RUSH: I mentioned earlier in the program that Ann Coulter's latest column is a really good piece on Obamacare. She went out and tried to comply with the law and get insurance, and it's a long column. I'm tempted to read the whole thing. There are not very many hosts who could read this from beginning to end and hold your attention. Because most people, when they read... Well, you know how most people read?
I'll show you on how most people sound when they read. You know this. You've got people in your family. They say, "Here, you've gotta hear this," and they read you something from the newspaper, and here's what it sounds like. (mumbling) "'I thought best plan for me a month ago after having doctors, hospital, package... Same plan that informed me my old plan was...' You guys, you see that!
"'But when I signed recently platinum sort of unfortunate because the only reason I want insurance, the only...'" That's how most people read. You say, "Come on, slow down, will you? I can't keep up with you!" Here's how you do it the way a professional would do it: "I've been thrown off my health insurance -- THANKS, OBAMACARE! -- and have spent hours and hours over the past month trying to figure out my options now that the Democrats have made my old plan, which I liked, 'illegal.'
"(I prefer to think of my plan as 'undocumented.')" A little slam there at amnesty. "Whom do I bill for the hours of work Obamacare forced me to perform? ... By now, Obama has issued 'waivers' from Obamacare to about 99% of the country. (Perhaps you've heard, there's a big midterm election this year.) As one of the few Americans not granted a waiver, I'm here to tell you: You have no idea what's coming, America.
"I thought I had figured out the best plan for me a month ago after having doctors and hospital administrators look at the packets of material I was sent by my old insurance company -- the same mailing that informed me my old plan was 'illegal' under Obamacare." So she was one of these people that wanted to keep her old plan, and Obama promised her she could 23 times but then took it away.
Then he reinstated it, but it's constitutional illegal, is the point. And the insurance companies don't want to take the risk. It's still illegal! What if Obama changes his mind tomorrow, and says, "You know what? I'm dropping that extension; it's back to being illegal," and he could very well do it. So everybody's in a state of limbo. Even those people who Obama told could keep their plans, and then lost them, and then Obama said, "You know what?
"You can get it back," the insurance companies had to go back and reinstate it. Nobody's really confident how long it's gonna last. So everybody is in a state of limbo. So then Ms. Coulter writes, "[W]hen I checked online recently, I discovered the premier plan -- the 'platinum,' low-deductible, astronomically expensive plan that might be accepted by an English-speaking doctor who didn't attend medical school in a Hawaiian shirt and board shorts -- does not include treatment at any decent hospitals."
"That's sort of unfortunate because THAT'S THE ONLY REASON I WANT INSURANCE! That's the only reason any sane homo sapien wants health insurance: To cover health care costs in the event of some catastrophic illness or accident... But my only options under the blue-chip plan were hospitals that also do shoe repair. I called Blue Cross directly to ask if its most expensive insurance plan covered the only hospital I'd ever go to in an emergency.
"Since that's all I wanted to know, that's what I asked. ... But -- as happens whenever you try to ascertain the most basic information about insurance under Obamacare -- the Blue Cross representative began hammering me with a battery of questions about myself. First my name. (Does that make a difference to what hospitals its plans cover?) Then my phone number.
"By the time he got to my address, I said, 'CAN YOU PLEASE JUST TELL ME IF ANY OF YOUR PLANS COVER XYZ HOSPITAL? I DON’T EVEN KNOW IF I WANT TO SIGN UP WITH YOU!' Finally, he admitted that Blue Cross’ most expensive individual insurance plan does not cover treatment at the hospitals I named. Their doctors are 'out of network.'
Now, you've heard us discuss this, and this is something some people are encountering as Ann Coulter did, but not nearly everyone has yet, and everybody's going to at some point. Here was the rest of the conversation with the Blue Cross rep verbatim.
ME: None of your plans cover out-of-network doctors?
BLUE CROSS: No.
