RUSH: Now, you imagine when we all have to do this for health care, which takes me back to my experience in Hawaii and in the hospital at Queen’s Medical Center. MSNBC cannot give this up. Yesterday they had a continuing inane discussion on me and medical bills. And then they say, ‘You know what? We heard Rush today, and Rush, he’s now on the side of the Democrats.’ That’s what they said. Listen to this.
SHUSTER: Rush Limbaugh is back and healthy, according to the conservative radio host and so is America’s health care system.
HALL: Yes. Rush returned to his show today after that hospital stop in Hawaii. Limbaugh had reported chest pains. Well, today he did not hold back — as you can expect. He said he paid for his own bills — he’s a multimillionaire — and actually saved 35% on his bill by doing so.
RUSH ARCHIVE: I know that not everybody can do it under the current structure of our system, which is my real point. Real reform of the health care system would involve nothing like we have done in the House and Senate: Cost control, increasing access to health care.
HALL: Is Rush kind of changing his tune? At first it was nothing was wrong with our system, and now he is bringing up what the Democrats have said all along: It’s a cost issue. He’s a multimillionaire. What he is able to do is — is not what’s affordable to everyone else.
RUSH: What? I do not know how to react to this and stay calm. In the first place: Yes, multimillionaire. But what this cost me — and I’ve been advised, ‘Look, Rush, you know how irritated we get when people start telling us how much what they have costs.’ Yeah, I understand that. But I’m just telling you: You don’t have to be a millionaire to be able to pay for what I was charged for my hospital stay in Hawaii. And when she says here, ‘What he’s able to do is not what’s affordable to everyone,’ it’s not true! To the vast majority of people this would be affordable. It’s just a choice. I mean, this was more affordable than a car. This was more affordable than a house. By far! This was more affordable than some people’s media rooms that they put in. So this continues. This is part of the class envy here that only the super wealthy can afford to go to the hospital.
It isn’t true. It does boil down to choice. I thought long and hard about whether to bring this back up because I got — not many, but some — e-mails yesterday afternoon and last night in the subscriber e-mail to my website chastising me for being out of touch, for bragging about being able to pay for my health care when so many people can’t especially the down economy and, ‘You’re really out, Rush. You’ve lost all sensitivity to the pain and suffering out here. I’m surprised at you’ blah, blah, blah. I thought about it and said, ‘I gotta deal with this,’ ’cause I don’t think that those people were actually conservatives. I think they were spam e-mailers or seminar e-mailers. But, you know, I realize I’m on a (sigh) tough challenge here and am probably going to lose it because we’ve had 50 years to establish a mind-set which basically has most people believing that health care ought not cost anything or it should cost very little.
And when somebody comes along like me and accepts the responsibility of paying for it… Look, I’m one of the 47 million uninsured and you can look at me in one way: I’m providing leadership. I’m advocating a system get reformed so that people can afford it, that there be a relationship between the patient and the provider and the hospital without some middleman or two where people could actually afford it, just as they’re able to afford other services throughout our economy. But you hear here: ‘A multimillionaire! Only Limbaugh could afford it.’ That’s such a misrepresentation of the truth. I’ll just tell you: If you can afford a car, you can afford what I did in the hospital. If you can afford a pretty expansive media room, you can afford what I spent in the hospital with all the tests and everything else. If you can afford an SUV, you coulda gone to the hospital three or four times for what I paid.
