RUSH: I want to go to Stacy now, who is on hold from Georgia. Stacy, it’s great that you got back in again. I’m glad to hear from you.
CALLER: Dittos, Rush! How are you?
RUSH: Very well. Thank you.
CALLER: Well, listen, I printed off this monstrosity. At least it didn’t take me 2,000 pages, but I printed it off about an hour ago and have been flipping through it, and I could go for hours on this, but my general sense overarching: The very largest and very strongest private health insurers will survive maybe ten years under this plan. Let me explain to you why. We talked last time about HSAs.
RUSH: Yeah. Let’s define the term: Health Savings Accounts. Right.
CALLER: Exactly. This, quote, unquote, ‘plan’ virtually eliminates HSAs. It will eliminate HRAs, Health Reimbursement Accounts, and some of the FSA provisions as well. It also makes a mockery of this nonsense that you get to keep your plan if you want it. So, sorry. But if you look —
RUSH: This is what I mean. Stacy, this guy is not grounded in reality. There’s not a soul in the world that believes they’re going to be able to keep their plan. There’s no need for this if you get to keep your plan. If there’s no government or public option — which is also BS. This is one scary bill. It just scary. We have somebody who is not grounded in reality. He’s living in his own world.
CALLER: Well, and he certainly knows nothing about health insurance. If you look at —
RUSH: He doesn’t know anything about anything, Stacy!
RUSH: This is the point. He’s a community irritator, agitator. He doesn’t know diddly-squat. All he knows is what Harvard taught him which apparently also included how to say ‘ax.’
CALLER: Please don’t do that. (giggles) That gets on my nerves. Oh, please don’t do that. Anyway, let’s talk about there’s a paragraph on page three: ‘Strengthen Oversight of Insurance Premium Increases.’
CALLER: Basically the feds and the state are going to have the ability to tell insurance companies what they can charge for premiums. But, if you look in the extended consumer protections against self-insure practices provision, you’ll see that we’ll be required to cover adult dependents up to age 26, apparently without any student regulations or anything to that effect. So you could theoretically have a 26-year-old with three children who’s married still be on my insurance plan because she’s under 26.
RUSH: Right. But the point —
CALLER: We also have no annual or lifetime lapses. I’m sorry, I lost it. Where did it go?
RUSH: Let me step in here because you’re an insurance agent. What that all means is… By the way, is it ‘insur-ance’ or ‘IN-surance’? How do you prefer it be pronounced?
CALLER: I am an insurance business analyst. What I do is I compare. I take the business requirements and determine how to automate those through computers.
RUSH: Okay, ‘insur-ance’ analyst.
RUSH: Now, what occasion the government is forcing insurance companies to ensure all of these people regardless of preexisting conditions and then on the back end of that is going to tell ’em what they can’t charge? Your first comment rings true: This is a disguised attempt to wipe ’em out. The only question is: How long is it going to take.
CALLER: I think it will be ten years. Like I said, for the largest companies it will be ten years. Now, let’s also talk about Med Advantage. You know, the ‘gator aid’ was exempting Florida from the Med Advantage revocation. Over on page eight, the first paragraph, you’ll see where Obama (or Emanuel or whoever wrote this nonsense) said that Med Advantage is ‘a very profitable line of business.’ I don’t know what fantasyland that person’s living in. We barely make enough to cover expenses on our Med Advantage plans.
RUSH: By the way, you should know: Stacy retreats to one of the few remaining phone booths in America to make this phone call.
CALLER: (giggling) But I mean it’s just insane. It’s craziness what he’s talking about. So one: We don’t make a lot of money for it. But then he turns around and says that they’re going to force us to go to fee-for-service reimbursement rates. So let me explain to you what that is. A fee for service is where you tell the doctor, ‘I’m going to pay you $20 for an office visit.’ Okay? That fee for service.
RUSH: Who’s telling the doctor? The insurance company’s telling the doctor that or the government?
CALLER: Well, that’s the government’s Medicare plan.
CALLER: That’s what they do, okay?
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
CALLER: So what we do in our networks — we have networks, we have providers — we say, ‘You know, it costs you $50 generally to do a visit. How about if we pay $45 so you’ll be in-network and you’ll get a lot more people.’ The government, the reason they created Med Advantage to begin with was that providers were not taking Medicare. A Medicare patient could not get a visit because the fee for service was so ridiculously low, it wasn’t worth it. So they created Med Advantage in large part to get access to our provider network.
