RUSH: There's some real confusion over Obamacare. We talked about this a couple of days ago. I forget what our source was, but the individual mandate's been delayed. But some news organizations just discovered that overnight, late yesterday and into today, and their source for it's a Wall Street Journal editorial. The individual mandate has been delayed. However, there is some confusion. Even though the mandate that requires you to have health insurance has been delayed until 2016, some people say that they still plan on collecting the fines for not having insurance starting in 2015.
And then there's the added conflict of this, like I fit into this. I do not have health insurance. The mandate may not apply to me. I may still have to go out and get it. The mandate is open for interpretation. And the Regime did not announce this. They released it in a document dump on Friday. They're being very, very close to the vest on this. There was no announcement. There's just a technical report, a paragraph in a technical report, a document data dump, on Friday, or earlier this week, maybe, that mentions the individual mandate has been delayed 'til 2016. But, apparently, you can get around it. All you have to do is plead hardship. You don't have to prove it. You just have to plead it. But for people who don't have health insurance, they still may have to go get it. It's really confusing and up in the air. It's just another example of what an absolute disaster this is.
But forget all of those things. The primary funding mechanism for Obamacare was the individual mandate. And if you'll recall the chief justice of the Supreme Court actually rewrote the law to call the mandate a tax. Remember what his reasoning was? "I just don't think that it is the job of the Supreme Court to tell the Congress that what it has done is unconstitutional," or some such thing. So he changed the law himself to make it supposedly constitutional. The way he did it was to classify the mandate as a tax, claiming the federal government does have the power to levy a tax, but that they don't have the power to mandate that you buy anything. But if they can collect as a tax a penalty for you not having something, they can do it, he said.
Well, that was the primary funding mechanism. We've mentioned this I don't know how many times. The idea was that young, healthy people would go out and buy health insurance and not use it, and thereby not represent any cost. Their premiums were then gonna fund health care treatment for seasoned citizens and others who were sick. If the youths of America don't sign up -- and they're not -- then the whole thing is gutted. There's no money for it! It's not funded if they delay the mandate for two years. There is no Obamacare. This is the strangest thing. There really is no Obamacare, yet there is. I'm gonna try to sort all of this out as the program unfolds before your very eyes and ears.
You know, Obama -- we played the sound bite yesterday -- Obama goes on Spanish-language network during a public appearance at the Newseum, and he was asked, "You know, you got young people here, Mr. President, they can't afford $316 a month." "Well, they ought to look at their budget and see what they're paying for cable and the phone bill." Okay, on cool. So now people have been adding up the cable bill and the phone bill, and said, "You know what? It still doesn't equal a monthly premium for Obamacare, even if you get rid of both of them."
But what's Obama doing? The youths of America are his prime audience and he's telling them to go without The Daily Show. He's telling them to go without video streaming. When he tells them to get rid of their cell phone, that's like telling you and me to get rid of our TVs. When he tells them to get rid of their cable subscription, that's like telling them to start reading books and nothing else. They're not gonna do it.
Their cell phones are much more than just things to make phone calls with. And the cable bill, I mean, you're telling them they can't watch Zach Galifianakis anymore and Two Ferns? You're telling them they can't watch The Daily Show anymore, their primary source of news? You're telling them they can't watch whatever pop culture crap they watch?
The president is doing this. Somebody needs to tell these youths of America, he's not just telling you to get rid of your cable bill; he wants you to get your priorities straight. Get rid of your cable; get rid of your cell phone. Look at what you will not be able to do if you do that. And even if you get rid of both, you're still not gonna have the money to buy health insurance for a month. It's just an absolute mess, and it's a classic example, again, of what happens when the totally unqualified and arrogant assume they know better. They don't. There is nobody.
Oh, one other thing. While there is no question that the Regime has delayed the individual mandate, Sebelius is still out there on TV as recently as last night saying, "Oh, no, we haven't." I mean, the left hand doesn't know what the far-left hand is doing in this bunch, but they are massively arrogant and unqualified, in addition to being extreme, devout leftists. They're just blatantly incompetent, but don't know it.
They still think they're smarter than anybody else in any business. They know more about the space program than NASA. They know more about the health industry than any hospital or doctor or group. They know more about ammunition and guns than the NRA. They know more about everything than you do, and you put them in charge of things! And everything that they end up running falls apart one way or another and ends up being nothing but a mass of confusion.