It’s just a matter of choice, just a matter of preference, what you want to budget for and pay for. ‘But, Rush, we gotta have a car to get at work and we gotta have a house.’ Yeah, but everybody says they gotta have health care, too! But people don’t prioritize it the way they do other things. Now, the real funny thing in this sound bite was that they quote me as saying, ‘There’s nothing wrong with the US health care system,’ but what I was talking about in Honolulu was private health care. I got private health care. There’s no similarity to what Obamacare is going to be to what I got. I was in a private hospital. I had private care. There was nothing statewide about it. I didn’t access any Honolulu or Hawaii state program. I didn’t access any federal program. It was just me and the doctors and the nurses and the hospital administrators. I didn’t have to ask permission. They treated me and so forth. So then yesterday…
This is how they take things out of context. I was explaining that what we need in this health care system is to reacquaint the association of customer-patient to provider, just like when you check into a hotel. You don’t have a middleman. You don’t have insurance. You don’t have a bureaucrat. You don’t have to ask permission. You check into a hotel you can afford. You buy a car you can afford. You buy a house you can afford. Well, right now people are afraid they can’t afford health care. Most people can. It just depends on what you want to spend, if you’re willing to pay for it — and that, again, gets to the problem that most people do believe it’s a moral entitlement to perfect health care without paying for it. Now, I don’t know anything in this country that gets done or happens without somebody getting paid for it, and that’s true in health care.
Somebody’s getting paid everywhere along the line. Somebody who wants the results and not to pay anything for it is the problem. I refuse to let you liberals out there paint me as the problem because I have assumed the responsibility of paying for what I got. I was telling some friends last night. ‘It’s funny. It is hilarious. I’m a bad guy. I’m a bad guy ’cause I paid for it! I’m a bad guy. I’m insensitive because I announced that I could pay for it and that I did pay for it and what my hope is is that everybody someday would be able to pay for it like we used to when I was a kid.’ This whole system has been destroyed — and I’m talking about the payment system and the cost system, not the quality of care. The whole cost system has been destroyed because of government involvement — Medicare, Medicaid, all of these things. You know, wipe it all out and start over.
Well, that’s not feasible. But introduce some reforms — health savings accounts and so forth — that start the process of creating competition among doctors and hospitals. It works every time it’s tried. Bring prices down and make them realistic. But these people say, ‘Is Rush changing his tune? At first nothing wrong and now he’s bringing up what the Democrats have said: Cost issue.’ The Democrats are saying it’s a cost issue, but Ms. Hall (this is Tamron Hall at MSNBC) no costs are going to go down! There are not going to be significantly new people insured. This is not a health care bill. It is a multiple-tax-increase bill. It’s going to threaten people with jail. You’re going to be required to buy insurance or face a $15,000 fine. I don’t know how anybody with half a brain who studies this can possibly say it’s going to reduce costs. If it were… Folks, it’s very simple. If this were the bonanza, if this were the piece de resistance that they’re talking about, everybody would be for it.
Now, Ms. Hall, let me ask you a question. Let’s say I’m not a multimillionaire. Let’s say that I’m an illegal alien — or better yet, Tamron Hall, let’s say that I’m a Yemeni terrorist. I’m being held by authorities. They would all get the same treatments and procedures and medicines that I received. Everybody in the same circumstance in Hawaii who had had the same thing happen to them would have gotten the same identical stuff that I got: The ambulance ride, the testing, the medicines, the attention from the doctors. The only difference is that I paid for it. The only difference is, I don’t expect or ask for freebies. And all of a sudden I’m the bad guy, according to all these liberals in the media. I’m the bad guy. I’m insensitive. I’m out of touch. All because I paid for it! You know what I shoulda done? I shoulda walking out of there and not paid. I shoulda said, ‘The American taxpayer is going to take care of this. I’m a big time celebrity. I’m a powerful and influential member of the media. Let Obama pay for it. Let the government pay for it.’ That’s what I shoulda said because that’s what Obama’s voters are saying. Obama’s voters are saying, ‘Yeah, let the rich pay for it! I shouldn’t have to pay for health care. Let Obama pay for it out of his stash.’ No! I paid for it, and somehow that’s bragging. Somehow that’s being insensitive.
