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Analysis of the Landrieu and Upton Bills

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  I was trying to remember what Obama said during his press conference today when he said he was gonna "allow" you to keep your canceled plan. He's gonna allow you to try to get back your canceled plan if you could.  He then added, "But you still..." I'm paraphrasing.  This is not exact quoted.  He said, "But you still could be just one illness away from bankruptcy or ruin."  I mean, he said that! (big sigh)

I'm at a loss to explain the psychology of the guy, which is what I'm frustrated here trying to do.  That's a psychosis of some kind.  I mean, the whole purpose today was to go up and tell you, "If you like your plan, you keep it.  I'm sorry. I didn't mean this to happen, and if you want it back, I'm gonna let you get it back for one more year."  That would have been simple to say president but he had to add, "But you're still gonna be..."

I think it's rooted in the fact that no matter what in this little man's mind, he is incapable of making a mistake, he is incapable of telling a lie. He is incapable of being wrong.  That's how he's been raised. That's how he's been educated. It's how he's been treated.  It's why he's got this messianic complex.  You know, all he had to do... It was real simple.  They've got a political problem in the Democrat Party. 

Nobody's signing up for their stupid plan.  Nobody's signing up for Obamacare.  The exchanges and the website's an absolute disaster, and the polls indicate that people really like their old plans and they thought that they'd be able to keep 'em 'cause Obama told 'em for three years, period, "You like your plan, your doctor, you get to keep it," period.  There wasn't any qualifier. There wasn't any "unless there's a change at the insurance company." 

There wasn't any qualifier at all, and people believed him. 

So he lied. 

He lied about one of the most fundamentally important personal things to people.  So all he had to do to go out there today was and say, "Look, I understand that a lot of you like your plans and you thought you were gonna be able to keep 'em, and that's on me, and you can, for the next year."  This guy can't even bring him to say sorry, because that would acknowledge error.  You know, any normal person in this circumstance says, "Look, I'm sorry.

"I told you that you can keep your plan, and you can't, but you can for another year. I'm gonna make that change so you can."  But he didn't stop there.  After that he said, "But you're still just gonna be, you know, a heartbeat away from bankruptcy."  I don't know how to describe it, folks. I really don't.  Now, I'm gonna move on to something else here.  Because yesterday we had at-length discussions about a piece of legislation in the House that was gonna be voted tomorrow -- and for all I know, it may still be. 

It's called the Upton bill.  Fred "I'm All For the Newfangled, Worthless Lightbulbs" Upton.  He's from Michigan.  Is a Republican.  And Upton had a bill, has a bill that basically was gonna let you keep your plan.  Now, it may be that Obama upstaged Upton today.  I haven't had a chance during the program to find out what the status of the Upton bill is.  I don't know if it's gonna still be voted on.  This is what I meant earlier when I said, "The Republicans don't need their fingerprints on this fix," because it's a phony fix.

It isn't a fix -- and as Erick Erickson at RedState.com pointed out yesterday, this is a trap, because what the Upton bill is gonna become is the Landrieu bill. If Obama hadn't spoken today, the Republicans and some Democrats would vote in the House tomorrow to keep your plan. Big deal! "Republicans are gonna save the day? You get to keep your plan. Screw the president."  That bill goes to the Senate where Harry Reid would throw it out and replace it with the Mary Landrieu plan, which is far worse and much more detailed than the Upton plan. 

It contains further mandates. It puts the Republicans in the crosshairs for blame. It puts the Republicans on record as trying to fix and save this disaster.  It's an absolute disaster waiting to happen.  Everybody said, "Well, what's the Landrieu bill?  What is the Landrieu plan?"  Mary Landrieu, Louisiana.  Here the high points of the plan.  Only individual plans prior to the start of Obamacare get grandfathered in.  They cannot accept any new members. 

The insurance companies have to condition these grandfathered plans until no subscriber renews, and that's different from the Obama plan because Obama is just letting you keep your plan for one more year.  Landrieu would let you keep it until there isn't anybody left in the plan.  It could be 10 years, could be two months, could be whatever, but it doesn't arbitrarily end any time soon.  The insurance companies would have to continue these grandfathered plans until no subscriber renews it. 

Currently covered individuals on newly grandfathered plans are still eligible for subsidies, meaning if you've been shafted and you gave up your plan and you wish you didn't have to, you can't get it back, but they're gonna pay you the difference -- i.e., buy you off.  They're gonna bribe you.  The annual renewal notices have to warn customers that these are lousy plans that they're being allowed to keep.  How about that? 

