RUSH: New Bern, North Carolina, Donna. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. It's an honor and a pleasure to speak with you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Long-time listener, first-time caller. Can you hear me okay?
RUSH: Well, I hear you fine.
CALLER: Okay, great. Listen, Rush, I wanted to get your opinion on something I've been thinking about, and that is, you know, under Obamacare, certain tests the doctors may want to order, they won't be able to. So I'm wondering how that's gonna impact malpractice suits. My suspicion is that they'll go up, maybe dramatically. And then, more importantly, how is that gonna affect the practice of medicine? Will more physicians decide to get out of medicine, paying exorbitant malpractice fees? I just want to get your thoughts on that. I haven't heard anybody talk about that.
RUSH: Well, your theory on the malpractice, let me see if I understand what your theory is. So Obamacare mandates less testing, we're gonna do fewer mammograms for women under 40 because the statistics say it's a waste of money and a waste of time.
RUSH: If the government's paying for it and the doctors are only gonna get reimbursed by the government and you go in and want a mammogram, and they say, "Sorry, I can't give you one, unless you're gonna pay for it yourself." You don't have the money to pay for it so there's no mammogram. And then, lo and behold, a lump is found later. Then the patient gets all mad and wants to sue the doctor for malpractice 'cause it could have been discovered but it wasn't because of, "Well, the government wouldn't let him test 'cause I didn't have the money," or whatever. And is that gonna lead patients to charge doctors with malpractice?
RUSH: You know, I suppose it could. As litigious as our society is it will cause rising malpractice. Doctors, I think in droves, are gonna be pulling out of this and trying to find alternate ways of staying in business without depending on government reimbursement. In fact, that is happening. I mean, these are things that I don't think you can avoid happening, once people lose control of their own health care, either to an insurance company or government or combination of the two, and once you just become thrown in with a statistic rather than being treated as an individual. The solution to this, of course, is if they won't do a mammogram because they won't pay for it, then pay for it yourself.
CALLER: Hm-hm. Right. Yeah.
RUSH: And then you might say, "Well, what if I don't have the money?" Well, it depends on what's important to you.
CALLER: Hm-hm. Right.
RUSH: But, you know, individual predictions of pitfalls are fairly easy to make in a generic sense. The more individualistic you get in the prediction it's problematic. But it's already started, this kind of stuff. It's already starting. There's no way medicines are gonna be improved. There's no way diagnostics are going to be improved. And it's really sad treatment isn't gonna be improved. I mean, everybody's just gonna be a number. And their number is gonna have whatever characteristics associated with the number. Are you overweight? Are you old? Is it gonna make any sense to spend money on treating you? All of these things are gonna become factors.
Again, I just want to take time to explain myself. If you're a new listener and you think, "Rush, this sounds so stupid," let me remind you that five years ago there was a prime time health care special from the White House broadcast on ABC, and an American citizen, a woman, participated, and she actually asked the president of the United States, who is not a doctor and is not her doctor, and never will be her doctor. In fact, he isn't involved in her life at all, and yet she had to ask the president if her mother, who is a hundred, would qualify for a pacemaker because she wasn't ready to die, she's got a great spirit, great will to live. I've told you this story countless times. I couldn't believe what I was watching.
That an American citizen is asking any president, not just Obama, any president (paraphrasing), "Well, what about my mom? Under your plan will my mom get a pacemaker?" And then the president said (paraphrasing), "No, we're not gonna factor things like spirit, will to live. Those are too nebulous. We can't do that." And he said there are gonna be a lot of circumstances where it's just gonna be better for everybody, maybe even your mom, to just take the pain pill and try to have as pain free remainder days as possible.
Folks, if you think that the premise of her question is kind of cockeyed, don't. This is where we're headed with this stuff. Do you believe that an American citizen is asking the president if her mother can get a pacemaker? Once we've gotten to that point, you want to talk about freedom and liberty, why should you have to ask the president whether your mom can get a pacemaker? It should it be up to you, your doctor, your mom, and if need to, your insurance company. What does a politician have to do with that? And so that's all I'm saying. You're not gonna be an individual. You're not even gonna be a human being.
You're gonna be a number, and you're gonna be a set of statistics, and it's gonna be a financial question, "Is it worth the money to keep you alive?" So, is it worth the money to give you a test? And your doctor's gonna say, "Look, I can't, the government says I can't give you a test. You're not showing the proper statistics that would indicate you're at risk here, so I'm not gonna give you a test." Now, whether that leads to malpractice, I don't know. I suppose that it could. It certainly is not gonna preclude you from trying, if that circumstance evolved and you actually wanted to sue malpractice, nothing could stop you. Whether you'd succeed or not is another thing entirely.