RUSH: I’m going to spend some time on this health care business again today because there are two aspects of the health care bill that need to be hammered. They are the core of the health care bill. Five hundred billion dollars in Medicare cuts, even now while they’re talking about expanding Medicare down to age 55.
I’ve got a great piece here that is going to sum up where we are on this and what is wrong with this. This is one of the best pieces I’ve read in terms of taking the complex and making it understandable, synthesizing a bunch of gobbledygook, making it understandable for anybody who reads this. That’s coming up. The second core element is the $400 billion in tax increases. Those are the two things that will not come out of the bill. The amendment process the Republicans are going through right now is designed to expose elements of the health care bill and also it’s designed to identify the Democrats who are most likely to not vote for this thing. That is the strategery behind continually offering amendments. It’s interesting, Lieberman is not one of the people it was looked upon that we can count on because yesterday Reid, as you know, announced this great new plan where they got rid of the public option. That’s the only thing Lieberman objected to. Lieberman did not want the public option, but we’re going to end up having a public option, but what Reid did was give Lieberman a fig leaf to hide behind, ’cause the spin is, there’s no public option.
All throughout the news media today, stories, ‘Oh, no, the Democrats have had to give up the one thing that really mattered, they had to give up the public option,’ and they haven’t given it up, they’re just calling it something else, they are just going to rearrange how we all get to the public option, it’s all based on destroying the private sector insurance industry and leaving no choice, no alternative but the government to then step in. But with the template being that the public option’s gone, Lieberman can now get back in gear on the side of the Democrats. The two Democrats that are showing themselves to have problems here, they may not vote for the final bill, are Jim Webb in Virginia and Ben Nelson. Reid is not close to 60 votes no matter what the spin you read or hear or see is, he’s not close to the 60 votes and has in fact asked McConnell if he would agree to the Senate shutting down this weekend, wants the weekend off.
Now, remember, Harry Reid said just yesterday, or maybe it was the day before, 14,000 people lose their health care every day. We don’t have time to waste. And remember Senator Turban talked about when Obama came up to see him Sunday, he praised him, they’re working hard on weekends, it’s a very, very, very challenging job, they care so much about us that they work on the weekends. So Reid, after all that, asked for this weekend off to attend a fundraiser in Louisiana, where, by the way, Mary Landrieu just happens to be the senator from, one of the two. It’s a little over a thousand dollars a plate at this fundraiser. That’s why Dingy Harry wants the weekend off.
RUSH: Look at it this way. Government-run health care that mandates Americans pay for abortions combining two wedge issues for an unprecedented assault on liberty. This is a wedge issue wrapped in a wedge issue, combining the failed lessons of collectivism and Roe v. Wade. That’s a double whammy here, as I say, a wedge issue wrapped in a wedge issue. Nothing could be more divisive and destructive to the US than simultaneously imposing government-run health care and mandating we pay for all abortions.
RUSH: What the Democrats in the House and Senate are doing, r-e, health care, is guaranteeing a revolt. I don’t care where you look. Polling data from all walks of the polling universe shows a steadily larger number of people opposed to the health care plans in both the House and the Senate. It’s not just Rasmussen. Rasmussen’s considered to be a Republican pollster, so the State-Controlled Media pays no attention, but he’s right in the middle of them. All these other polls, the support and opposition are going in opposite directions at a rapid rate, and I’ll guarantee you that the people in Washington, Democrats, are worried because the bottom line is nobody is going to vote for it if the only people who want it are Democrats. I’m talking about the American people now, in polls. One analysis I saw just a moment ago said that if it has 40, 45% approval, then it will probably get enough Democrats to vote for it. Think of that. But if you get down into the thirties, it’s dead. If the numbers of people supporting it get down into the thirties, then it’s dead because then you’re getting into territory where only Democrats support it, not Republicans, not independents. And no Democrat is going to go willingly commit suicide politically at that stage. That’s just an analysis, we’ll see if it actually happens.
