RUSH: Now, don’t forget we’re talking about expanding Medicare to — to 55 years of age. And let’s not forget we have the S-CHIP program, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program — and that insures children up to the age of 25. ‘Children’ up to the age 25! And some people say that it actually insures children up to age 37. Regardless, we have only a few short years they haven’t gotten their hands on yet. Children up to age 25, let’s leave it there, and Medicare at 55 — and expanding. Now, Jennifer Rubin at Commentary magazine, at one of the blogs, posted a couple days ago: ‘Did Harry Reid Kill Obamacare?’ A lot of people now are beginning to really think that the bottom has fallen out of this.
She writes this: ‘Sen. Harry Reid threw a long bomb in an act of desperation. Recognizing that there was no deal on the public option, Reid resuscitated an old liberal gambit — expanding Medicare. But the questions and contradictions came flooding forth. How was this to be paid for? Wouldn’t the buy-in cost be too expensive? How could we dump millions of older, sicker people into Medicare while slashing hundreds of billions in funding from the program? It frankly makes no sense. At week’s end, a flurry of objections and criticism — from senators, the Medicare actuary, editorial pages, previously supportive business groups, doctors, and hospitals — together with shockingly negative polling on Obamacare suggest that we may have finally reached a point when ‘doing nothing’ (at least for a while) makes immense political sense for lawmakers.
‘The public isn’t clamoring for health-care ‘reform’ and they might even be pleased with lawmakers who insisted that their leaders not jam through a partisan, ill-conceived bill. In a sense, Reid clarified what many suspected was going on. The Democrats had ceased trying to craft a workable bill and had decided to pass something, anything, and fix it later. By choosing an approach so obviously hare-brained, however, Reid deprived his party of the pretense that they were engaged in serious lawmaking.’ From the Heritage Foundation today: ‘The Battle Over Obamacare’s Obituary Has Begun — Last month, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rammed through her version of Obamacare almost a week before the agency in charge of running Medicare and Medicaid, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS), could issue its non-partisan and independent analysis of the legislation.
‘And for supporters of the President’s plan, it’s a good thing she did. The CMMS report eviscerated almost every single promise the President has made about his health care plan. According to that report, Obamacare: 1) raises health care costs; 2) causes millions of Americans to lose their current health care coverage…’ This is the Medicare actuary, now, making these claims, after studying the Pelosi bill. ‘3) forces millions of Americans to pay fines and still receive no health insurance; 4) causes millions of seniors to lose their Medicare Advantage plans; 4) places millions of Americans on welfare; 5) jeopardizes Medicare access for all seniors; 6) worsens health care access for the poor.’ It’s a debacle. It is a disaster. All it does is benefit Obama and the Democrats.
Now, ‘This past Friday, CMMS issued another report, this time on Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) version of Obamacare and the verdict was in many ways worse.’ Everybody is sitting around touting CBO but this is the Medicare actuary that has to make all this stuff work, and their analysis of Harry Reid’s bill is: ‘1) health care costs would rise by $234 billion; 2) 17 million Americans would be forced out of their existing health insurance; 3) 19 million Americans would pay $29 billion in taxes/fines and receive no health care in return; 4) 33% of all Medicare Advantage customers would lose their health care plan; 5) 18 million Americans would be put on welfare; 6) the $493 billion in Medicare cuts would force 20% of Medicare providers to become unprofitable thus jeopardizing access to care for all seniors; and 7) the explosion in Medicaid recipients would exacerbate existing health care access problems for the poor.’
Folks, when you go through this and you read the devastating effects of this, and then you take that and you look and listen to Democrats touting this as some of the greatest stuff that’s ever happened to the country from Obama on down… It’s like that Senator Whitehouse from Rhode Island last week. We have a responsibility as citizens, folks, and it’s very simply stated. It’s going to be tough to pull off. Most of us are raised to believe that our government is good. I mean, hell, we’re the United States of America, and the government is basically people we send there. We elect them. We’ll have our arguments now and then because our candidates are not always going to win and we’ll have to put up with the other party being in power for a while, but still we have faith in the government.