Now, the Wall Street Journal editorial today, and there's an accompanying Fox News piece. There's a whole bunch of news organizations now weighing in on the mandate. The Wall Street Journal piece and the Fox News piece are reporting that the hardship exemption has been extended for two years for those who had their policies canceled. This is how confusing this is. At first blush, the individual mandate has been canceled for everybody.
But, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no! Only if you have been canceled is the mandate delayed for two years. The Wall Street Journal says that you don't have to prove it. So you can claim hardship, then you can access the delay and not have to have a policy. All you have to do is claim hardship. You do not have to prove anything. It's the honor system again when you claim that you are a hardship case.
You just tell them, "I'm sorry. I can't afford it. I can't find a policy that I can afford." Not that you had your policy canceled or that you're too poor. You can just declare it would be a hardship for you to buy Obamacare. That's what I'm gonna do. But there is a... (interruption) No. You're laughing in there, but there's a degree of misunderstanding or a lack of clarity. Like, I don't have insurance.
And the delaying implementation of the mandate may not apply to people who don't have and never have had insurance. We may have to go get it. It may only apply to people who had policies that were canceled. Or, on the other hand, if you claim hardship, if you just declare that it would be a hardship for you to buy Obamacare, you don't have to prove it. Just claim it happened. That's what it says. That's what the best, analysts say.
Okay, fine. That's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna see how far I get on that. It doesn't say "financial" hardship. It doesn't say that. It says just declare, "It would be a hardship for me. It would be a pain in the butt. I don't want to mess around with HealthCare.gov. I do not want a policy. I do not want any part of Obamacare." I'm gonna tell 'em it would be a hardship for me. "It's much easier for me to pay for my own than to go through you clowns. I don't want to do it. It's a hardship."
I'll see what happens.
The penalty for me is not insignificant. Let's just put it that way.
It's just a mess, folks. It's just a 100% total mess.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, legally or not, the president of the United States, through his Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, has unilaterally changed the Unaffordable Care Act, Obamacare, yet again. Very quietly the Regime has delayed the individual mandate until 2016. For those of you in Rio Linda, the individual mandate is the central part of Obamacare. It is the part that requires you to have health insurance.
The individual mandate mandates, requires, demands that you go buy a policy. However you must do it, HealthCare.gov, however you do it, you've got to do it. And you're doing it by mandate. It was going to provide the money for Obamacare to pay for the health care of others who couldn't afford it and the sick and the needy and the seasoned citizens. However, the Regime has determined that it's become a hardship to purchase an Obamacare policy. Their website doesn't work. They don't know, even after people have visited there, whether they're actually enrolled. People who are enrolled do not know if they actually are. There is no way of confirming that people who've paid have indeed paid.
It is an absolute mess. The whole thing is a hardship. Obamacare is a hardship. Now, as you will recall, the individual mandate was debated before the Supreme Court. It was said to be by many constitutional scholars unconstitutional because the Constitution specifically says in the Commerce Clause the federal government cannot make you buy anything. It really wasn't even arguable. Although the left wanted it; Obama wanted it; he's the first black president so we don't oppose it, we just don't because of race. So it ends up at the Supreme Court and the justices, a majority of the justices apparently agree that it's unconstitutional.
However, the chief justice then decided that it's not the role of the Supreme Court to deny a president and a Congress what they actually want. That declaring this unconstitutional would just be too monumental. So, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, actually rewrote a portion of Obamacare in his ruling, and he then said that the individual mandate was a tax. The penalty for not buying insurance was a tax, and the government can levy taxes any time, anywhere it wants. And so, Obamacare's individual mandate became a tax increase, and therefore constitutional. That is, if your current health policy did not meet the requirements dictated by Obama, you either purchased an Obamacare policy, or you paid a tax. This was to force everybody into Obamacare policies. Nobody wanted to pay the fine, although for the first three years it would be the smarter move.
Now, however, Obamacare's individual mandate has been declared a hardship by the people who told us that not having Obamacare was a hardship. Now, the problem with waiving the individual mandate is -- I mean, who was the beneficiary of this? If you were paying any attention when this all was going down, you might have noticed and you might have been a little curious about why in the world were the insurance companies supporting this? Don't they know that they are being targeted? Well, yes, eventually. But they wanted to make as big a score as they could until they were targeted, and they interpreted the individual mandate as the government delivering millions of new customers.