But I want to share with you a piece by Robert Tracinski. This is from Real Clear Politics. Robert Tracinski writes daily commentary at the TIAdaily.com, The Intellectual Activist Daily. The title of his piece, outstanding piece: ”You Will Lose Your Private Health Insurance’ — What this does is take all the complexity that exists in this plan and boil it down to its essence in an understandable way. That’s what we do here, we make the complex understandable. I admire it when it’s done elsewhere. ‘Before Thanksgiving, the Senate voted to opening debate on President Obama’s health-care bill, and that debate has begun in earnest this week. Well, if they want a debate, let’s let them have it. But let’s not get distracted by the sideshows Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has planned for us.
‘Forget about abortion. Of course the left will accept restrictions on funding for abortion, because they want to keep moderate Democrats on board for the goal they know is really important: giving the government a dominant role in health care. Everything else is just details, and funding for abortions is an issue to which the left can return at leisure later on-once government is firmly in charge of everything. And don’t bother debating the ‘public option,’ either, because it’s already dead; enough Democratic senators have come out against it. But Harry Reid is all too happy to have a debate over the public option so he can make a show of ‘compromising’ and giving it up,’ when he really isn’t. ‘And while we’re having that fake debate, he’s hoping that we won’t be challenging everything else in the bill. So let’s get straight what the real essentials of the bill are and how disastrous they are. Three provisions constitute the vicious heart of the Democrats’ health-care overhaul.
‘The first is ‘guaranteed issue’ and ‘community rating.’ This is the requirement that insurance companies have to offer coverage to people who are already sick, and that they be limited in their ability to charge higher rates for customer who pose a higher risk. The extra expense to the insurance companies of covering people with pre-existing conditions will get passed on to existing customers in the form of higher premiums. But why spend years paying these inflated premiums for insurance you’re not using, when you can get exactly the same benefits by waiting until you actually fall ill? The obvious result is that millions of people, especially healthy young people, will quickly realize that there is no reason to buy health insurance until they get sick.’ They’ll simply pay the fine, which is much less than a premium.
‘Rather than increasing the number of insured by making health insurance more affordable, this bill makes health insurance more expensive and increases the incentive to simply drop your insurance until you need someone to pay for your medical bills. It is an attempt to turn health insurance into what the left really wants: another welfare program in which everyone is entitled to free benefits, mandated by the government. But this would wreck private health insurance, making the whole industry financially unsustainable.’ On purpose, I might add.
‘Following the usual pattern of government intervention, the health-care bill offers another intervention as the solution for the problem created by the first. The ‘individual mandate’ requires everyone to buy health insurance and subjects us to a tax if we fail to do so. But this is an especially onerous new tax, the first tax not tied to any kind of income or activity. It’s not a tax on stock-market profits, say, or a tax on buying cigarettes. It’s just a tax for existing.’ That, my friends, is profound. If you don’t buy insurance — which, by the way, none of this is constitutional. You cannot mandate, the federal government cannot mandate that any of us buy anything. States can do it. Federal government cannot do it. So you pay a tax, a fine, if you opt out and don’t buy health insurance. That’s a tax for just existing.
‘So fearing a public backlash, Congress didn’t have the guts to make this new tax very large-only $750. Yet actual insurance can cost more than $3,000 per year-and as we shall see, this legislation goes out of its way to drive up those rates by mandating more lavish coverage. So we end up getting the worst of both worlds. This provision won’t actually drive anyone to buy health insurance and prop up the risk pools for those who are insured. All it will accomplish is to create a brand new form of tax. But the biggest power-grab in the bill is the government takeover of the entire market for health insurance. The bill requires all new policies to be sold on a government-controlled exchange run by a commissioner who is empowered to dictate what kinds of insurance policies can be offered, what they must cover, and what they can charge.
‘Right now, your best option for reducing the cost of your health insurance is to buy a policy with a high deductible, which leaves you to pay for routine checkups and minor injuries (preferably from savings held in a tax-free Health Savings Account) but which covers your needs in catastrophic circumstances — a bad car accident, say, or expensive treatment for cancer. This is the kind of coverage I have. But the health-insurance exchange is intended to eliminate precisely this kind of low-cost catastrophic coverage. Its purpose is to force health-insurance companies to offer comprehensive coverage that pays for all of your routine bills — which in turn comes at a higher price. So under the guise of making health insurance more affordable, this bill will restrict your menu of choices to include only the most expensive options. So there we have the real essence of this bill. It restricts our choice of which insurance to buy and pushes us into more expensive plans. At the same time, it destroys the economic incentive to purchase insurance in the first place and replaces insurance with a free-floating tax on one’s very existence.’ That’s the fine for not buying it.
