RUSH: Health care presented by the House yesterday, $1.3 trillion price tag. BS. There’s no way they can score the cost of this. Nobody knows. This is an abomination, this health care proposal and they want to ramrod this thing through by August. As I said yesterday, they want to do this before people figure out just how bad all of this is going to make this economy. And, by the way, Kathleen Sebelius is out there saying we can’t wait, it has to be done now, it’s a crisis, it’s an emergency. They tried this with TARP, they did it with stimulus, and now they’re doing it with this. It can’t wait. It’s got to be done now, $1.3 trillion. Heritage Foundation ran the numbers here. It’s a thousand-page bill, 1,018 pages, and the admitted price tag is $1.3 trillion. That comes out to $1.264 billion per page of the bill just as a comparative note. But wait ’til you hear some of the taxes on this, like the 5.4% surtax on millionaires, but there is a 1% surtax on — How many of you making $250 are adding up all the tax increases you already face? You face tax increases to pay for stimulus, you have tax increases coming for cap and trade, and now you have another tax increase coming on health care, and your Bush tax cuts expire at the end of next year, starting in 2011.
So you people at $250,000 and up, your effective tax rate by the time Obama gets through is going to be close to 45 to 50% by the time you add state taxes into it, and it has been proven economically, scientifically, that once combined tax rates hit 50%, people stop. They stop earning, they stop investing, they stop. Once the combined state and federal, payroll, once it goes 50% or over then you have a net negative return on all the money you’re taking out of the economy because people just at some point — (interruption) For the millionaires, for people over a million, the top marginal rate after health care, 45-point-something percent, state added on, they’re going to be 55 to 60% in some states, depending on what the state income tax rate is. I’m telling you, folks, that 45% is just with the health care tax. That doesn’t count the carbon tax, and it doesn’t count the stimulus taxes that are coming. It can’t happen. It cannot happen. There isn’t the money to pay for this.
Even the Washington Post is editorializing today. You cannot pay for all this from the rich. You just can’t do it. The money isn’t there. Now, if the Washington Post is editorializing that you can’t pay for any of this with the rich, it means they’ve reached their personal tipping points on paying taxes. It means that the millionaires that work there, that can tell the editorial writers what the hell to write — the editorial writers don’t make that much money; they pick ’em up from homeless shelter and take ’em back every day. But the executives look at this and say, ‘Whoa, baby, I am not, by the time DC gets through with me and I pay FICA and I pay Medicare and I’m losing the Bush tax cut, and then this on top of it, I’m over 50%,’ and then you look at 43% of the American people paying no income tax, it ain’t going to fly. But the Democrats are going to ram this through, going to try everything they can, and, remember, there’s nothing to stop them other than certain Democrats in both the House and the Senate seeing the light. And it isn’t going to happen in the House. The House may as well have satellite headquarters in Havana.
RUSH: Rose Garden at White House this afternoon during a break in the Sotomayor hearings, a little rev ’em up on health care out there.
OBAMA: If you like your doctor or health care provider, you can keep them.
RUSH: They won’t be around.
OBAMA: If you like your health care plan you can keep that, too.
RUSH: It won’t be around.
OBAMA: But here’s what else reform will mean for you, and this is for people who have health insurance. You will save money. If you lose your job, change your job, or start a new business you’ll still be able to find quality health insurance that you can afford.
RUSH: Note he didn’t say it’s portable. People that lose their jobs lose their health care and they want portability. His plan doesn’t have that, folks. If that’s your big deal he does not have portability in his plan. The point is the public option is going to wipe out everything in the private sector. You’re going to see businesses off-load their coverage to the public option. A lot of them are eager to do it even as we speak. So your doctor, your health care provider, you can keep ’em, your insurance. It may not be there. The odds are it won’t. And Tom Coburn, by the way, who has some ‘splaining to do, introduced an amendment yesterday that actually got some Democrat votes. It will never pass or see the light of day, but it was resolved that we will abandon our current health care plan for the public option. This is something that’s gaining steam. We urged you to do this two or three weeks ago. Call your congressman or your senator and say, ‘Hey, babe, are you going to give up your current plan for the public option you are mandating that we join, going to do that?’ They won’t. The elites will have their own plan set up as they do now, and it will not change.