There were 30 million Americans that didn't have insurance who were now going to have to have it by law, and the insurance companies saw, "Wowie zowie, 30 million new customers, yes!" But now that the mandate has been delayed to 2016, who is it holding the bag? It is the insurance companies who now will not have enough customers, who will not be paying sufficient premiums to cover treatment for people who are sick, who have policies.
Now, if you want, let's revisit the purpose of the mandate. I have here from KaiserHealthNews.org from September 2013, question: "Why is there a mandate anyway?" Answer: "Obamacare was designed to extend insurance to nearly everybody, including those who have medical conditions that require expensive care and are denied coverage, i.e., preexisting conditions." (gasping) See? "But to pay for their care, insurance companies need to have a large enrollment of customers, especially young and healthy people who aren't going to be making any claims."
This is Kaiser Health News giving the answer here, basically saying, "Look, we are forced to cover people after they get sick. We can't afford that unless some suckers have to pay up here who are not going to be making claims. In other words, it's all income to us. Some 21-year-old stud's gotta pay 300 bucks a month. He's never gonna get sick, according to our tables, for a little while yet so he's not gonna cost anything. He's just pure income, and we'll use his money, this sap's money, to pay for these preexisting conditions that otherwise we wouldn't cover 'cause it makes no sense. But Obamacare is making us do it."
The mandate, in other words, was adopted to guarantee a broad base of customers. Another way of looking at this, the individual mandate was essential for command-and-control health insurance policies to be affordable. And they aren't affordable now, even after all of these supposed new customers and after the real smart people, government liberals, they're the ones that really know how to do things, after they've gotten in charge and started running it, nothing is affordable now. But without the mandate it's even worse because there isn't the money associated with all the new customers.
Healthy people, because the mandate has been delayed for two years now, healthy people can and will choose not to buy overpriced insurance policies. This will leave insurance companies forced to cover a larger pool of unhealthy people, without the money to do it. (interruption) You have a question? Well, prices are going to dramatically rise along with property taxes doubling in Chicago, which means people aren't gonna be able to afford it. And again the ultimate objective here is to wipe out private insurance. And here we are right on schedule.
If you promise health insurance companies all these new customers, you get them to sign on and support your law, and then all of a sudden you take those customers away from 'em and all of that income via policies that are not gonna sell, how they gonna stay in business? Because they have to cover people who are sick. They gotta pay for their care. But they don't have any offsetting income. So they have to raise prices on those who do have insurance. You see how this all works now, folks. Some people are looking at this as Obama's delaying this because the mandate will hurt Democrats at election time. That's true, but it's also gonna speed up the insolvency of insurance companies, which is the ultimate objective of Obamacare.
The ultimate objective of Obamacare is total control over as much of your life as they can. The food you eat, the cars you drive, the distances you travel, where you go, what you can buy, how much it's gonna cost. They're gonna control it all. And the faster they can get rid of private health insurance and make the government the only place you can turn to for insurance, the better. And how better to get rid of the private insurance market than to make it affordable for most people?
Now, the thing about this very confusing about what's really happened, because the delay of the individual mandate has not been announced. It has not been trumpeted. Nobody from the White House has strode to a microphone and announced it. In fact, Kathleen Sebelius is still denying it! Let's go to the audio sound bites. This is yesterday in Washington, the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the budget request that Obama submitted. Kevin Brady, Republican from Texas, asked Sebelius a question.
BRADY: Are you going to delay the mandate that individuals have to buy government-approved health care or pay a tax?
SEBELIUS: No, sir.
BRADY: Are you going to delay the open enrollment beyond March 31?
SEBELIUS: No, sir.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm holding here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers an editorial from the Wall Street Journal. Right there it is, and it's from two days ago, March the 11th. "Obamacare's Secret Mandate Exemption -- Obamacare's implementers continue to roam the battlefield and shoot their own wounded, and the latest casualty is the core of the Affordable Care Act -- the individual mandate.
"To wit, last week the administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty. This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice, and the Health and Human Services Department didn't think the details were worth discussing in a conference call, press materials or fact sheet.
"Instead, the mandate suspension was buried in an unrelated rule that was meant to preserve some health plans that don't comply with Obamacare benefit and redistribution mandates. Our sources only noticed the change this week. That seven-page technical bulletin includes a paragraph and footnote that casually mention that a rule in a separate December 2013 bulletin would be extended for two more years, until 2016.