The federal government is mandating the insurance companies tell their customers that the plan the law is making them sell you is deficient.  This is absurd, it's outrageous, and it is in the Landrieu bill.  Get this.  "That the insurance companies can't blame any cancellation on Obamacare."  So that's the Landrieu plan.  Those are highlights.  The insurance companies cannot blame cancellation on Obamacare.  The annual renewal notices can't tell you why they're cancelling your plan.

Now, the Landrieu plan lets you keep your plan, but every year your plan you like and you get to keep gets renewed, the insurance companies have to warn you that the plan is not good.  So here's the point.  I don't know how to say this.  It's just pure politics.  There's nothing about your health care that they really care about here.  They just want your vote. They think that you like your plan, but they are hell-bent on telling you you're a fool for wanting to keep it, because it's substandard.

It doesn't have contraception in it! So if you want to keep it, you idiot, go ahead but we're gonna mandate the insurance companies tell you every year when it renews that it's a lousy plan.  I'm using my own verbiage here for what the Landrieu bill says.  They have to tell you it's a substandard plan. They have to tell you it's a deficient plan. They have to tell you there are better plans out there.  So they're gonna shame you outta your plan that you like, one way or the other. 

That's the point.  But the thing about the Landrieu bill is that there's no end to it. You get to keep your plan forever if you want, which again flies in the face on the other side of the street with Obamacare, which doesn't permit it!  This is gonna start a war with the insurance companies and the Democrat Party, and it should have three years ago.  The insurance company shoulda never bought into this, they shoulda never signed up on to it, but they saw the magic 30 million new customers and so forth.

They saw the lure of being close to power and so forth. But they should have seen that they were the targets all along.  Look at the Democrat Party enemies list:  Big Oil, Big Retail, Big Insurance, and all of a sudden the Democrats love 'em?  What a crock!  Anyway, that's the Landrieu plan.  Now, let's go to the wonder kid at the Washington Post, the young and super-smart Ezra Klein. (interruption) What are you...? (interruption) You don't like Ezra?  Well, Ezra's like... (interruption)  That's right.  He's 27 years old, but he knows it all.  He's right there with Nate Silver -- who left New York Times, by the way, so he's kind lost some cache. 

He went over to ESPN.  The liberals will think he's a traitor.  But Ezra, who started that JournoList, if you recall, he's the guy that started it, association of liberal journalists collaborating on news bias.  Anyway, he was one of the founders of it.  Ezra is really worried about all of this, and he's terribly concerned about the Landrieu bill. 

"The Affordable Care Act’s political position has deteriorated dramatically over the last week." This is Ezra's realization. "President Bill Clinton’s statement that the law should be reopened to ensure everyone who likes their health plans can keep them was a signal event. It gives congressional Democrats cover to begin breaking with the Obama administration." And he's right about that.  And why did Clinton do that? (Clinton impression) "I think the president ought to honor his commitment.  That's what I think.  And I'm one to talk.  I lied before the grand jury about Monica and the condom and the blue dress, but everybody understands that.  But I think he ought to honor his commitment."  And, of course, that's to set Hillary up, obviously. 

So point number two from old Ezra here is: "The most serious manifestation of that break is Sen. Mary Landrieu's 'Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act.'"  By the way, that's the name of the bill, the "Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act." So the title of the bill admits that Obama's been lying to people.  "It's co-sponsored not just by the usual moderate Democrats --" I maintain there aren't any of those, but Ezra thinks there are, "-- Landrieu and Dianne Feinstein and Mark Pryor and Kay Hagan," the glittering jewel from North Caroline. It also has Oregon liberal Jeff Merkley.

Now, the argument Landrieu is making on behalf of the bill will appeal to a lot of Senate Democrats.  She said, Landrieu did, on the Senate floor, "When we passed the Affordable Care Act, we did so with the intention that if you liked your health plan, you could keep it." What she's saying, "We believed Obama, too."  And she was one of 10 Democrats running all over the country promising people they could keep their plan if they liked it. 

So she's on the floor of the Senate, she said, "When we passed the Affordable Care Act, we did so with the intention that if you liked your health plan, you could keep it."  They are trying to say, in a disguised way, that they, too, believed Obama and got hoodwinked.  And it's totally gutless because they knew, folks, every Democrat who voted for Obamacare knew you were not gonna be able to keep your plan.  They knew it.  You were never going to be able to keep it. 

