RUSH: ‘Health Care, a Lesson in Pain.’ I made this prediction to you yesterday. This is the New York Times. The author here, David Leonhardt. Apparently they’re struggling out there to find $90 billion a year to make Bam’s health care overhaul happen. Despite the fact that the industry bigwigs have promised $2 trillion in cost cuts that will never happen, by the way, over the next ten years, they somehow still need to find $90 billion. ‘Democrats have suggested that they are willing to play hardball and pass a bill without Republican support.’ Good, I hope they do. They don’t need Republican support for this. The worst thing the Republicans could do would be to sign on to nationalized health care, because nationalized health care is not about the money, folks. You have to understand this. Nationalized health care, single payer, government provided, whatever you want to call it, once that happens, then virtually every activity that you engage in can be controlled because they can say it relates to how much health costs the government’s going to have.
Your kids may not be able to use the swing set anymore, may be too dangerous. You may not be able to buy a TV that hangs on the wall because it might fall on your kid and break his head. I’m not making this up. They were talking about taxing sugars yesterday. If they get national health care, it is the entree to controlling every aspect of your life, because they will be able to say and attach every behavior to some health malady or health risk. So, anyway, ‘Arlen Specter, the senior Pennsylvania senator, became a Democrat, potentially adding one more vote. At the White House on Monday, lobbyists for doctors, insurers and other industry groups pledged to reduce the growth of medical spending. Yet none of these developments has removed the main hurdle to health care reform: the matter of the missing $90 billion. Providing health insurance to the roughly 50 million people without it will cost something like $120 billion a year. President Obama has proposed $60 billion or so in new revenue for this purpose — a ‘down payment,’ his advisers say. But Congress seems set to reject about half of the down payment (a plan to limit high-income families’ tax deductions for charitable giving and other such things). That makes for the $90 billion health care hole.’
Even the news yesterday was about $2 trillion in savings over ten years, two trillion in savings, somehow, after ensuring the country that we’re going to save two trillion over ten years, we’re hung up on 90 billion? And no one’s quite sure where to find it. What did I tell you yesterday? What did I say, Snerdley? What did I warn people about yesterday? Hm-hm. Hm-hm. Hm-hm. That’s right. I said they are going to find a way to tax your employer provided health care benefits, and, lo and behold, right here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers: ‘The experts at the round table — liberal and conservative — actually agreed to an impressive degree about the best way to fill the hole. They urged the senators to limit the tax deduction for employer-provided health insurance.’ I told you this yesterday, and it happened while I was predicting it. Now, this is not taxing you. That will come. This is not taxing you on your benefits as income. This is limiting what your employer can deduct as an expense, as it relates to your health care benefits. So that is going to add to the costs of doing business, which is going to eliminate some jobs, and it is going to cause the company, whatever its product or service is, to raise prices.
Now, this next ‘graph: ‘The deduction may seem a wonderful thing, but it isn’t. It benefits the wealthy more than anyone else. It encourages employers to overspend on health insurance, because $100 in untaxed medical benefits is more valuable to workers than $100 in taxed income. And, as Mr. Baucus said, the deduction has a certain Willie Sutton appeal.’ A Willie Sutton appeal, so they can go steal it! Go to where the money is. Health care benefits. This is this is just the first phase. And then get this: ‘The idea seems to be classic Obama: empirical, pragmatic, bipartisan. Unfortunately, it happens to be an idea that John McCain campaigned on last year and that Mr. Obama, sensing a political opening, blasted as a tax increase. … Mr. Obama’s economic advisers would be happy to see him reverse his position. But his political advisers remember that ad and know it could be used against him.’
So if they don’t do this, it leaves two ways to pay for an expansion of health insurance: raise taxes or cut health spending, and I guarantee you all three are going to happen. All three are going to happen. They’re gonna limit the deductibility of your business, health benefits provided to you, they’re going to raise taxes, and they’re going to cut health spending. They’ve already said they’re going to do all that by squeezing doctors, squeezing Big Pharmaceutical. ‘So over the short term, tax increases are probably necessary,’ concludes the Times, ‘though they have their own problems. Will the 85 percent of people with health insurance be willing to pay higher taxes for something approaching universal coverage?’ They’re not going to have a choice! There’s no way to stop anything Democrats in Congress want to do other than dispatching them in 2010.