"Lo and behold, it turns out this second rule, which was supposed to last for only a year, allows Americans whose coverage was cancelled to opt out of the mandate altogether." (Gasp!) So if your policy has been canceled, you do not have to go get a replacement until 2016. "In 2013, HHS decided that Obamacare's wave of policy terminations qualified as a 'hardship' that entitled people to a special type of coverage designed for people under age 30 or a mandate exemption.
"HHS originally defined and reserved hardship exemptions for the truly down and out such as battered women, the evicted and bankrupts." Now, are you having trouble keeping up with this? I ask that only because this is what this has all become, with these brilliant Wizards of Smart in charge of it. We've got a health care system that's impossible to translate. We have a health care system that makes it impossible for people to know whether they're in violation of the law or in compliance with the law.
We've got people being canceled left and right, scared to death. They do not have coverage, do not have treatment, don't know where to go, don't know whether they're paying a fine, don't know what they should do! And now they sneak in this exemption for people who've been canceled. "Hey, guess what? You know what? We're gonna relax the mandate until 2016 for you!" Well, what about people like me, who do not have insurance yet? Do I now also have an exemption?
Apparently not. Apparently I am still subject to the fine if I do not go get the policy, and so are you. If you haven't been canceled, then you are still subject to the mandate -- we think, because this is the next thing. Nobody really knows. They snuck this in, in a seven-page little document dump on Friday. Now, we mentioned last week how the Regime pushed the deadline for the cancellation of non-Obamacare policies, the mandate, after the 2016 election.
But the Journal has found two other rule changes that were buried in the same news. Now, the Wall Street Journal suggests... I'm not gonna happen read the whole thing, but you get to the bottom of their editorial, and the Journal suggests that the Democrats want to keep this latest waiver a secret until after the elections, except for their friends. It's another way to buy votes. This was not supposed to be discovered.
The Journal's theory is that we weren't supposed to know that the mandate for certain people has been canceled. They hoped to keep it a secret by telling people who've been canceled, "Guess what? You got a break!" So they would benefit from it politically but they weren't gonna tell anybody else. Only the people who've been harmed and would be mad at Democrats were gonna be exempt from the mandate.
But now the Journal has discovered it, and now everybody is trying to interpret, "What does this really mean for everybody?" Because it's very clear that this is a partisan move. The New York Post has an editorial about it. Betsy McCaughey says (paraphrased), "Wait just a second. How can you exempt the once ensured, people who have been canceled, but not those who've never had policies," like me? "I mean, that has a political shelf life of about 15 minutes," because once people like me found out that only the canceled are exempt, people like me are supposedly gonna raise hell.
RUSH: Okay. So, to summarize, in a nutshell, President Obama has extended -- very privately, he has extended -- for another two years the hardship waiver for people who had their insurance canceled. They put that in last year when the cancellations started hitting the fan. That already existed. What happened Friday was they extended it for two more years, a total of three now, that people who've been canceled do not have to go out and replace their policies.
It was supposed to be private so that only those people knew and would love the Democrats and vote for them. The Wall Street Journal says that a second change is now gonna allow anybody to claim a hardship waiver. This is how they interpret the rule that they read published by the government. A second change is gonna allow anybody to claim a hardship waiver because it no longer requires any kind of proof of hardship.
You can just claim hardship. You don't have to prove it. It's not economic. It can be any kind of hardship. All you have to do is claim it, not prove it, and you are supposedly going to be exempted from the mandate. All you have to do is claim that buying Obamacare would be a hardship, and you get your penalty waived for the next two years. That's what I'm gonna do. That's what I, El Rushbo, am gonna try.
So they found two things.
The hardship waivers for having your insurance canceled have been extended for two more years, a total of three. Another rule change allows people to claim a hardship waiver even if they haven't had their policy canceled, or even if they're not poor. All they have to do is claim it's a hardship. So theoretically, if the Journal is reading this right, everybody could claim that it is a hardship and take the exemption for the next two years. And if everybody does, then 80% or 90% of the funding for Obamacare has just gone away for two years.
It will have no money.
RUSH: Look, folks, don't misunderstand. I'm not patting myself on the back. It took me two hours of show prep to put all this together that I just explained to you in 20 minutes. The point here is, this is so convoluted. It is so complex. It lacks any common sense. There is no flow. There's not a central objective here that's been stated. That's the problem. The real objective of this they're not being honest about and so all of this is superfluous gobbledygook.