ME: Why is it called “Premier Guided Access WITH OUT-OF-NETWORK PLAN”?
BLUE CROSS: Where did you see that?
ME: On Blue Cross’ own material describing its plans.
BLUE CROSS: Oh. I don’t know why it’s called that.
ME: None of your plans cover (the good hospital)?
BLUE CROSS: No.
ME: I don’t know who you are, but I have a very specific set of skills that will help me find you. And when I find you, I am going to kill you. (Click.)
She said every bit of that's true except the last line. She's really not gonna kill anybody. But it's a true conversation except the last sentence.
"I decided to approach it from the opposite direction and called one of the nation’s leading hospitals to ask which plans it accepted. The woman listed a series of plans, but she couldn’t tell me if I was eligible for any of them. For that, she said, I’d have to go to the Obamacare website.
"I went to 'healthcare.gov' and -- I guess I had heard this, but had blocked it from my memory like a rape victim unable to remember her attack -- you can’t even peek at the available plans until you’ve given the government reams of personal information about yourself."
And we've mentioned that, too. HealthCare.gov is a massive database collection. They want to know everything about you and before you can even get to the various plans and the prices and all the details, you've got to provide them with so much personal data that it's ridiculous.
She says, "How about letting me look at the merchandise first?" I can't imagine logging on to Amazon and giving them all of this data before I can go take a look at the cameras I might want to buy. "Inasmuch as the cost of health insurance under Obamacare is so high that it will generally make more sense just to pay for your own catastrophic health emergencies, I was not interested in telling Kathleen Sebelius everything about me in order to have the privilege of glancing at the government’s crappy plans.
"But that’s the only choice. As the Obamacare website directs: (1) Create an account. (Name, password.) (2) Tell us about yourself and your family. (Every single thing.) (3) Choose a health insurance plan. (That’s where you finally get to see the plans.)" after you have divulged every bit of personal information about you that they want. "I wonder if other consumer-oriented businesses will start demanding names, addresses, passwords and phone numbers before the customer is allowed to browse the merchandise.
"The main point of the Obamacare website is to encourage people other than me to get a government subsidy. There’s also a section helping you register to vote. You just can’t see the insurance plans. (Guess which one you need a government ID for?) With zero help from the Obamacare website, I eventually figured out that there was one lone insurance plan that would cover treatment at a reputable hospital. The downside is, no doctors take it.
"So my only two health insurance options -- and yours, too, as soon as the waivers expire, America! -- are: (1) a plan that no doctors take; or (2) a plan that no hospitals take. You either pay for all your doctor visits and tests yourself, or you pay for your cancer treatment yourself. And you pay through the nose in either case.
"That’s not insurance! It’s a huge transfer of wealth from people who work for a living to those who don’t, accomplished by forcing the workers to buy insurance that’s not insurance. Obamacare has made actual health insurance 'illegal.' It’s not 'insurance' when what I want to insure against isn’t covered, but paying for other people’s health care needs -- defined broadly -- is mandatory. It’s as if you wanted to buy a car, so you paid for a Toyota -- but then all you got was a 10-speed bike, with the rest of your purchase price going to buy cars, bikes and helmets for other people.
"Or, more precisely, it would be like having the option of car insurance that covers either collisions or liability, but not both. Your car insurance premium would be gargantuan, because most of it would go to buy insurance, gas and air fresheners for other people in the plan."
She goes on with this, but the basic point of all this is that you want a good doctor, you want a good hospital, you want a good insurance plan. It isn't possible to find all three in an affordable -- well, I mean, leave out "affordable." It may not, depending on what hospital you want to go to, doctors may not be in network, the hospital may not be. The insurance companies don't know what they're selling. They don't know what they can tell you. It's just an absolute disaster and a mess. I guess her further point is that 99% of the American people don't know this yet because they're all subject to some kind of waiver and what she has experienced, something most people won't experience, until it's too late, 'til it's after the next two elections.