RUSH: So they’re just making it worse? They got a problem be the working they come up with a solution that just makes it worse?
CALLER: Well, now, Rush, Med Advantage has been very successful in access for these seniors, particularly ones with preexisting conditions.
RUSH: It wouldn’t… My point is — Stacy, I love you and your expertise here; I really do, and I enjoy hearing from you on the guts of this stuff. But let’s take what you just said: Med Advantage. Why did we need it? We needed it because a previous government attempt to make something work didn’t.
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: So we didn’t need Med Advantage. We needed Get the Government Out!
CALLER: I agree.
RUSH: Get the person who’s screwing it up out of the equation, out of the assembly line.
CALLER: I agree.
RUSH: Get it out of there. We’re just adding more and more and more and more to it. And I think at some point, whereas — you know, this is your business, this is your nuts and bolts — you have to look at the specifics of this on the scary idea that it passes. But somebody like I, oriented toward defeating it, can’t get bogged down in the minutia here.
CALLER: I’m sorry.
RUSH: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Please, I am not being critical.
CALLER: Well, let me bring you up a bit then. How about that?
RUSH: You’re doing great. I’m personally going to attack the ideology of this and the basic structure and the premise behind it, and screw the details. But go ahead. In fact, let me take a break here because I do want to hear more of what you have to say about it because this is the best way I will have. I’d much rather listen to you than have to read this crap. Hang on.
RUSH: Back to Stacy in Georgia. She is an insurance analyst, and she’s giving us her lowdown, the first-glance look at the plan Obama actually posted at WhiteHouse.gov today. Welcome back, Stacy.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, have you read page five yet?
RUSH: Like I told you, I can’t read this stuff. I know the first seven pages are like a Robin Hood summary, and then it really gets ugly. Tell us about page five.
CALLER: Listen to this sentence: ‘The President’s Proposal builds on those provisions by incorporating a number of additional proposals that are either part of the Administration’s FY 2011 Budget Proposal or were included in Republican plans.’ It says that!
RUSH: Well, I’ve heard that. They’re trying to incorporate some so-called Republican shreds of proposals in this to try to get the bipartisanship to play out.
CALLER: Okay, well —
RUSH: It’s BS.
CALLER: Let me tell you why I’m reading page five. This is where all the databases come into play. And if you read page five, you’ll see that anybody who is participating in a federal health program see your insurance exchanges which, by the way, is not fleshed out at all in this document, that means that every claim that is submitted on your behalf is going to go into this database, and supposedly they’re going to use it to look for fraud and abuse, quote, unquote.
CALLER: So all you privacy lover advocates out there, good luck with that. And they also have a nifty little provision about limiting Medicaid — now, mind you they want to expand Medicaid to cover everybody, but they’re going to limit drug access, high cost drugs are going to be looked at and denied. So I’m floored, Rush.
RUSH: You can’t possibly be floored, Stacy, you had to expect this.
CALLER: Well, I expected it, but not in such an idiotic — I mean, my 12th grader could write better than this. I mean it is so full of internal contradictions you can’t process it all. I’m wasting my lunch break sitting here reading this nonsense —
RUSH: Stacy. I mean, I hate to be doctor reality here, but they don’t care what you think.
CALLER: I know they don’t.
RUSH: They don’t care what you think of the contents, they don’t care what you think of the structure, they don’t care whether a 12-year-old could grade it, read it, or otherwise.
CALLER: But, Rush, they’ve got me in the crosshairs. That’s another thing that’s really griping me about this is, is that my company employs about 15,000 people all told. If this goes through, that’s 15,000 people that would have no jobs and we are a high-tech industry, believe it or not, health insurance is a very high-tech industry. It pays extraordinarily well for the technical expertise and they’ve got me in the crosshairs, and I just don’t know what to say. Although I will say this. I certainly hope one of these Republicans who’s going to go traipsing up there and try to play the bipartisan nonsense realizes, he’s saying that their proposals are in here, but in looking at it, I haven’t seen one yet except the tax break for people who buy their own insurance. That’s it.