And you know that people have faith in the government because despite every failure of the federal government, any time somebody comes along saying, ‘The government’s got a plan to fix this,’ a lot of people instinctively support it. So let’s use Senator Whitehouse, for example, last week. We had a couple sound bites where he’s out complaining about me on the Senate floor asking, ‘How do I know?’ William Shatner asked me in an interview, ‘How do you know? How do you know all about it?’ How do I know? I study it! It’s been my life. It’s my career. It’s my business to know. But the question, ‘How do you know?’ is being asked of the wrong people. I can’t raise your taxes. I can’t fine you. I can’t put you in jail. But these people can, and they’re planning on it. So we have to start asking, ‘Senator Whitehouse, who the hell are you? Who the hell are you or who the hell is Olympia Snowe?’
Who the hell is anybody up there to rewrite the health care delivery and insurance system in this country? Who the hell are these people? This is not why we send them there, to create a crisis, to come up with a problem-solving solution that only exacerbates the problem. Then they come back and blame the banks or blame us for being greedy, using our credit cards too much, and they say they gotta ‘fix’ it because we’re doing something wrong, and we always are deferential to these people. And it needs to be the other way around. If there’s any deference, these people need to refer to us. We are more informed than over half the people voting on this bill. We know what’s in it more than those who are going to vote on it know what’s in it — and the reason is, we care about what’s in it, they really don’t.
They’re just trying to establish a monument for themselves and Obama. They’re just trying to get something done. They just want something that says ‘Health Care Reform, Signed into Law: Barack Obama, Early 2010.’ That, to them, is the achievement. The resulting disaster, they don’t care about. If they cared about resulting disasters they would fix all of the broken programs they’ve implemented in the first place in all of the previous decades in this country’s history. So here we have this independent group analyzing both the Pelosi bill and the Reid bill, and as I read through this, it’s an unmitigated disaster. It is irresponsible. It’s almost criminal. We have to ask the question: ‘Who the hell are these people, and what do they think they’re doing?’ This is more than just your average partisan politics. This is insidious!
So now people are starting to write the obituary. The Heritage Foundation headline: ‘The Battle Over Obamacare’s Obituary Has Begun.’ Jennifer Rubin: ‘Is the Bloom Off the Rose?’ Are the Democrats finally going to be seen now as people who are not really serious about crafting this legislation, but just a bunch of pawns trying to get something done so they can say they got something done? Now, ‘The week before the Senate began debating Obamacare, CNN conducted a poll and found that Americans narrowly opposed the plan, 49% to 46%. Now that the Senate has been debating the plan for two weeks, and CMMS has issued two devastating reports on what the impacts of Obamacare would be, opposition to the plan has skyrocketed. This Friday’s latest CNN poll showed 61% of Americans now oppose Obamacare compared to just 36% who support it.’
And still, Senator Whitehouse and Senator Stabenow and Senator Reid take to the Senate floor to denounce me for opposing this! They take to the Senate floor to denounce me for encouraging the Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, to just stop this. We don’t need health care reform right now. We just need to stop this. That must be the objective. Stop this, stop it, stop it. We don’t want to ‘fine-tune it.’ There’s nothing in this worth fine-tuning. There’s nothing on the margins that could improve this. This is a dead skunk. There is no way you can beautify or bring back to life a dead skunk. No one would even try, and that’s what this bill is. The arrogance and the condescension that we get from elected officials in Washington about how they’re the only ones they know what’s going on — they’re the only ones that have the intelligence, the foresight, the experience and knowledge to fix this — is just a bunch of pap.
These people are partisan hacks who have an entirely different motivation in enacting this health care reform plan than the people in this country think of their motivations. Now the people are starting to catch up. And I want to tell you something else. How does this poll move from 49% opposed to 61% opposed, when the State-Controlled Media does not do one critical story on health care, does not do one critical analysis of it? How does it happen? Well, I raise my hands, ladies and gentlemen, and so do many the so-called alternative or New Media. We do know what we’re talking about the people we are talking about either don’t know what they’re talking about or they are lying to us about what’s in the plan.
Either way, it is they who are disrespecting us. Remember Mrs. Clinton and that shrill shout during the presidential primaries. I think she was up in New Hampshire, and she really loses it talking about how it’s patriotic to dissent in the face of power, dissent from presidents in power. Nobody was going to let her ability to dissent be take away from her. Now dissenting from this you get called a denier, or a hatemonger, or something else. So my dream would be that I could wave a magic wand and that the first attitude every American would have whenever any politician proposes something is suspicion and curiosity. Why? It’s time to stop giving them the blank benefit of the doubt, that are they engaged in things for our benefit. They are engaged in things for their benefit. They need our money to accomplish it. Who are they?
