RUSH: Can we JIP this? I don’t even know he was there. It’s Tom ‘Dung Heap’ Harkin speaking. I just want to hear a little bit of this. It’s gotta be good. We’re going to JIP it.
HARKIN: ‘I’m writing to voice my concern regarding my family’s rapidly escalating health care costs. On Saturday…’
RUSH: Here we go. Stop the tape. Here it is. It’s sob story after sob story after sob story. Remember Louise Slaughter with the sob story today and the dentures that some woman in her district has to wear of a dead person because she can’t afford her own. Okay, JIP it.
HARKIN: ‘…$16.20. This is a 14.6% increase and will result in a yearly cost of $18,194.40.’
RUSH: Obama is looking on very concerned, folks. Very concerned.
HARKIN: ‘Ten years ago our monthly health insurance premium was $373.50 per month.’
RUSH: Tom Harkin reading a letter from a constituent —
HARKIN: ‘…which had a lower deductible and covered…’
RUSH: — complaining about how evil insurance companies are killing off his whole family.
HARKIN: ‘The health care costs are out of control and as a self-employed individual I feel powerless. At the current rate of increase by the time I reach Medicare age, my premiums will cost $42,000 per year. As a farmer I manage risk on –‘
RUSH: What does any of this have to do —
HARKIN: ‘– whether weeds, insects –‘
RUSH: — with reforming health care?
HARKIN: ‘I have not yet found –‘
RUSH: This is all about trying to position Republicans as big friends of killer insurance companies. That’s what this is about
HARKIN: ‘– denied access to coverage –‘
RUSH: Do it for Paul! Do it for Paul!
HARKIN: ‘Therefore I’m stuck in an expensive pool.’
RUSH: One more time: Do it for Paul!
HARKIN: ‘The best option would be for the US Congress to pass comprehensive health care –‘
RUSH: Obama looking on, concerned.
HARKIN: — resulting in affordable health care for all.
RUSH: Very, very concerned at this sad story.
HARKIN: ‘– the future of my small business depends on. Sincerely, Raymond Smith, Buffalo Center, Iowa.’ Mr. President, we spent — and I hear talk about we gotta start over and do all this thing again. You know, we spent one year considering a range of ideas from experts from all over the political spectrum.
RUSH: Obama, very concerned now.
HARKIN: Two committees — the Health Committee, under the able leadership of Senator Dodd; the Finance Committee, under the leadership of Senator Baucus — held over a hundred bipartisan meetings and walkthroughs to discuss this bill. Our bill contains over 147 distinct Republican amendments. Now, on the issue of health insurance reform. Of the ten key elements in the House bill, we have nine of them in our bill!
RUSH: Senator Harkin, Rush Limbaugh here. I would like to voice my concern about my family’s rapidly rising tax bill. I figure in the next five years, over half of what I earn will be in the hands of people like you. And I don’t know if I can go on that way, Senator. Can we talk about my family’s rapidly rising federal tax bill, Senator? Do you want me to send you a sob story letter on that? Will Obama look concerned when you read that letter?
HARKIN: So I think we’re very — we’re very — we’re very close on this.
RUSH: Senator Harkin, do you have any other letters from constituents complaining about the rising tax burden and the pain and suffering it’s causing their farm family?
HARKIN: …we could take an incremental type of an approach.
RUSH: Do you have any letters of abuse from VA hospital, Senator?
HARKIN: But we don’t have to do anything else.
RUSH: Any letters about being turned down for Medicaid or Medicare?
RUSH: Insurance reforms you can only do that if everybody’s in the pool. You can only get everybody in the pool if you make it affordable for middle-class families and others.
RUSH: Senator Harkin, could we put together an income tax pool? I could join a whole bunch of other citizens and reduce my overall rate because you would agree on a cheaper rate if we all pool our resources for income taxes, Senator Harkin? See a picture of President Obama. Ooo! He’s still very deeply concerned, ladies and gentlemen, at this story being told by Tom Harkin. Deeply, deeply concerned.
HARKIN: — do anything else and he found it to be a debacle because the insurance premiums skyrocketed. New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Washington were forced to repeal their reforms because of that. Case in point: Massachusetts, in the nineties, put in, uhh, health insurance reforms on everything else. Individual market of premiums doubled.
RUSH: Who runs Massachusetts?
HARKIN: Two years when they did their comprehensive reform —
RUSH: Senator Harkin, do you know that the president’s own network has stopped covering you? They’re covering the Olympics.
