he was saying.  So in the case your mother, it's pain pill city.  We'll do the best we can, the time she's got left. 

That's what Edie Littlefield Sundby is facing.  She can't find a policy.  She can't find treatment. She can't find anything like she had that has kept her alive.  So the president's already answered what happens in that situation.  Make 'em comfortable as we can and assure them we love them and there's really nothing we can do.  Here's the painkiller.

END TRANSCRIPT

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