RUSH: Samuel from Canberra, Australia. He’s a subscriber at Rush 24/7 listening on the web stream. Sam, it’s great to have you on the program. I think you may be the second person, maybe the third from Australia that we’ve had on the air.
CALLER: Well, it’s an honor to talk to you, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I’m just calling about the term ‘bundling.’ It seems very similar to me to the Medicare bulk billing scheme that we have down here in Australia which has just really turned into a bit of a failure. It’s got lots of convoluted paperwork. Basically the way it works, you take your Medicaid card with you to the doctor or wherever you’re going, you swap your Medicare card and through some very convoluted government process the doctor then gets paid, but they get paid once every few months in a bulk payment. To make this worse, the payments don’t keep up with the cost of living, so, you know, doctors have to do convoluted paperwork, the payments aren’t worth it, they only come through every few months and they have all these bureaucrats scrutinizing every transaction so they stopped using it. Most doctors down here will not bulk bill now forcing patients to pay on the spot with cash or credit card or whatever.
RUSH: Well, that’s the greatest health care reform we could ever have, people paying for it.
CALLER: Oh, yeah.
RUSH: People paying for it, whoa, a novel idea.
CALLER: The thing is, though, you then take your invoice from a doctor to a government Medicare office and you can stand in line for an hour or so and then they’ll fill out more paperwork and give you some of your money back. It’s taken us over 30 years to get to this point from when Medicare was introduced.
CALLER: People complain about the public health system to no end down here, but yet people are so dependent on it.
RUSH: You know, this is the thing, Samuel. This is just a little microcosm. Wherever in the world, in all of world history, socialism, liberalism has been tried with unchecked power, it has never worked. It’s never, ever worked. Somehow, though —
RUSH: — people buy the promise, they buy the good intention idea, they somehow deny their own experiences with this stuff not working. I know it’s a lot more complicated than that as to how the left has gotten away with it, but could you say with any knowledge that more and more doctors are refusing to treat Australian Medicare patients?
CALLER: I wouldn’t say they’re refusing to treat.
RUSH: Well, they’re opting out of the Medicare system there, they treat the patients but they’re demanding cash on the spot —
RUSH: — or some other form of payment. That’s happening more and more?
CALLER: Yes, it is. It is.
RUSH: And of course that only leaves the people who can’t afford to opt out, and they’re the ones getting the shaft. I’m glad you called here. A good friend of mine, a man well known to this audience, Professor Hazlett, is in Australia. He’s there with his wife and his girls and he’s on vacation of sorts, and he sent me the following story last night from Australia’s ABC News, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. It is hilarious.
CALLER: That’s our version of the State-Run Media.
RUSH: Yeah, of course. Now, let me summarize this before reading it to you. What happened was this. The Wilderness Society went over and were throwing a big party at the Fox studios in Australia. The Wilderness Society is a bunch of environmentalist wackos. They threw a party to celebrate closing off certain natural areas, natural wildlife and just land areas that happened to be land where the aborigines live and do whatever it is they do. So the aborigines, their land was rendered useless by these elite, effete snobs in the environmental movement, and of course the aborigines don’t have anywhere near the income or the lifestyle of these Wilderness Society people. The aborigines rented some limousines and crashed the party that the Wilderness Society threw and they had a massive protest, and the Wilderness Society effete snobs were totally caught off guard, they had no clue that this was going to happen. This is funny in multiple dimensions. Here it is. Now, this was I guess your time —
CALLER: Well, it’s 2:39 a.m. here, if that helps.
RUSH: Yeah, so it was yesterday morning. It was in yesterday morning’s paper. ‘The Wilderness Society is used to conducting its own protests and street theatre, but the tables were turned last night when a group of Aboriginal activists from Cape York gate-crashed a fundraising party in Sydney. Two giant koalas led a group of Aboriginal people in chains through the entertainment district of Sydney’s Fox Studios. The Cape York Aborigines went to Sydney to protest about Queensland’s Wild Rivers legislation, which bans development within two kilometres of gazetted rivers. They blame the Wilderness Society for instigating the legislation, which they argue denies them the ability to use their land.’
So they showed up, they had these limousines, they had themselves in chains being led by koalas. And, of course, here you have these hoity-toity effete snobs with little their finger sandwiches and their Chablis and their Brie or whatever and they’re congratulating themselves with this marvelous environmental advancement, and here come native people who supposedly are the beneficiaries of all of this anti-development just ripping them to shreds. I think it’s so hilarious. It is absolutely wonderful. And I had the story later down in the stack but you happened to call so I thought I would take the occasion of your being from Australia to mention this to people.
CALLER: Yeah, well, it’s not just the aborigines who dislike the wilderness movement down here and are annoyed with all of their closing off various parks and things and stopping logging. They seem to just completely want to shut down the economy.
RUSH: Well, that’s exactly what’s happening here. And they’re succeeding. They are shutting down the US economy. I mean, even now, Samuel, even now it has been discovered that federal bureaucrats have been told to avoid places like Orlando and Las Vegas when they have to leave Washington for meetings. A casino just filed for bankruptcy in Las Vegas. Obama said the days of getting on your plane and flying to Vegas are over if you’re a corporate executive. The hospitality business in this country is suffering greatly, along with many others, ’cause the government says don’t go there, and others are afraid to.
CALLER: Hm. Well, one final comment, Rush. I hope that the US government follows Australian’s government lead and does not put in cap and trade. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Senator Steve Fielding down here who’s opposed to it, but he’s part of a growing movement against emission trade scams.
RUSH: Samuel, hang on. I have something on that in the stack. You are a gold mine today, Samuel. Hang on a minute. I didn’t make it a priority today, but it’s here and it’s a trick that Harry Reid has attempted to get card check passed without any debate whatsoever as part of the health care bill.
CALLER: That sounds about right.
RUSH: I’ve got it here somewhere and I’ll share it with you. But this is something they’re working on. It would be one of these things where they would put forth the amendment, the legislation, have no debate on it, do it on a Friday afternoon like they did the 300-page amendment to the first cap and trade thing. So the Democrats are going to slither around to get card check done somehow with nobody knowing about it, because that’s in trouble, too. Everything in Obama’s agenda is in deep trouble. Anyway, Samuel, great to have you as a member of the audience at Rush 24/7. I’m glad that you called. Thanks much.
RUSH: Exeter, New Hampshire, this is Madeleine. Hi, Madeleine. It’s great to have you with us the EIB Network.
CALLER: Oh, thank you for taking my call. I’ve got tingly feelings going up and down my leg. Well, no, that was somebody else wasn’t it?
CALLER: I want to say, going back to what you discussed about doctors will be rated according to quality and not quality, what is to keep the doctor from saying, ‘Well, I want my ratings to stay up. My job’s in jeopardy. My position is in jeopardy. My reputation is in jeopardy. So I’m going to take the patients that have the highest prognosis, the best prognosis as opposed to those who have a lower prognosis.’
RUSH: That’s a great example because doctors are like anybody else. They’re self-preservationists, and they’re also Americans. And if they’ve got a president that’s trying to destroy them and their livelihood but they love what they do they’ll find ways around it. That’s really a great point. So the doctor would refuse to take the bad hard cases. That would be much easier for them to say you didn’t do quality work. So I’ll just take somebody doesn’t need a lot of treatment and take gold stars from Obama and the government will love me and leave me alone.