RUSH: Memphis, Tennessee. Mark, welcome to the EIB Network, sir. It’s great to have you here.
CALLER: Hey, how you doing?
RUSH: Just fine.
CALLER: In this entire debate about health insurance — and let’s call it what it is — it’s not ‘access to universal health care,’ because we have that; it’s access to insurance — there’s a component of this that really hasn’t been talked about, and that’s the role of the insurance agent in the whole process. My understanding of the public plan is that the role of the agent will be either virtually eliminated or drastically reduced. The point being is that millions of Americans — business owners, individuals — depend on their agent to help them cipher through all this stuff. Agents are deemed to be an unnecessary cost, but in reality agents only represent about two-tenths of 1% of all health care spending.
RUSH: But it only stands to reason, Mark, doesn’t it that if eventually we have a single-payer system and the ‘payer’ is the government, that you’re not gonna need an agent? You’re just going to have to have some federal bureaucracy or a series of them that you’re going to have to deal with that will, in effect, take the place of the agent. But the problem is you’re not going to be able to pick and choose things. You’re going to be told what’s available. If you don’t like it, tough, because there won’t be anywhere else to be and there won’t be another company that offers a competing plan, eventually, and that’s the Obama intent. So you’re right. There won’t be any need for agents other than the people behind the counter at the DMV are ‘agents,’ and the people behind the counter at the post office are ‘agents.’
CALLER: To that extent you’re right, but it’s the sole reason why agents are taken out of the picture is because of the perceived cost, look, there’s going to be a toll-free number somewhere that people have to call. Those people have to get paid. And the bottom line is there’s not cost savings recognized when agents are taken out of the picture. In fact, my impression would be that costs would increase, because you’ve got to pay so many more people.
RUSH: Of course, costs are going to go up! The idea that costs are going to come down is absurd. There’s no such government entity where costs have come down. Even when they’ve shut them down the costs don’t end. Let me ask you a question about this insurance agent business. Are you one?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: Okay. Have you heard or read from the plan or heard Obama say that part of the cost savings is going to be eliminating health insurance agents?
CALLER: Well, in the public plan, from what I understand of it, the role of insurance agents is either going to be completely eliminated or it will be drastically curtailed.
RUSH: Well, yeah. By definition it has to.
CALLER: Right, and —
RUSH: The job that you do is going to be replaced by a government union worker behind the counter or on the other end of a telephone.
CALLER: You know, and the flip side to that is here in our organization, you know, we employ people to help us manage that part of our practice — and if that part of our practice goes away, it’s going to be very, very difficult.
RUSH: Here’s what you have to understand. I’m sure you know this. It’s two things. You are an insurance agent and therefore you work for an insurance company.
CALLER: Well, I’m independent, so I represent a number of companies.
RUSH: Okay, that’s even better. You’re an independent agent and you represent a number of insurance companies. The Obama Democrat tactic has been to demonize the insurance companies. So getting rid of your job and your companies and eliminating those costs is a sales technique. That’s why I asked you where you had heard this, because this is right out of the class-envy playbook. HMOs, all of the doctors, the insurance companies who decide who gets what treatment and who doesn’t, they’ve been demonized and villainized. The drug companies have, too. And that’s how Obama’s hoping to garner public support, by focusing public anger at people like you, and, ‘We’re going to get rid of these people! You won’t have to deal with these cheating, lying agents and cheating, lying companies. But if you like what you have you’ll certainly be able to keep it,’ but you won’t be able to keep it ’cause it won’t exist after a certain passage of time. There’s no private sector anything that can compete with the government when the government doesn’t have to make a profit.
CALLER: That’s true. Because if there’s losses, all they have to do is print more money to cover them. As I see it… You know, me being on here may sound a little bit self-serving, but I can tell you that the clients that I have that I’ve spoken to about this are adamant. And I’m not trying to pat myself on the back or pat the rest of the agents in the country on the back, but the clients that we have are adamant about being able to maintain our services as part of the health care model.
