RUSH: Gretchen in Long Beach, Mississippi. I’m glad you called. You’re on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hey. Hi, Rush. Listen my point is I’m a nurse — and from my experience, and I’ve worked in hospitals, and I know doctors’ offices. Besides technology, just setting that aside — and Americans love technology; I love it — health care is expensive because the government makes it expensive.
RUSH: That’s right.
CALLER: They are burdensome. If you go to any doctors office, any internist and see the amount of stuff — I don’t mean to say ‘stuff’ — training, paperwork, filing that just maybe one staff member that man’s or woman’s office has to contribute to Medicare or to Medicaid that are taking those cases, it’s outrageous. It’s a burdensome cost. It ties their hands. The overhead goes through the roof. That’s why doctors, some of them, started restricting their Medicare patients because they can’t afford to take it because it’s a loss. All Medicare patients are always a loss to any office, and a doctor’s office is a small business. They have to give their employees a raise. They are required — they are mandated — for continuing education for themselves and their staff, their nurses that they have.
These are all mandates. They also want to keep their employees, so they want to give their good employees a raise. Most small businesses, most doctors’ offices want to take good care of their employees. But when you’re constantly taking a loss over time, and you’re not getting any kind of a break or any kind of a nothing — and believe me, if you mess up on any of these documents, they will be there. Not only to go over your books, to go over your filing, you will have your fines and your penalties and everything else that you have to deal with the federal government. I mean, think of what happened in New York and in California a couple of times. Doctors absolutely just in some places were shutting down for the day, as a protest. But this is a major cost. You have bureaucrats who know nothing about health care, know nothing about medicine works, how nursing works, how physical therapy works, what needs to be done, telling people how to do things and it’s ridiculous.
RUSH: Exactly. Exactly, Gretchen. Because what’s going to happen here is people are just going to be become budget items. Your story about doctors refusing more and more to see Medicare patients is exactly illustrative of that and that is happening all over the place. Doctors are looking at patients as budget items. ‘I can’t afford to see this budget item. This budget item, I can’t afford it. This budget item isn’t going to pay me enough to compensate me to pay my employees so I’m going to opt out,’ and you talk about these bureaucrats and the way they look at this? It’s all just going to become budget items. The whole relationship that Americans have with their doctors and so forth is going to change forever under this. It’s going to become entirely impersonal. So it’s an excellent point that you make. I’m glad you called. I really appreciate your holding on, too. People have been very patient today.
Let’s pay attention to a little-known fact. Few of you heard of a bill that passed through the House of Representatives before they took their break this month. Very few of you heard about it. It’s called ‘The Waxman-Markey Climate Change Bill.’ It’s one of the Obama administration’s agenda items implementing a cap-and-trade limit on tens of thousands of businesses, if not more — and we learned today that the first major case of tax fraud in the European Union cap-and-trade program, these guys (laughing), they were fraudulently trading and reporting on their trades. They were not investing in the offsets, they were taking the money instead and buying lavish cars and vacations and so forth, it’s another disaster waiting to happen. If you believe in global warming, you believe that government should put a ‘cap’ on the amount of energy and emissions that each of them can produce. If businesses are very productive, profitable and want to grow, they have to trade for other people’s allowances of carbon credits under the cap-and-trade program — and sitting right there in the middle is Wall Street. Trades, like stock trades. Somebody’s going to get really rich trading all these carbon credits. (whispers) ‘Goldman Sachs! Ahem. Now, there is an energy cost on that expansion imposed by the government, has to be paid for by somebody and that somebody is you. The Heritage Foundation is the one organization I know and trust that has a full breakdown on just what the cap-and-trade bill is going to cost all of us. As I have continued to urge you: Support the Heritage Foundation and their work by becoming a member for as little as $25 a year. A lot of members give more than that after a while because they so appreciate what the Heritage Foundation thinkers do, and they want them to keep thinking out there. You, too, can immediately benefit from all of the research that they provide as legislation moves through Washington. You’ll never be in the dark.
RUSH: Jonathan in Peoria, Illinois, thank you for calling. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi Rushie, all right. Good to talk to you. Quick question, since there’s not much time left. If we pay for our health care ourselves, would it bring costs down?
RUSH: Yeah. It would. If you get some other players out of the game, yeah, of course.
CALLER: What do you mean by other players? I’m sorry.
RUSH: Government. Get the government out of it, get the government, their stupid regulations, get the government out of Medicare. Look, the only way that cost price ratios make sense is based on the consumer’s ability to pay. There has to be a direct relationship between the customer and the business at the surface.
CALLER: Okay. I just broke my wrist and it’s costing me $6,000. I can’t afford that.
RUSH: Well, you shouldn’t have broken your wrist.
CALLER: (laughing) That’s true.
RUSH: You know why it costs $6,000? Because you technically aren’t paying for it. An insurance policy is paying for it backed up by some government insurance policy or what have you. Do you travel? Do you stay in hotels?
RUSH: All right, what if you checked into — I assume you got pretty good coverage here on your wrist, the surgeon was pretty good doing what he did —
CALLER: Yeah, but I can’t afford to pay for it.
RUSH: Well, imagine you walk into the nearest Radisson Hotel, and they say, ‘Okay, the room is $5,000 bucks tonight,’ and you say, ‘Okay, no problem, because I’ve got hotel insurance, my insurance company is going to pay for it.’ The reason that motels, hotels, airplane tickets, cars, whatever, cost what they cost is because they’re priced on the ability of the consumer to pay it. That’s not the case in health care and the only way to get costs down is to introduce genuine competition, and the way you do that is called a health savings account, and this is a very broad explanation of it, but the way the health savings account works is you take the money that you were already being taxed and the money that you were already being given by your employer, being paid by your employer to fund your health insurance, they give you that in the form of a voucher, and when you have a standard, ordinary procedure, you want to get a checkup, you go to the doctor that you trust the most, that charges the least, and you pay for it, and at the end of the year you get to keep whatever you haven’t spent on your health care. You incentivize people to go spend as little as they can for the best they can get, which is the standard operating procedure of American capitalism. And then when you have major catastrophic stuff, that’s what the insurance ought to be for.