RUSH: Jeannie in Huntington, Long Island. Great to have you. You’re up first today on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Free Republic dittos, Rush. We love you.
RUSH: Thank you. I love you, too. Thank you very much.
CALLER: Oh, thank you. Thank you so much for taking my call.
RUSH: Yes, ma’am.
CALLER: But I just want, in regards to the health care, it seems like the administration is trying to make it almost impossible for employers and employees to have private health care, and therefore forcing us on the government teat, and how do we fight against that? If I can’t afford it, how do I keep my private health care?
RUSH: Yeah, I know. I don’t know what you can do. Businesses are caving left and right. I don’t care whether the health care business, I don’t care whether the car companies, the banks, they’re caving left and right, out of abject fear.
CALLER: But I have no fear. What do I do?
RUSH: In addition to fear, there is — Well, you have no fear. Do you run a business?
CALLER: No. I work for a small business, and we all have that fear —
RUSH: Well, the odds are that your business is eager to off-load your health plan to the government.
CALLER: My boss is not. We talk about this every day.
RUSH: Well, good.
CALLER: He is as afraid as I am.
RUSH: They are saying that we’re going to be like Spain, that there will be an option for private insurance. But I guarantee you, they may be saying that at certain levels of the Democrat Party, but it’s not what they want. They want the control of single payer national health insurance. I’ll tell you, what you can do about it is 2010. What you can do about it is throw as many Democrats out of Congress as possible. What we can do is overhaul Congress. That’s the first chance we’re going to have to do anything about this is overhaul Congress. That’s what you can do about it.
CALLER: And what do we do in the meantime up until 2010?
RUSH: You raise hell. You raise hell with people.
CALLER: So I continue to be the racist tea bagger, quote, unquote, that, you know, I’ve been talked about in the news media, we just continue that. I know we have Memorial Day; we have Independence Day coming up.
RUSH: Wait a second, wait, wait just a second. For those of you in Rio Linda and Port St. Lucie, she’s talking about the Fourth of July. There are a couple governors trying to get these tea parties going again, try to tap into the grassroots on the Fourth of July. But, look, they don’t think of you that way individually, Jeannie. They think of you, they’re typecasting you. They’re stereotyping you because you’re a member of the group. You know, don’t call ’em up and say, ‘Hey, I’m a tea bagger and I demand this.’ Well, really don’t say you’re a tea bagger. You can call CNN and say you’re a tea bagger but don’t call your congressman and say you’re a tea bagger. Just don’t even identify — you’re just a citizen. Look, there’s another just absurd story in the Stack of Stuff today in the New York Times. Jeannie, thanks for the phone call. ‘Recession Drains Social Security and Medicare.’
What this is all about is that they’ve done some studies, and, lo and behold, Medicare’s broke in, what, seven or eight years, and Social Security a year sooner than they even thought last year, and while these two government programs are the direct responsibility of Obama, he is doing nothing to fix this. He’s worried about the car companies. He’s taking over the private sector while existing government programs are in the process of going bankrupt. Medicare is going to be out of money very, very soon. We’re very close to the point where Medicare expenses will exceed Medicare tax revenue, and yet they want to model national health care on Medicare. They claim they’re going to lower costs. None of this can possibly happen. But they’re saying recession drains Social Security and Medicare.
Medicare goes bust in eight years, we want to expand government health care programs and model them after Medicare? Geithner in this story says we need to control the growth in expenditures. The dirty little secret is Medicare and Social Security were going broke before the recession. They are trying to say that they were fine. Harry Reid, you know, when Bush back in 2005 was trying to use some political capital to reform Social Security, Harry Reid and other Democrats, ‘There’s nothing wrong with it, Social Security is fine for decades in the future. This war is won. We don’t have to worry about Medicare, Social Security, all fine,’ lying through his teeth as Democrats do. It’s in big trouble, and now they’re trying to, again, absolve themselves of any responsibility by blaming the recession. These programs were doomed long before the recession hit. But here’s the New York Times dutifully going along with the template and the story line demanded by the Obama administration.