Who anointed Senator Whitehouse an expert on anything? I don’t know what he’s an expert on except I do know he’s not an expert on the health care system, reforming it, rewriting it, implementing a new one or what have you. What I do know is he’s a Democrat Party hack who is simply advancing an ideology with this, while telling people this is for their own good. ‘We gotta do this to save the economy, to save the health care system.’ I react with suspicion every time I see one of these people show up on television. It’s just my nature now. ‘Well, Rush, it sounds like you hate government.’ Oh, no, no, no, no. See, that’s how they always do it. Hate government? I don’t hate government. I just want it to be good! Just like I want everything to be good! I want it to be the best it can be, and it isn’t. I’m into excellence. I’m into the pursuit of it. I’m into goodness.
I’m into good things. I don’t want to sit here and have to fight every damn hour of every damn day to save the greatest country on earth. It ought not be necessary. But it is, and one of the things that makes it necessary is a misplaced sense of trust and worship in elected officials, as though they are the political equivalent of Hollywood movie stars. They’re dunces. They’ve gotten away with crafting this image of themselves as smarter and better than everybody else when I look at it and I don’t see what qualification Obama has to rewrite our health care system. Who the hell is he? He has a career of words. ‘Well, Rush, he’s president.’ Yeah, he’s got, he got elected, but what right does that give him to take over one-sixth of the US economy? Who are the people that are placing all this trust in the brilliance of Obama to do this? When has he ever done anything like this that has worked? He can’t point to a single thing. He’s simply saying, ‘Do it because I’m Obama. And I’m special.’ This guy is so in love with himself, it’s sick.
RUSH: From The Politico today: ‘For critics of the Democrats’ $849 billion health care bill…’ let me tell you people at Politico, it’s two-and-a-half trillion dollars. There’s no such thing as an $849 billion health care bill. Anyway, ‘For critics of the Democrats’ $849 billion health care bill, this may be the ultimate irony: millions of dollars set aside so the government can help teach citizens how to handle their own money better.’ Did you know that? ‘The funding is part of a broader, $375 million program aimed at promoting responsible lifestyles — a five-year plan to fund state efforts to educate adolescents on abstinence, contraception and other ‘adult preparation subjects’ such as healthy relationships, increased child-parent communication and ‘financial literacy.’ You can imagine how Sen. Jim DeMint feels. ‘The federal government is never going to encourage personal responsibility and never has,’ the South Carolina Republican said. ‘Personal responsibility is a good principle — but not the government doing it.”
Abstinence, adult preparation, and financial literacy to be taught by the government as part of the health care plan. Now, where the hell are you going to have to go for that to happen? Are your kids going to have it be done to them in school? And if you look at Obama’s safe school czar who believes in teaching homosexuality techniques you can see what they have on the agenda here when they talk about adult preparation subjects, healthy relationships, child-parent communication, financial literacy. I mean it’s dangerous, folks. It’s right out in front of us. We can all see what’s happening. Have you ever wondered why Barack Obama never called Steve Jobs a fat cat? Why doesn’t he ever call Bill Gates or Warren Buffett fat cats? Why does he not call Larry Ellison a fat cat? Why does he not call Tiger Woods a fat cat?
RUSH: Claire McCaskill, by the way, ‘One Democratic senator fighting for health care reform said Sunday she ‘absolutely’ would vote against the health care bill being debated in the Senate if it increases out-of-pocket costs for people and drives up the debt.’ Well, if she really said that, then there’s no way she can ever vote for it, no way. ‘But Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri said she doesn’t think that is going to happen because President Obama would also reject such a bill.’ (laughing) Oh, my gosh, you gotta be kidding me. Obama would reject such a bill. ‘McCaskill said everything is ‘on hold’ until the CBO’s numbers come back,’ which is going to be either today or tomorrow. ‘CBO’s results are used by lawmakers to determine whether a bill is financially doable.’ The Democrats need 60 votes. Lieberman’s already counted himself out. And don’t forget the Medicare actuary has already come on record, ‘These plans do just the opposite of what everybody’s telling us they do.’ It’s an utter disaster. I think it is falling apart but it’s not over yet, folks. It’s not over yet because remember what Pelosi said, Nancy Pelosi said she would sign anything to get this done before Christmas. She would sign anything, whatever they put into these bills and conference them. She’ll sign anything to say they got it done and then they’ll go back in and supposedly fix or make it worse.
