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Flashback: Obama Wanted to Charge Wounded Veterans for Treatment

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Ralph in Omaha.  Welcome to the program.  Hello.

CALLER:  Thanks, Rush.  It's a real honor to be speaking with you.  I'm calling because I find Obama's outrage over medical care for the veterans is more than a bit disingenuous.  I recall when he first was elected to office, that it was his thinking that since the military were all volunteers anyway, that they should be buying their own medical insurance.  And if this was his thinking then, I don't see it being changed now.

RUSH:  So you don't believe the president when he said yesterday that he was livid and outraged when he found out about all these delays and deaths at the VA and was gonna get to the bottom of it?

CALLER:  Not in the least.

RUSH:  I don't recall him saying when he was first elected to office that since military were volunteers, that they should be buying their own medical insurance.  I don't remember him saying that.  I'm not disputing you.  I'm just saying I don't remember it.

CALLER:  Right.  It was either on your program or on Fox that I heard this.  I can still see him saying it.  I seem to be the only one who can recall this, but I know it's there.

RUSH:  Let me dig deep 'cause we got some updated news on some of this stuff.  Ralph, I appreciate the call.  I know he wanted to get rid of TRICARE, but this blatant saying, "Hey, you military people, since you're volunteering anyway, get your own health insurance."  He heard it here.  Well, we'll search the archives and we'll see if that actually happened.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  So our first caller of the day, Ralph, is really upset.  He said he remembered me, or he thought it was me or Fox saying that when Obama was campaigning or first immaculated into office that he thought veterans, since they volunteer for service, should also pay their own health care. Ralph sounded like a smart guy, so I didn't reject it out of hand.

I didn't remember that at all, so we immediately began extensive research.  Ralph was right.  Obama pushed for soldiers to have to pay for TRICARE.  Obama wanted to get rid of it.  We had it at RushLimbaugh.com on March 17, 2009.  But the original story came from Military.com: "Senators Slam Plan for Wounded Vets to Use Private Insurance." 

The Dateline here is CNN, March 12, 2009.  So this is not during the campaign.  This is while Obama has... It is around the time of the stimulus, actually.  "Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama [Regime] is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance."

Now, I just have to interject here that if I forgot that, I expect that most everybody else did -- except the veterans who remembered hearing it or were affected by it or thought they might be affected by it. But it's impossible to keep track. You can't remember every assault on the traditions and institutions of this country that this Regime has made.  That's why RushLimbaugh.com is so valuable. 

I mean it. It is. RushLimbaugh.com, our website, is a veritable encyclopedia chronicling the seminal events in this country, combined with expert analysis and commentary by me.  It's a gold mine.  It's a subscriber-based website, obviously, but we also have a free side at RushLimbaugh.com, which features a lot of information itself.  But this is, once again, is a reminder, if I don't mind saying so.

I mean, folks, if I don't, who will say how worthwhile and valuable chronicling what happens every day on this program has been? That's what RushLimbaugh.com is.  It was a CNN story, March 12, 2009: "Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance," meaning their own.

"Lawmakers say they'd reject a proposal to make veterans pay for treatment of war wounds with private insurance. ... Asked about the proposal, Shinseki said it was under 'consideration.' 'A final decision hasn't been made yet,' he said." We, in fact, did talk about this.  The headline at RushLimbaugh.com is, "Outrage: Obama Plans to Charge Wounded Veterans for Treatment." 

March 17, 2009: "This next story is an absolute shocker." I'm reading from the website. This is a transcript from this program.  "This next story is an absolute shocker. Actually, it's a two-parter and it's all over the place. It's McClatchy, it's AP, the veterans groups have even put out a press release. 'The Obama administration is considering making veterans use private insurance to pay for treatment of combat and service-related injuries.

"The plan would be an about-face on what veterans believe is a long-standing pledge to pay for health care costs that result from their military service. But in a White House meeting Monday, veterans groups apparently failed to persuade President Obama to take the plan off the table." So Ralph was right. 

Now his point was (summarized), "I don't care what Obama said yesterday.  I don't believe him.  I don't believe he was mad.  I don't believe he cares and I don't believe he wants to get to the bottom of it, because Obama wants veterans to be paying for their own health care insurance and treatment on their own," and it turns out Ralph was right. 