It is impossible for people to understand this or keep up with it, and all we're talking about is health care. Look at how unmanageable and incomprehensible these people have made it. It is so out of whack, ordinary people cannot possibly have the time or hope to figure it out. And it's so unnecessary. This is classic, what you get from professional agitators and bureaucrats and theoreticians who think they're arrogantly smarter than everybody else. They sit around the faculty lounge and they complain about everybody who's actually making things happen and making things work. They sit around and complain how stupid, how dumb they are, and how, if we were running it, how much better it'd be. And this is what we get.
I don't care what these people try to run, they bollix it up. In addition to their ideology being dangerous, they are totally unqualified and incompetent, combined with an arrogant condescension to everybody that just makes this untenable. They do not know what they're doing. So as it continues to unravel before their very eyes, their focus is not to fix it, but to try to hide from everybody how incompetent and unqualified they are. And they do that by gumming it up, making it even more complex, and then claiming you're not bright enough to figure it out, but just leave it to them and you'll be okay. They, in their own minds, are incapable of making a mistake, incapable.
To me this is just a crying shame what they've done to the health care system. It's the finest health care system the world had ever seen, and these people are in the process of destroying it and dismantling it, which they want to do, because they've got an end objective here that nobody would vote for if they knew what it was. I don't know. It really is disturbing, as an American, to see what these people are doing. And then when you know what their attitude about it is, just infuriates me even more.
Sebelius has now amended her statement from yesterday. So what I want to do, just to illustrate what I just said -- she doesn't have any idea what she's doing folks. She doesn't even know what this law says. She hasn't the slightest idea what's happening out there. She has no ability, none of them do, to put themselves in your shoes and imagine what this is like for you. 'Cause it's okay for them. They're not subject to any of this garbage. They're taken care of. Their health care plan doesn't have anywhere near this complexity. They go to the doctor, somebody pays for it; over with; that's it. They don't have to mess with any of this stuff they're putting the rest of us through. Again, Kevin Brady asking Sebelius a question yesterday, House Ways and Means Committee hearing.
BRADY: Are you going to delay the mandate that individuals have to buy government-approved health care or pay a tax?
SEBELIUS: No, sir.
BRADY: Are you going to delay the open enrollment beyond March 31st?
SEBELIUS: No, sir.
RUSH: You know, it's entirely possible she doesn't know what her own department released last Friday. She may well not know. Or she may know, March 31st, if you haven't had your plan canceled then you're gonna have to comply. My bet is, she doesn't know.
So let's move to this morning, House Appropriations Committee hearing on Obama's budget. Here is Jack Kingston, Republican, Georgia, talking to Sebelius. He says, "I don't understand the authority in which the [Regime] uses to waive certain requirements on mandates, and how many mandates have they waived, Ms. Sebelius?"
SEBELIUS: Nothing has been discarded in terms of the law. What we are doing with some of the features of the law in terms of having a transition most focused on people who have insurance coming into compliance with some of the new features of the plans, to gradually phase those in over a period of time.
RUSH: I defy anybody to understand what she just said, to explain it and how it relates to the question she was asked. She is just flying blind. She had no idea. "No, no, no, we're not changing the law. We're just tweaking some of the features." There aren't any features. A feature is something really cool and there's no features in this law. There are nothing but penalties and punitive behaviors in this law. There's no features. She doesn't know what she's doing. She doesn't know how to explain what's going on, and I'll tell you why. Because what they really have in store, they don't dare tell anybody. This thing wouldn't have even seen the light of day if they would have been really honest about what the purpose of this was when they first started talking about it, which is total control of the health care system.
If they'd have told you they're gonna be in charge of what you can eat, what you can't eat; if they would have told you that they wanted to make happen what is gonna happen, nobody would have wanted it. Well, nowhere near a majority. They can't be honest about it. So now, when this thing's falling apart and they're asked to explain it, their whole focus is to say whatever to make sure you don't find out what the real intention is. Do not doubt me.
RUSH: By the way, folks, just as a reminder: At the House hearing yesterday, Sebelius also claimed that the Regime does not even know how many people have paid their Obamacare premiums. They don't? I'm at a loss. I'm at a loss to describe what an absolute boondoggle disaster this is. Let me put it this way. If they had wanted to screw it up, they couldn't have done it this bad.
There are times on the golf course I hit shots I couldn't hit if I tried to. They're so bad, I couldn't do it if I tried. That's exactly what's happening here. These people are screwing up so bad, they couldn't do it if they were trying to. That's how incompetent they are. They don't even know how many people have paid? What the hell is the website for? You think Amazon doesn't know who's paid?