RUSH: Joe in Norfolk, Virginia, hello, and welcome to the EIB Network.
CALLER: Yeah, how you doing, Rush?
RUSH: Never better, sir.
CALLER: Good. Hey, I seem to keep on missing the tail end of the conversation about the health care for the children that the Democrats are trying to propose and they’re trying to pass, but I did hear a couple things last week and I wish I coulda got through when I originally heard you talk about them. I think it was you that had mentioned about people not having health insurance and you were kind of talking about that, and I guess that as a Republican, which I am, I guess we’re supposed to not support this Democratic…um, process here, but I have a question for you, and I want to see where I fit into this category and I want to see if when you were kind of — maybe were generalizing all people, and I want to see how I fit, because I make about $50,000 a year. My health insurance right now is 60-40. My boss pays 60% and I pay 40%. It’s well over $900. I work a full-time job plus a part-time job. I mean, I’m working pretty hard out there, and I just need to know exactly what would be so bad — and like I said, I’m really not too sure what the deal is, so if you can clarify that, but I kind of feel like that if I can get some kind of fee subsidized from the government, I would be more than happy to pay, because if my —
RUSH: I’m sure you would. Let me ask you a pointed question.
RUSH: Why do you want me and my broadcast engineer and my call screener to pay for your health insurance?
CALLER: I don’t.
RUSH: Yes, well, you are. What do you think funds the government?
CALLER: Well, that’s what I want you to clarify. What I’m trying to say is, we pay for other things — and that’s a good question, and I’m not disagreeing with you.
RUSH: We have a learning opportunity here, is what we have. This is a ‘teachable moment,’ as they used to say in classrooms.
CALLER: Yeah, and I want a teachable moment because right now I’m paying for it, but I will say this, though, Rush, and you may disagree with me. If my employer wasn’t paying 60%, you had made the comment about people not having insurance at all. It would be — and I’m being from the bottom of my heart, it would be — really tough for me to make that payment, and if you — I don’t know how other people spend their money.
RUSH: People face these questions throughout your life. It would be really tough if you had a car that you couldn’t afford. It would be really tough. You know, people have to make priorities. You have to establish priorities. If health care is the most important thing to you, then you gotta do — wherever you are now, you’ve got to do — with less somewhere else. You’re asking your neighbors to subsidize your insurance for health care. This program that you’re talking about, the SCHIP program (that’s SCHIP with a P) is a stealth maneuver by the Democrats to take us further down the road to nationalized, socialized medicine, which will be an abject failure. It will not be ‘free.’ You may not be paying for it yourself, but you’ll also suffer in the kind of coverage that you get, and treatment that you get. But that’s beside the point, the intricacies of the program. Do you think it’s right that a health insurance program for ‘the children’ includes children under the age of 25? Do you think that it matters that a family of four earning $82,000 a year qualifies as a ‘poverty-stricken family’ so that their kids can get health insurance? Who’s paying for this? You’re asking your neighbors to pay for this. You obviously don’t see it that way, but that’s how you’ve got to start looking at it. What if we all started doing that? Sadly, way too many of us are already doing that. Your need and your fear have combined to make you susceptible to the notion that the Democrats are peddling something to you that doesn’t cost any of your neighbors any money, and it does because they’re the ones who are going to be paying for it for you.
RUSH: We had a phone call at the end of the last hour, and the guy said, ‘I make $50,000, I work two jobs, my employer pays 60% of my health care, I pay 40%. But I like the SCHIP program here, Rush, because if somebody wants to come along, the government, and pay for my health care, I’ll take it.’ I said, ‘The government’s not paying for it, why are you asking me to?’ ‘Well, I’m not.’ ‘You are. Why are you asking me call screener? ‘I’m not.’ ‘You are. Why are you asking me broadcast engineer to pay for it?’ ‘I’m not.’ You are when you ask the government to pay for it. ‘Well, it’s a subsidy I could use.’ Well get rid of the 15 color TVs you might have and whatever it is and get down to one. Try an outdoor antenna instead of cable, whatever you have to do here, priorities are priorities. Where is it written that people that do get help from the taxpayers never ever say thanks. The Medicare bunch, every year they demand more. It’s no different than if you walk down the neighborhood where you live and start banging on the front door, and say, ‘Hey, my kids need health care. I need some of your money.’ It’s the same thing.
Now, the Democrats, ‘defying President Bush who promises to veto this, voted decisively yesterday to expand this program,’ the SCHIP with a P program, ‘a popular,’ it says here, ‘health insurance program for children of the working poor. They have more than doubled tobacco taxes to pay for it.’ This is a middle class entitlement. This is not simply restricted to insuring the children of the poor. ‘Senators of both parties banded together in the 68-31 vote to support the program, which currently insures about 6 million children. Eighteen Republicans joined 48 Democrats and two independents voting for the legislation.’ Now, they gotta go to the House, they gotta conference this. ‘If congressional negotiators can strike a bipartisan deal, some senior Republicans suggest the White House may have to back down on its veto threat.’ But the White House says, we’re not going to back down on the veto threat, both these versions are too expensive and would expand benefits to the middle class. This is by design. This is. This is not even stealth anymore. This is right out in the open.
This is an incremental addition to the number of people getting health insurance paid for by their neighbors on the way to the eventual universal health care that the Democratic presidential candidates are all promising to accomplish and achieve. I’m blue in the face. A family of four can earn up to $82 grand and qualify as a poor family to get health insurance for your child. I’m not making this up. The age of a child in this bill is 25 years old. So you can have a family of four with a 24-year-old dad, a 22-year-old mom and a kid or two, and the four of them would qualify as children! Under the SCHIP program. With a P. Now, they say that the program’s been very successful because ‘before the program of ten years was inaugurated 23% of the American children had no health insurance, that has dropped to about 16%, but an estimated…’ they don’t know. It’s a wild guess ‘…eight million to nine million children remain uninsured. Experts say most are eligible for federal programs and remain uninsured because some parents don’t know such help is available.’ Now, the Urban Institute, which is a liberal think tank out there, says that it’s 1.1 million children who are eligible and are uninsured, 1.1 million children of the poor.