RUSH: I totally understand this. There are a lot of people who don’t want to give it up. In fact, most Americans, according to polling data, Mark, when they find out… We’re a compassionate country. The idea that everybody has insurance, oh, everybody loves that. That’s fair. It’s just. It’s right. When they find out what it’s going to cost them to give health insurance to everybody else and how it’s going to change their coverage, that’s when they drop off. That’s why Obama’s trying to ram this through by August before people actually get a handle on the life circumstances that are going to change dramatically for the worse when this stuff gets implemented. I have no doubt that they want you. If you represent several companies, you’re able to go out and get the best deal for your clients.
CALLER: That’s what we do on a daily basis.
RUSH: Right. Those days are going to end and that’s why you’re not going to be needed.
CALLER: Well, it’s unfortunate — and, you know, we would hope that business owners across the country would get in touch with their legislators and make sure that they are aware of the values that we bring to the table.
RUSH: Let me tell you something. There are people getting hold of people in Washington in record numbers. There are people making donations to various special interest groups trying to stop this. You’re just not hearing about it ’cause the State-Run Media is not focusing on the opposition to this.
CALLER: Actually today, over a thousand insurance and financial services representatives have descended upon Washington and are in meetings with their legislators today.
RUSH: Yeah. Well, I hope it —
CALLER: These are people that represent a number of different professional organizations.
RUSH: Yeah. Well, remember, you’re no different than Big Oil. You’re considered the enemy. You’re cheating people. You’re robbing people. That’s how the Democrats are portraying what you do. It’s a shame. That’s what people need to know about how this party works. You were close when you said this is not about health care, it’s about insurance. It’s not even about that. It’s about power. It’s about people in Washington. Once they get this they’ll be able to regulate every aspect of every human life in this country on the basis of the cost impact that behavior has on government health care costs and the idea we need to keep them down. So it’s hideous, it’s insidious, and I want to say one more thing to you. Never, ever be afraid to pat yourself on the back because if you don’t do it, who will?
CALLER: Well, fortunately we have a —
RUSH: If you’re proud of what you do, if you’re proud of what you do, be proud.
CALLER: I am and we have a very large client base that does that for us often enough.
RUSH: It ain’t bragging if you can do it.
CALLER: Well, after 20 years we like to think we’re pretty good at what we do.
RUSH: I’m sure you are, and I don’t doubt for a moment you’ve got satisfied clients. I appreciate the call, Mark. Thanks much. Hickory. I have been there. Rush to Excellence Tour in the first year or two of this program, a big furniture capital of North Carolina. Hickory, this is Jimmy. It’s great to have you on the program, sir, hello.
CALLER: Rush, I’m glad I was able to get on your show.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Yes. What I would like to talk about is, you know, they keep saying, ‘You know, it’s going to cost $1.5 trillion,’ and so forth, and —
RUSH: Oh, is it 1.5 now? It was 1.3 this morning.
RUSH: (snorts) 1.5? It’s going to be 2.2 minimum!
CALLER: Yeah. Well, what I don’t understand is they say that they’re gonna pay for part of it by these ‘savings’ from Medicare and Medicaid. Well, why don’t they do that savings already?
RUSH: There’s a problem there. There aren’t any savings in either program. They’re about as broke as everything else is on the entitlement side of things. Save money? The only way that they can save money here is to ration care, and they’re rationing it against the elderly. Grandma. Grandpa.
RUSH: And they’re going to say… Look, folks, I’m telling you the honest-to-God truth. You get the government and Obama and his people in charge of it, the only way they can save money — if they even really care about that — I don’t think they even care about that. They’re just saying what they do to get it passed. But if they do want to save money, the only way they can do it is to tell somebody close to life expectancy who’s got a disease: ‘Sorry, you’re going to die, anyway. It’s not worth the cost to save you. Take a pain pill.’ Obama as much as said so in a health care address recently. (interruption) Oh, yeah, yeah. If you have any complaints go to Justice Ginsburg.