RUSH: In fact, ladies and gentlemen, let me make one more point about this. As you know, I choose not to have health care insurance, and a lot of people say, ‘Well, why don’t you have health care insurance?’ I said, ‘Well, very simple. I don’t like dealing with bureaucracies. I don’t like filling out a bunch of forms and so forth, and if I don’t have to, I’ll self-uninsure where I can.’ I want to go to the doctor, pay for it, and get out of there. If I have to go to the hospital, ditto. But now, some people, a lot of people have health insurance, and as such, what happened to me would cost them even less than it cost me. I mean, what are you spending, $6,000 a year for your premium, $8,000 or whatever your benefit is where you work. But you’ve got a deductible, you’ve got some amount you have to pay, but you don’t have to be a multimillionaire to get the treatment I got. This is just absurd and it’s obscene that they want to continue to cloud the health care delivery system in this country the way they do. If you have a high deductible insurance policy, then you would have paid even less out of pocket than I did. Now, you would have been charged 30% more in total because I got a 30% discount for not going through insurance, but still, it’s an American situation, we have freedom, I can choose not to have insurance, for now. I’m just glad this happened before Obamacare goes into play because I’m going to have to have insurance or pay a fine or maybe go to jail if I don’t.
RUSH: John in Charlotte, North Carolina, hello, sir. Nice to have of you on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Hey, dittos.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Hey, last time I talked to you I was on my way to get a vasectomy but that’s beside the point. I have a question, though.
RUSH: What’s that?
CALLER: Well, or comment. I don’t know where I fall on this, but how much is somebody’s life worth, when you put a price as far as health care goes? I mean, my life’s worth a lot. My kid’s life is worth a lot. I’m willing to pay for that. I mean, I’m just kind of confused. I still don’t know where that issue is. Should I demand that…? I mean, I want my children around, I want my wife around, but I want to get my money’s worth.
RUSH: So what precisely are you saying here? Are you making an argument that people ought to be more oriented toward paying for their own health care to protect their lives, save their lives ’cause it’s worth a lot?
CALLER: Absolutely. I mean, I’m not going to bat an eye if my kid is sick. We’ll pay whatever we can. But I’m sure there will be some people standing there demanding that it be done for free.
RUSH: Well, certainly Obama voters are those people. One of the reasons they voted for Obama is precisely because he made ’em think they’re going to get improved health care with greater access, and a bunch of millionaires are going to pay for it.
CALLER: Exactly. And it comes back to, you know, you can’t get something for nothing. You can’t get quality for cheap. I mean, it shouldn’t be outrageous, but you should be expected to come off your hip with something.
RUSH: Well, look, I know the point that you’re trying to make. What we’re up against on all of this is a very well executed, 50-year plan of alternately soft sell and hard sell on the concept that your life is worth so much that there is a moral entitlement to whatever you need to prolong your life at no cost, that it is somehow immoral to have to pay to keep yourself healthy or to treat yourself when you’re sick. Somehow that’s what has been established through a huge percentage of people in this country. I’d say based on the voter returns for Obama, over half the country believes that or believes it to at least a certain extent. At least the employer ought to pay for it, or in Obama’s voters’ case… We’ve heard a typical Obama voter. We’ve heard ’em and it isn’t a pretty sight. They are some of the most ignorant people that we have.
They believed Obama was going to buy ’em a new kitchen, they believed Obama’s going to get ’em a new car, they believed Obama from his ‘stash’ is gonna get ’em a job, and Obama was going to give ’em their health care. ‘Everybody else has a job. Why don’t I? Obama’s going to fix it!’ This is the illusion that he created. This is a blank canvas that he admitted he was and everybody was able to make him out to be whatever they wanted him to be. So for 50 years of drumming into everybody that there’s some kind of moral entitlement to health care, that’s where we are. Plus now, because the government’s been involved in the prices, it’s so unrealistic. There’s no relationship to anybody’s ability to pay to what the price for health care is, particularly catastrophic. So when that equation gets out of whack, then it’s easy to understand. ‘I can’t afford that, but I still need to get the operation! Who’s going to pay for it?’ and they think the system has failed so the system needs to be fixed so that they won’t be failed anymore. And Obama promised to do all that by lowering costs and expanding service, none of which is going to happen. But calculating what your life is worth? Now, that’s an interesting proposition in and of itself if you want to start attaching dollars to it.