HARKIN: — do this incremental approach. Every time I hear about — we’re sinking, we’re drowning in this —
RUSH: That’s right. They’re showing hockey, Senator. They’re showing hockey on the Obama network! It’s women’s hockey to boot, yeah! Women’s hockey to boot on your own TV network, Senator Harkin.
HARKIN: Then we’ll throw him a 30-foot and 40, by that time the swimmer has drowned. And that’s what’s going to happen —
RUSH: Senator Harkin, is there a time limit on Democrats filibustering during the health care summit here?
HARKIN: — by the time, if we do this kind of incremental type of an approach, that I hear —
RUSH: President Obama you feel the need to stop this? He’s rambling on incoherently making less sense than you have been.
HARKIN: I’d like to put this in a different kind of contextual framework.
RUSH: Different? Oh, no.
HARKIN: We don’t allow segregation in our country —
RUSH: Yes, we do.
HARKIN: — on the basis of race, creed —
RUSH: Conservatives are not allowed in a lot of places.
HARKIN: — color, national origin, et cetera.
RUSH: President Obama! President Obama, this is a talking point alert! Talking point alert, all this is talking points President Obama, you gotta stop this. This is another prop. This is Harkin using stagecraft, Obama. It’s nothing more than talking points! Harkin, don’t you realize the campaign’s over? And you won.
HARKIN: Why should we? Why should we?
RUSH: Obama’s very concerned, still. Either that or he’s falling asleep, I can’t tell which.
HARKIN: It’s time to stop segregating people on the basis of health care! That’s why insurance reform is so vital, because the health insurance industry in this country is based on a flaw.
RUSH: What’s that?
HARKIN: And the flaw is —
RUSH: What is it?
HARKIN: — the ratings are based on segregating people because of their health.
RUSH: (Gasp!) Which is exactly what your health care bill does. It’s exactly what your own health care bill does! Ha-ha-ha! Have you heard of the death panels in your own bill, Senator?
HARKIN: … You’re segregating people out because of their health status.
RUSH: Do it for Paul!
HARKIN: I’m trying to end that.
RUSH: Do it for Paul!
HARKIN: I sold insurance. I was an insurance agent when I was a young man.
RUSH: You worked in that hated industry? How many people did you screw?
HARKIN: … The more people in the pool, the cheaper it is for everybody.
RUSH: If everybody sells insurance is screwing everybody, how many people did Senator Harkin screw when he sold insurance?
HARKIN: Segregating people on the basis of health. Let’s think about that. It’s time to stop that kind of segregation in our country.
RUSH: Senator, Senator, why don’t you want to talk about Obama’s health care bill, what the hell you’re talking about when you sold insurance and segregation and civil rights?
REPORTER: All right. Well, there you heard just a little bit of the back-and-forth.
RUSH: That’s it. I guess everybody’s getting tired of this now. That was Senator Harkin, ladies and gentlemen, not talking about the Obama bill but rather getting in some comment there about segregation. And I was not making it up. Obama’s own network is now showing Olympic women’s hockey. And, yes, Snerdley, they are wearing clothes.
RUSH: Yeah, I’m not going to play the whole thing but I just want you to have it standing by out there to remind people what I was doing. So in the spirit of bipartisanship, ladies and gentlemen, Tom Harkin compares opponents to health care to segregationists. Let me see if I understand what he was saying. If everybody is not part of a government-run health care system, it’s like segregation. That’s what he was saying. If we’re not all part of a government-run system, there’s segregation out there. Tom Harkin is one of the biggest loads in the Senate, is all I can say. He is just one of the biggest loads.
RUSH: A lot of people want to know: ‘Why were you shouting, ‘Do it for Paul!’?’ Because of this, this is the Wellstone memorial.
HARKIN: (screaming) For Paul Wellstone! Will you stand up and keep fighting for social and economic justice, say yes! For Paul! For Paul, will you stand up and keep fighting, for better wages, for those who mop our floors and clean our bathrooms, for those who take care of our elderly, take care of our sick, teach our kids and help our homeless, say yes! For Paul, will you stand up and keep fighting for cleaner air and cleaner water, for a cleaner environment for our children and our future, say yes!
RUSH: Do it!
HARKIN: For Paul. For Paul, will you stand up and keep fighting for peace and understanding and to stop the exploitation of women and children around the world, say yes!
RUSH: All right, that’s enough. That’s the Wellstone memorial the 29th of October, 2002. That is Tom Harkin doing it for Paul.