Number four.  "The bill Landrieu is offering could really harm the law. It would mean millions of people who would've left the individual insurance market and gone to the exchanges will stay right where they are."  And that's true.  You keep your plan, you don't go to the exchange.  So even if they fix the website, nobody's gonna go there.  That's not good for the law.  Assuming that the people who hold on to the plans they like are younger and healthier and richer, Obamacare's premiums will rise.  Why?  Because the younger, healthier, richer will keep the plan they like, because it's cheaper than going to the exchange and having their premium double and their deductible triple. 

So what that means for those of you who don't keep your plans and who have to go to the exchange, your premiums are going to skyrocket even more than they are now.  And this is why the Democrats are is concerned that the Landrieu bill is gonna ultimately harm Obamacare at large while it serves this mix of people that get to keep their plan who had it taken away from 'em. 

"Put simply, the Landrieu bill solves one of Obamacare's political problems at the cost of worsening its most serious policy problem: Adverse selection. Right now, the difficulty of signing up is deterring all but the most grimly determined enrollees. The most determined enrollees are, by and large, sicker and older."  The elderly and the sick are the ones beating down the doors of the website trying to figure it out and sign up.  And that is leading to an older, sicker, riskier, more expensive pool of customers.  The people signing up for Obamacare, even though it isn't very many, are the last people an insurance company would normally ensure.  And this again means that everybody else's premiums are going to skyrocket because of the Landrieu bill. 

"Landrieu's bill will lead to a sicker, older risk pool. Obamacare has provisions meant to stop an out-of-control death spiral, but higher premiums are a real danger. ... How much will premiums rise if Landrieu's bill passes? No one knows."  But it's gonna massive, folks.  And because of all this, "Insurers would also freak out. 'Some insurers would end up pulling out [of the exchanges] for 2014 because they would say their premiums are now inadequate, and the rules have changed,' said Larry Levitt, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. They'd be right, of course."  This is why I said earlier if you keep your plan that your premiums are gonna skyrocket, because it is such a shock to the insurance companies who have been planning for three years to cancel you and replace you with something else that complies with the law. 

Now they have to accommodate you for another year and the thought is that that, in combination with Landrieu, will force some insurers just to pull out of the exchanges because they can't insure the old and the sick.  It doesn't make any sense to do it, and that would require another Obamacare mandate to come in there waving the dictator magic wand and telling them they have to.  Nor is it clear, if the Landrieu bill passes, that that's the end of it. ... Once Congress reopens Obamacare," and that's what this does, where does it stop?  This is like reopening Social Security or reopening the Constitution.  Once you do that, it could be a disaster.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Now, one more thing about this Landrieu bill.  And again, I don't know what the status of the Upton bill is.  But I still maintain, despite push-back from the GOP, the Upton bill's a trap, because it allows the Landrieu bill to become the law of the land.  The Republicans don't want their fingerprints on this, I don't think.  Anyway, Mary Landrieu, ladies and gentlemen, is trying her own version of the Limbaugh Theorem.  Mary Landrieu voted for all of this!  She voted for Obamacare.  Mary Landrieu knew that people were going to lose their current policies.  And now here comes Mary Landrieu, in the midst of a reelection campaign where she has lost her lead, all of a sudden acting like she didn't know. 

She's trying to ride in on this white horse and save everybody their plan, but she voted for this law. She voted against every effort to change this law before October 1st.  She is as phony as every other Democrat is on this, and I'm sorry if that sounds partisan.  I don't intend it to sound partisan; I'm telling you the truth.  Every Democrat who voted for this knew exactly what this bill contained, as did Obama.  Back in September of 2010 every Senate Democrat, including Mary Landrieu, voted to reject a plan that would have killed Obama administration regulations that now have resulted in the cancellation of insurance policies. 

Mike Enzi from Wyoming introduced a bill that would essentially kill Obama regulations that result in you losing your policy.  She and every Senate Democrat voted against that.  She had a chance back in 2010 to save your policy, every Democrat did, and she voted against it.  She voted for you losing your plan.  Now she's doing her own Limbaugh Theorem by coming here and saying, "Oh, my God, I didn't know that Obama was lying," and is trying to save the day.  She's as culpable as Obama on this. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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