RUSH: We’ll start in St. Louis with Elizabeth. Thank you for waiting, Elizabeth. It’s great to have you here. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you so much. Merry Christmas.
RUSH: Same to you.
CALLER: I am calling about Obamacare. One of the things that’s going to happen if it passes — God forbid it does — is it’s going to mean the death of the private practice of medicine. It will kill off private practice. Now, people like to sort of wax nostalgic. You know, people can talk about a time when, oh, they remember when doctors made house calls. Well, of course now they don’t do that anymore. But people are going to talk about a future at a time when, ‘Oh, I mean when I had my own doctor and he kinda knew me and I knew where his office was and I would drive there and park and I would make my own appointment.’ Medicare… If everybody gets to be Medicare, it’s not going to look like Medicare anymore. People aren’t going to be in a private practice setting. They’re going to be in a clinic setting. In other words, they’re going to want to see a doctor that’s good that they know, and they’re going to call to make an appointment and the secretary that answers the phone — the government worker that answers the phone — is going to say, ‘Sure you can see Dr. Smith…in, uh, 34 weeks or 38 weeks, and if you want to see another doctor,’ who, frankly, may not have been trained in the United States, may not have gone to medical school in the United States, ‘you can see him in 26 weeks.’ So it is dangerous. This is very, very dangerous and I don’t think people get it.
RUSH: Well, a lot of people listening to this program today are wondering where you pull that out of your hat, 36 weeks to see a doctor.
CALLER: Well, I’m just using that as an example. This is not a scientific number. But I can tell you —
RUSH: Well, that makes it accurate!
CALLER: Yes, exactly! (laughs) That’s how they do it in Washington. What I can tell you is this. The reason I believe private practice will be killed off is my husband is a physician. He’s a cancer doctor. And right now — I was shocked when I found out about this — the business expenses for his practice are 92%. Now, that’s outrageous, right? And the reason that they’re so high is that right now Medicare does not fully reimburse for what it costs to deliver cancer care to people. So if we flood the system with more and more people where the government is not going to be able to pay, people who are in private practice, you just can’t run a business like that. I joke with my husband, ‘You know, you got eight percentage points to go. At some point when you get to a hundred percent I don’t think you’re working anymore, I think you’re volunteering.’ But that is why it’s going to get so expensive to practice medicine that doctors won’t be in private practice. They’ll have to work for the government.
RUSH: Well, I think, in many instances that’s already happening. You just said it: Your husband and other doctors are already prisoners to whatever the reimbursement schedule is, and that’s just going to be expanded and a bureaucrat — or a series of bureaucrat or bureaucrat board — is going to be making arbitrary decisions, not individual patient decisions on what a doctor is gonna get reimbursed so forth. I know. It’s a disaster in the making. It’s an insult to all of our intelligence to listen to these people tell us what a magical fix this is going to be, how it’s going to insure all the uninsured, how it’s going to make sure everybody gets the same equal and great treatment. None of what they’re saying is true about it. It can’t possibly be. The government has yet to run any enterprise in an efficient, profitable way. They just haven’t! Thanks, Elizabeth, for the phone call.
‘At a time…’ This is from WTOP Radio Washington: ‘At a time when the White House is projecting the largest deficit in the nation’s history, the country is trying to recover billions of dollars in unpaid taxes from its own employees. Federal workers owe more than $3 billion in income taxes they failed to pay in 2008. According to IRS documents, 276,300 federal employees and retirees owe over $3 billion. The IRS tracks the voluntary compliance rate of federal employees and retirees each year, and every year the feds come up short. The one bright spot in this year’s report is that after several years of steady increases the amount owed by feds is down from the previous year.’ Now, wait a minute! I thought everybody had their taxes withheld — and here’s the old trick again, the old media trick. ‘Well, yeah, they’re still doing really bad in collecting taxes from federal workers, but it’s not as bad this year as it was last.’ Federal workers owe $3 billion in unpaid taxes! The point is the federal government cannot even keep up with its own people, much less run the health care system.