On the same day, March 17, 2009, we had a story about how Michelle (My Belle) Obama went to Fort Bragg in North Carolina to begin her mission as the guardian of the military and their families, which she and Dr. Jill Biden have campaigned on ever since.  We see how far their concerns actually went.  Now, note the involvement here of Shinseki and CNN.  Shinseki, he is at the root of all of this. 

CNN had a story: "Senators Slam Plan for Wounded Vets to Use Private Insurance," and again, I just want to share this with you. It was March 12, 2009, CNN: "Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the [Regime] is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance."

Did you remember this, Snerdley?  (interruption)  I did not remember this happening, and we made a big deal of it back on March 17, 2009.  Now, the stimulus was also going on at the same time, and Obama was out saying rotten things about John Deere or Caterpillar, one of the two, until they fell in line on the stimulus.  It's impossible, without the documentation at RushLimbaugh.com, to remember every assault that this Regime has proposed. 

I... (interruption)  Yeah, it is.  It's a new assault every day.  So Ralph, our first caller, it turns out has a really great point.  By the way, here we go again.  "But, Rush! But, Rush! It was Shinseki.  Obama's name's not in the story!"  It says, "the Obama administration." Since when do presidents never get blamed for what goes on in their own administration?  This is the first time I can ever recall that happening. 

When Alberto Gonzales wanted to do anything it was always Bush wanted to do something.  Whenever any cabinet secretary acted, it was Bush. Rumsfeld? It was Bush.  When Cheney wanted to act, Cheney was Bush.  Bush was linked to everything that happened in his administration, but Obama is linked to nothing.  Obama is tied to literally nothing. I'm talking about in the eyes of low-information voters. 

I know the media doesn't tie him to it.  But, I mean, for crying out loud, whether the media does or not, when did it happen that the people of the country actually believed that the smartest president we've ever elected and the most competent...? I mean, this was the bill of goods we were sold!  The great uniter, The Messiah, all this great stuff.

How does that guy end up being totally ignorant in the eyes of the public in a positive way?  How does that happen?  We have to trust the polling data is accurate on this.  You go nuts telling yourself every poll is a lie or an exaggeration or untrue to one degree or another, so you can't approach it from that standpoint.  The polls are the polls. People are gonna believe 'em, anyway.

But even without the polls and even without the media, now we've got CBS touting this VA poll today that they don't blame Obama at all for the wait lists and for the 40 deaths.  They're blaming Shinseki.  I mean, how many people even heard of Shinseki before this week?  Remember Shinseki when John Kerry was ballyhooing and citing him as a uniformed opponent to the Bush war in Iraq?

That was many, many moons ago.  So it is a real curiosity, and it's one of these things -- it's another item -- that makes people wonder, "What the hell is happening to the people of this country?"  Or maybe this is more accurate: "What is it about Obama that for some reason, people just do not link him to anything that happens other than the good?" 

I know I've had my own theories.  "Well, Rush, I've told you it all boils down to intentions. He cares. People are thinking he wants to help people do the right thing and so forth," and I think there's certainly an element of truth in that.  Now, I think this applies here.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  This is Jones in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Hi.  Great to have you with us.

CALLER:  Hey, Rush. I'm Jones.  I've been listening to you since the Ross Perot days.  It's been a great 20 years.  You know, with this VA fiasco? (sigh) I would say that all these pundits are trying to frame up the administration as being incompetent and then they might go so far as to say they don't care.

But I just think it's a conscious decision to ignore this problem, and it's because this problem concerns a voting group that votes statistically as Republicans or conservatives.  I think that's backed up by the point, Rush, that Obama even said in his speech to a Latino group that he was talking to about one of their issues, left-wing issues. He said, "We're gonna reward our friends and punish our enemies." I just don't see...

I think that, you know, Obama will come out to the national stage and give speeches about how a single woman who's 30 years old in law school should get $5 worth of birth control every month but he can't come out six years into his presidency and say, "Our veterans are waiting six months for treatment and they're dying."  That shows me that he's caring about different groups of people based on their political leanings.

RUSH:  Based on their...? Well, of course. I'm not sure what your point is.

CALLER:  I think my point is that veterans and the military and any other group that doesn't statistically vote for Obama, he considers they're enemies.