RUSH: Yeah. And that won’t survive when they take this to legislation.
CALLER: Oh, no.
RUSH: ‘Cause what you’re reading from is not legislation. It’s just an outline, it’s just a suggestion. It’s basically just so Obama can say, ‘Here’s my plan. People say I don’t have a plan, I’ve always had a plan, here it is.’
CALLER: Next time you say something, just think, maybe we don’t want him to have a plan because this takes the worst of the House —
RUSH: I didn’t — (crosstalk)
CALLER: — into one.
RUSH: I didn’t want him to have a plan, I was pointing out that he didn’t have a plan.
CALLER: I know, I know.
CALLER: I love you, Rush.
RUSH: Stacy. You are not the only person in the crosshairs. My point is we all are.
RUSH: We’re all in the crosshairs. This man and his administration are gunning for everybody who has had —
CALLER: Oh, yeah.
RUSH: — success, wants to have success, and they want to shut down, you know, Fairness Doctrine, radio, TV, they want to do these kinds of things. Look at what they’re doing with the economy, they’re destroying it, all this debt. I mean even people who are not even conceived yet, people who are not even thoughts in their future parents’ minds are in the crosshairs of this administration. And this is a warning bell that I, El Rushbo, having ringing and sounding here for the past year.
CALLER: Well, Rush, guess what? Part of the — where I’m talking about they’re getting rid of the HSAs, they have an interesting phrase that says: ‘prohibit discrimination in favor of highly compensated individuals.’ Now, I don’t know who’s discriminated against based on somebody else’s paycheck, but I have a feeling that when that gets into legislation you’re going to see some really ugly stuff going on.
RUSH: Of course you know what that means.
CALLER: No, I don’t. Tell me. What does it mean?
RUSH: It means the rich are going to stop getting all the good stuff. This is income redistribution. This is returning the nation’s wealth to its, quote, unquote, rightful owners. This is a civil rights bill. This is reparations, whatever you want to call it.
CALLER: But, Rush, you know, I know insurance policies. We have nothing whatsoever, no benefit structure based on what somebody’s annual salary is.
RUSH: Exactly! It’s why this is not about health care, Stacy, it’s about income redistribution and class envy and getting people who can’t read this to think it’s going to be good for them because rich people are going to get stuck again. I gotta go. I’m over time. But I’m glad you called. Don’t doubt me.
RUSH: Steve in Lafayette, Louisiana, as we go back to the phones. It’s great to have you here. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Oh, what an honor. I love this show, Rush. You got a business analyst for the insurance companies whose sole purpose is to maximize profit for the insurance, telling us how to run health care. I love it.
RUSH: Well, I’m glad you saw it that way.
CALLER: I called to tell you, I finally agree with you. I mean it’s been a long time since I have agreed with you, ten years. And I agree, the Republicans should not show up to the health care conference, absolutely not.
RUSH: Oh, really? Share with me your wisdom in arriving at this conclusion.
CALLER: Well, they have no ideas to present there, they will embarrass themselves absolutely again. The only thing they have is the Rush Limbaugh cash payment plan for health care, and they also have medical savings plan, which a —
RUSH: Let me see — (crosstalk)
CALLER: — $35,000 a year —
RUSH: Here we go.
CALLER: — never save enough money —
CALLER: — for surgery.
RUSH: Steve, nice try, may man, but you just crossed the line out there. All I do when I pay for my own health care is accept personal responsibility for it and not assume that you are going to pay for it for me. All I do is not be a burden to my fellow citizens, and you have just told me that’s not an idea. By the way, the Republicans will never propose that. They don’t have the guts that I have. But they would never propose that and they haven’t proposed that. What we’re trying to do is reduce costs, Steve. Obama’s plan doesn’t. It’s sad, because you’re smart enough to make, you know, smart-alecky jokes, you ought to be smart enough to figure out that you are unwittingly participating in the destruction of this country by supporting this stuff. But the day when we arrive at the point where somebody taking care of him or herself without being a burden on anybody else, is not good or is outta touch, or is a problem, then we really do have a problem. And I fear that we’re there, Steve. I fear that we are there. But we’re not going to give up. I still am going to continue to work on trying to persuade people like you. And trust me, despite Obama’s efforts here, I’m not quitting until everybody agrees with me, and that includes you.