‘By all means, let’s debate some of that in the Senate. When you understand what this bill does, you can see why the Democrats would be happy to compromise and drop the public option-for now. This bill so comprehensively wrecks private health insurance that pretty soon a ‘public option’ will seem like the only alternative, and they will already have put into place one of the new taxes needed to pay for it. If the left’s goal is to impose socialized medicine in America,’ and make no mistake, it is. I got a quote here from Anthony Weiner, what they want to do now, folks, they want to expand Medicare all the way down to age 55, maybe even 45. Medicare is health coverage for the elderly. They will expand it from where it at present is and Anthony Weiner said, ‘That’s a surefire way to get to single payer.’ Just expand Medicare all over the place to everybody.
If the left’s goal is to impose socialized medicine in America, this bill does it in the most callous and destructive way possible. It smashes private health care — then leaves us stranded in the rubble, at which point we will be expected to come crawling back to the same people who caused the disaster and ask them to save us. And this, by the way, has been known from the outset. You know, Shatner, ‘How do you know, how do you know?’ I just know the whole purpose of this is to wipe out private insurance. The whole purpose of doing this is to have government-run health care, whatever you call it, public option or what have you, Obama has said so. And he said it may take 10, 15 years from the time it gets started, but that’s the objective, and they’re patient. They got plenty of time once they get the ball rolling in the direction they want it to go and that’s what this is intended to do.
So Reid’s making a big show of dropping the public option while the details of the health care bill are going to drive up the costs of private insurance to the point that you’ll not buy it, and you’ll pay a fine and eventually private insurance will not be able to stay in business, they’re going to be wrecked, which has always been the objective. And then the government gets to come in as a knight on a white horse, ‘We’ll save you! Your insurance company screwed you? Oh, we could have told you that would happen. We’re here to help. We’re from the government.’
‘That is the final and perhaps most compelling reason to kill this bill: the sheer arrogance of the whole enterprise. It is the arrogance of stampeding an unwilling public toward a monstrous 2,000-page piece of legislation while admitting that it still has huge problems, but promising that it will all somehow be fixed later on. It’s the arrogance of selling us a bill that expands government spending by hundreds of billions of dollars while telling us that it will reduce the deficit. It is the sheer unmitigated gall of appointing a bureaucrat to run a government-controlled insurance market that takes away all of our health choices — and then calling this bureaucrat the Health Choices Commissioner. That’s the kind of government arrogance that has to be smacked down hard, and that alone is reason to demand that your senator reject this vicious bill in its entirety.’
Again, Robert Tracinski, Real Clear Politics, he writes at TIAdaily.com.
RUSH: Jeff in Maineville, Ohio, we start on the phones with you today. Great to have you here. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, it’s an honor and a pleasure.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Hey, longtime listener, all the way back to February of 2009. You had asked to give you 60, 90 days, and here I am.
RUSH: (laughing) Longtime listener, February 2009, this year.
CALLER: That’s it.
RUSH: Well, I’m glad that you spent the three months because sometimes it can take that.
CALLER: It is, and it’s been worth every minute. Yesterday you had posed the question about Harry Reid, why he is doing this, and, you know, in this administration we’re learning day to day to always watch the other hand and on Monday’s speech that he gave his verbal manure about delay tactics and slavery and everything, it was actually the first thing that he actually said, and that is not being on the wrong side of history. And I contend that him and his cohorts are just trying to put their names in the history books for later in life. He knows he’s not going to get reelected. And, you know, so he’s just trying to put himself in history with all of this.
RUSH: You mean by comparing Republican efforts to stop the health care bill to people that wanted to sustain slavery, Harry Reid is trying to get himself in the history books with this?
CALLER: No, with just trying to pass this legislation. You had asked why is he trying to move forward with this health care, and it’s to put himself in history, like you say, about building monuments.