RUSH:  Yeah, but the... Okay, so you think that Obama is purposely ignoring the vets and their health care because they didn't vote for him in the first place and so he's not going to spend a lot of time or effort on them; instead, he's gonna spend his time on the women who want birth control paid for by everybody else 'cause they vote for him?

CALLER:  Yes, yes, yes.  Yes, he purposely ignored them, because he already recognized it was a problem six years ago when he was campaigning for his administration.

RUSH:  Yeah, but as I said, look, one of the reasons... See, one of the reasons he had to ignore this is there's this thing called practicality.  He's out there trying to sell Obamacare.  He's trying. He's working hard on this.  He's not gonna get one Republican vote for it.  They're having to rewrite the rules. They're lying to people like Bart Stupak about abortion and any number of things

They're doing whatever they can do to get every Democrat to vote for this thing because not one Republican will.  Remember the Scott Brown race in Massachusetts. I mean, it was nip and tuck here, and Obama could not afford -- during this high-sell period for Obamacare -- for any of this VA scandal to come up because it would illustrate it.

It would just make it all that much harder to get Obamacare signed or passed before he could sign it, so they had to bury this VA story.  Now, you think they're burying it because Obama doesn't care about vets and this kind of thing.  I know what you're saying. "If you're in Republican and you're in line, you're gonna remain at the end of the line. 

"If you're Democrat, they'll move you to the front and take care of you," whatever it is.  But in this case, we had the news from CBS today. They've gone out and polled veterans.  Veterans are not blaming Obama for this, Jones. CBS made a big deal of it this morning.  They went out and they surveyed some veterans overnight about Obama's speech yesterday, and they're not blaming him. 

They're blaming Shinseki. 

There's no reason for Obama to be mad at the vets and so forth.  But here again, I remind you of something else that came up earlier in the program from Ralph. He remembered, and I didn't, that Obama in March of his first year in office, 2009, actually suggested that wounded veterans pay for their own medical care.  We had to get rid of TRICARE.

He wanted them to pay since they volunteered. Since they weren't drafted, since they volunteered, they should pay for their own health insurance for injuries and wounds incurred in battle.  I don't know that anybody remembers that.  Our caller did.  But I know your point is that Obama doesn't care about veterans and they won't vote for him. 

So because they're not gonna vote for him, he's not gonna devote a lot of time to them.  I don't deny that that factors into the way Obama does things.  I don't think that, so much, is what is going on here.  Remember, he's not on the ballot anymore, but the Democrat Party is.  Glenn in Fort Worth, Texas.  Great to have you.  Thank you for waiting.  You're on the EIB Network.  Hi.

CALLER:  Hi, Rush.  Thanks for taking my call.

RUSH:  You bet.

CALLER:  Thank you for your ears, and your voice. Your enthusiasm sounds a whole lot of better.  The reason why I'm calling is my dad retired from the army.  He was in the Battle of the Bulge, driving a tank. He was involved with the VA. I was there as a youngster, and he didn't get good treatment at all.  I've gone into the Air Force. I retired from the military now, and I have service-connected problems I'm dealing with, and I chose not to go to the VA for help. 

I used my insurance from the company and the TRICARE to go to civilian doctors that I knew and hospitals that I knew that would take care of me, and they did.  I did not trust the VA.  I saw a movie, Born on the Fourth of July with Tom Cruise, and that was a pretty bad movie to come out. It kind of put a real bad taste into a lot of people's mouths.  But, anyway, I wanted to let you know that I told my family, you know, if anything comes to where I cannot do anything, do not take me to a VA hospital.

RUSH:  And this has been a wish of yours for how long?

CALLER:  For as long as I have been married, which is over 38 years.

RUSH:  So is essentially you're saying what's going on in the VA here, there's nothing new here? It's always been someplace you'd rather not go if you didn't have to?

CALLER:  Yes.  It has been like you've been talking about. It is a culture. There's a lot of things going on in there. It's a bureaucracy, and you know the saying that it's good enough for government work? That is a saying that's been going on for a long time.

RUSH:  Well, you know, you were... I guess you were fortunate. It always comes down to this.  You were fortunate.  You didn't have to.  You apparently had means to go elsewhere, and some vets don't.  They're trapped and have to go there and have no choice.

END TRANSCRIPT

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