RUSH: Here’s Walter in Blairstown, New Jersey. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: TV dittos!
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: You’re welcome. I know something about health insurance because much of my adult life I’ve carried my own policy, and Obama is setting up this straw man — President Obama I should say is setting up this straw man — about ‘preexisting conditions.’ Preexisting conditions is not so much something you have as something you know you have. It’s something that has to be diagnosed previously or it’s something that a reasonable person would have to seek medical attention for. And President Obama is making it out that a person can be denied coverage. A person cannot be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions. Treatment can be denied for a period of time. But my son is disabled. He’s blind and he’s deaf. (ahem) I’m nervous, Rush. He’s blind. He’s deaf. He has a heart condition. He needs support in all areas of living. And last year, New Jersey canceled his Medicaid. So I called my insurance company, and I said — being a responsible person — I needed a policy for my son. So I explained to them that he’s disabled and that he takes a lot of medicine, but I was still able to buy coverage for him. And not only was I able to buy coverage for him, but because he had Medicaid going in there was nothing against his preexisting conditions.
RUSH: Right. Now, that’s an excellent point. And I’ll tell you something else. If you didn’t have that private option, you’d be SOL. You wouldn’t be able to get insurance for your kid from the government.
CALLER: And, Rush, they could not deny him coverage they can’t even charge him more. The charge is based on —
RUSH: Now, you’re going to have a lot of people out there like this. We’re gonna get a lot of calls from people who have preexisting condition limitations put on them that are going to disagree with what you’re saying. I just want to prepare you for that if we get some we’ll put ’em on because this is very strange what you’re saying to a lot of people who have been bitten by this preexisting condition rigmarole.
CALLER: I live in New Jersey. I’ve done this in New York, and I’ve done it in New Jersey. I can’t speak to all 50 states. His premium was exactly the same. They have a rate chart. It goes by the county you live in and it goes by your age.
RUSH: Now, here’s something else. There’s another point I want to make about this. Did you hear the description that Walter gave of his son? He’s disabled in practically every way you can be. He’s blind. He’s deaf. He has a heart problem of some sort. Now, that is the kind of condition for which we need reasonable insurance. We don’t need health insurance for people that go to the doctor for a sore throat. We don’t need 50 tests when you have a sore throat, or however many tests they give you. But it’s this kind of unusual, out-of-the-ordinary condition that ought to be the first that’s insured and take a lot of other people off the insurance rolls who could pay for this by themselves. And then you will lower premiums for everybody and you’ll cover the people who actually need it. Because this man with his son’s condition, there is no family that could afford the kind of medical bills that this young man’s going to require. That’s what you need catastrophic insurance for.
And it’s conditions like his, his kid’s, that are the hardest to ensure because everybody else is being insured for things and they have to draw the line. ‘Okay, you’ve got a preexisting condition here. Why should we insure this?’ Life expectancy, all that soft stuff. But if you lower the cost pressure, the price pressure on some of these other insurance policies that are not even necessary… Now, the insurance company might not like hearing me say this. They love the premiums. But still, when you talk about a responsible health care system, this is it. We don’t need insurance for nine people to make 2,600 visits to a single emergency room in six years. We don’t need health insurance for that. This is so out of whack. But this preexisting condition stuff… Look, I have preexisting conditions. We all do. I’m 58 years old. I’m able to get insurance. I have to have, every year, Key Man Insurance in order to do this program since I am it. If I go, so goes the show. So I have to get insurance for that. There’s a thriving business called Key Man. You would not believe the physical I have to take for this, and it shows up preexisting conditions. The premium is what it is. You go to get the best price you can. But the point is I can get it. It’s out there. I wonder what would happen to Key Man Insurance when the government’s running it, especially mine.
RUSH: Seana in Spring, Texas. Great to have you here in the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. I’m so excited to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I am a doctor in Texas, and I was listening to Barry’s speech and he says that doctors will be better off because if we don’t prices are going to skyrocket, premiums will go up and our practices will suffer. But if you listen to what he said, he said that a large part of this will be paid by reimbursements being based on outcomes and best practices, which means that if a patient doesn’t get a perfect outcome they’re just going to deny the claim. And this already happened —
RUSH: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. That’s bad enough.
RUSH: But who’s in charge of deciding the best outcome?
RUSH: Two people: the trial lawyers and Barack Obama.
CALLER: Hmm. Well, and I’ll give you an example, this already happened with Medicare. If you have a patient in the hospital, and she needs a catheter in her bladder for days at a time and she gets an infection from that catheter even though having it in was the standard of care, Medicare will deny the whole admission and not pay for anything if she gets an infection.
RUSH: How common are bladder infections with a catheter?
CALLER: All the time.
RUSH: Pretty common.
CALLER: Even if you get antibiotics and you do everything right and everything perfect it’s going to happen sometimes.
RUSH: The whole admittance, everything to do with it, can be denied?
CALLER: Yes. And that happens every day.
RUSH: So the doctor basically works from the hospital, in his office, works for nothing?
RUSH: And Obama says this is going to get worse if we don’t do his plan.