RUSH: Maybe so, but I don’t think that Harry Reid intends to lose reelection. If I heard you right, it sounds like Harry Reid knows he’s going to lose so he’s going to go down here fighting with his name on a monument or something. It ain’t going to fly because it ain’t going to be long before this health care bill, if it ever passes, is going to be looked at as the worst aspect of the worst presidency in the history of the United States of America. There’s going to be nothing redeeming or historic in a positive way about anything happening during the Obama administration. There’s just no way. If they’re that delusional — but I still don’t believe Reid intends to lose. He’s got ACORN, he’s got money, he can run the state.
RUSH: Neil in Fairmont, Minnesota, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Yeah, good morning, and dittos from cold Minnesota, it was minus nine here this morning. Longtime listener, first-time caller.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I want to point out something that hasn’t been talked about yet in the health care bill. Hidden in the health care bill is a marriage penalty that will devastate the middle class American family as we know it. The way it works is it’s based on the poverty levels, and two people living together both making $30,000 a year, their combined income, now they’re just living together, not married, will be $60,000. They will pay, according to the plan, $1,320 a year from the two of them for insurance. If they were to get married, that same couple making $60,000 a year gets married, they will pay $12,000. That’s a huge discrepancy. So why get married or if you are married, why not get a divorce?
RUSH: Well, what does this tell you that the purpose of the bill is?
CALLER: Well, there’s a couple things that it’s doing. It’s hitting the middle class married family. The other thing is it also advances their socialist agenda, because it’s going to keep people from making more money. Why would you want to make more money?
RUSH: Exactly. You’ve finally hit on it. There are many, many purposes of this bill before you ever get to health or health insurance or treatment. A, it is a tax bill, t-a-x. Part of that subset of A is the redistribution of wealth. And that leads to B, which is the effort to prevent the acquisition of wealth. But you have to understand Obama and the radical left that run the country to understand why that would be the case. Most people grow up in the country and they think the American dream is owning a house and getting educated, working hard and enjoying prosperity, that’s what all Americans want. No, no, no, it’s not what all Americans want. There are many Americans, included among them are the president of the United States, who think that system is totally unfair and unjust because it leads to too big a gap in income levels between achievers and lesser and unachievers. This is not right, it’s not fair, it’s not equal.
The left — and I’ve said this constantly — the left looks at income inequality or wealth inequality, and rather than adopt policies that would elevate those at the bottom and increase their wealth, what they do is get mad at the achievers and hate the achievers and say, ‘We’re going to take what they’ve got and we’re going to redistribute it with us being in charge so that all those people who are not rich will end up appreciating us for making it possible for them to lead decent lives and vote for us forever and then we will be able to control their lives because we will own them.’ And I have always been amazed that people will look at the Democrat Party and the left as the party of compassion, when they are the party of punishment. The thing is that everybody ends up being punished when the left gets its way with nobody to stop them.
RUSH: Baltimore, Maryland, Kevin, you’re next. I’m glad you waited, sir. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thank you for taking my call.
RUSH: Yes, sir.
CALLER: What I wanted to say was that I’ve been listening to the health medical insurance debates for a long time, and I noted that the people that are pushing this really have no idea how government agencies work, really.
RUSH: You mean Obama doesn’t know how government agencies work?
CALLER: None of them do. They think that they can pass a law and everybody will be taken care of, but they have no idea about the complex nature of government.
RUSH: See, you are assigning to them an altruism I don’t think exists. I think there is abundant evidence that anybody on the left or anybody else could see that government doesn’t know what it’s doing, that government does not fulfill its promises because bureaucracies cannot, they’re too inefficient. Now, they may believe that, well, the wrong people have tried it, we’re the good people, we can make it all work, but I don’t believe that’s their purpose. I don’t think their purpose is to make sure everybody has affordable health care. I don’t think they give a rat’s rear end about that, not this radical bunch. It’s time to wake up, folks. This radical bunch, they’re not naive, and they’re not well intentioned little kids. These people are radicals who want to take over and control everybody’s life because they’re smarter and better than you. They look at you with contempt, not with compassion. Learn it!