RUSH: Okay, cut to the chase. You’re a doctor, you heard Obama’s speech. Are you inspired?
CALLER: Absolutely not. Quite the contrary. I don’t believe anything he said about costs.
RUSH: Are you a member of the AMA?
RUSH: All right. You know about them, I’m sure.
CALLER: I do, but they’re a little too liberal for me.
RUSH: Well, it’s like the American Bar Association, just a bunch of commie bastards anymore. They are, they are, just a bunch of commie bastards anymore, leadership, American Bar Association, tort lawyers run the whole thing. If the AMA is a similar special interest group, all Obama has to do is promise the AMA some money. There’s all kinds of leverage he has with that group and then of course the Drive-Bys, the State-Run Media can go to the AMA, report whatever one person there says, and make the country think that’s the opinion of every doctor. So we’ll see how this shakes out. Thanks, Seana.
Dick in Northampton, Massachusetts, your turn. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. I think a good headline for that Flint story would be, ‘Destroy it and increase its value.’
RUSH: What’s the headline?
CALLER: That would be a good headline for the story: ‘Destroy something and increase its value.’
RUSH: Oh, I see what you mean, yeah, they want to bulldoze — if you’ve missed this, they want to bulldoze 40% of Flint because apparently 40% of the town has homes that are boarded up, foreclosed on, and so forth, so they want to bulldoze it and turn that land over to nature and downsize the city. I mean that’s just something I thought I never would see in America.
CALLER: Well, we had urban renewal back in the sixties, and there are cities that are still suffering from that.
RUSH: Yeah. Okay, it’s another form of urban renewal. And we know who got renewed, by the way.
RUSH: And they weren’t renewed.
CALLER: Well, the reason I called, Rush, was I’ve been thinking about the first chance that the electorate will have to put the brakes on the government, is of course the congressional elections in 2010.
CALLER: That’s right.
RUSH: And I was thinking, where could we get some candidates that would have name recognition and not too heavily identified with the party, would have the skills and everything, and I thought, how would it go to encourage disenfranchised car dealers of which there are five, an average of five in every congressional district, to run for Congress? They have the mailing list, local contacts, are known locally, people evidentially trust them if they’ve been customers of them.
RUSH: Yeah, but see, look, if a disenfranchised car dealer runs for office, how many voters are going to trust the sticker price of the vote?
CALLER: (laughing) Well, they have as good a chance as they have trusting the sticker price on the vote that they’re going to get otherwise.
RUSH: Look, I like your thinking. I like the fact that you are thinking, ’cause there are a lot of disgruntled, disenfranchised — their businesses have been taken away from them by Barack Obama, who doesn’t want to run the car business! He doesn’t want to run the banks. He doesn’t want to run health care. He’s got enough on his plate. He’s got Iran, he’s got Iraq, he’s got North Korea, he’s got Afghanistan. He doesn’t want to run all this stuff. But he doesn’t make any speeches about any of that other stuff. He runs around and makes sales pitch speeches on all this domestic stuff that he wants to control.
RUSH: Lincoln in New Orleans. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, great to talk with you. I just wanted to respond to a very perceptive comment you made regarding Obama quoting the AMA. Obama obviously is doing this as a public relations ploy to get them to sign on board to his version of health care reform.
CALLER: Now, what the public does not understand is that the AMA does not represent America’s physicians. The AMA, to put it kindly, has always been very, very supportive of politicians. The AMA has not been very supportive or very representative of doctors’ interests. Only about 25, maybe 30%, at most, of the nation’s physicians are members of the AMA. I’m a surgeon. I have not been an AMA member for 20 years. I think most of surgeons in this country are not AMA members. So it’s a very convenient way for Obama to go ahead, make a big PR splash in front of the convention there in Chicago, try and get the AMA to sign on board, and (unintelligible) to then extrapolate that to say the nation’s physicians support my health care plan, which is a huge, huge, huge leap of —
RUSH: Now, it’s like the AARP, it’s claiming to represent every seasoned citizen or the ABA claiming to represent every lawyer. My brother is a lawyer and I’ll guarantee you whatever the ABA says about judicial nominees, 90% of the time, my brother disagrees with. I think my brother is a member of the ABA, American Bar Association. I don’t know.
CALLER: That’s a pretty good analogy —
RUSH: The AMA is the same thing, huh?
CALLER: The AMA is the same thing. Doctors snicker at the AMA, and sure they have a core group of supporters but as far as the rank-and-file physician in America being a supporter of the AMA, or the AMA speaking for physicians, no way.
CALLER: Our problem is America’s physicians are a very, very diverse group of people, with diverse interests so it makes it very easily politically —
RUSH: I knew it.
CALLER: — to be divided and conquered.
RUSH: I knew it, I knew it. Obama goes out there and talks to a left wing group — like the union leadership — it’s like all union members are left-wing Democrats. They’re not. Anyway, there’s no question he’s going to say, ‘Yeah, the AMA supports my plan,’ thereby try to make everybody think all the doctors do, we’ve heard from you, we’ve heard from the woman doctor in Spring, Texas, said she’s not even a member of the AMA. Lincoln I appreciate the call. I really do.