RUSH: Here are some of the State-Controlled Media headlines about the health care summit yesterday. Washington Post: ‘Summit Fails to Bridge Partisan Gaps on Health Reform.’ Story details: ‘Democrats…are not being honest enough about the costs. … Mr. Obama had a disturbing tendency to dismiss arguments he disagreed with as stale ‘talking points,” and there were no raves for Obama in any of the major papers. Zip, zero, nada. From The Politico: ‘The Aftermath of the Health Care Summit: Confusion, Conflict,’ and the summary of this story is that if the goal was to make Republicans look bad, it failed. It also says the bill that changes the Senate bill that hasn’t passed can’t be done via reconciliation.
Republicans looked reasonable and sincere, it says — as though that’s odd! But, to these people, it is odd. ‘News Channels Quickly Lose Interest in Summit.’ This is the State-Controlled Associated Press as published in the New York Times. The claim here is that Obama ‘came off like any opinionated cable TV host.’ Roland Martin, CNN to Wolf Blitzer: ‘I wouldn’t score it,’ which Roland, easy to see why: There’s nothing to score. No raves from Chris Matthews. He was upset that Obama kept calling these guys by their first names rather than ‘Senator’ this or ‘Representative’ that. So he was most upset about the protocols. Then, again, from The Politico: ‘Truth-Squading the Summit,’ and this story points out how Harry Reid, Tom Harkin, and Obama are all lying — Reid on reconciliation, Harkin on including Republican reforms, and Obama on people losing their current coverage on higher premiums.
I mean, this is not… Folks, I actually thought that what we were going to get here was rave reviews for Obama, but it was so bad that all they can do is say that it was a tie. And when they say it’s a tie, that means that it was a clean sweep for the Republicans. And I’ll tell you, the two stars — and it’s hard to select two. Paul Ryan just ate Obama’s lunch yesterday. I hope some of you had a chance to see the video of Obama’s piercing, piercing expression on his face. He was ticked. He was angry. This is not at all how it was supposed to go. Ditto Eric Cantor. These guys just did a superb job. And we got audio sound bites to review some of this when we come back from the break here at the bottom of the hour. I got a couple from Paul Ryan that I definitely want you to hear.
RUSH: I love this headline from the Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell blog: ‘Somebody Needs to Tell the President His Health Care Plan is Dead.’ Really that kind of sums it up. It’s dead. Here’s Paul Ryan at the health care summit. This sent Obama into rage. You could see it.
PAUL RYAN: This is a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud. When you take a look at the Medicare cuts, what this bill essentially does, is it treats Medicare like a piggy bank. It raids a half a trillion dollars out of Medicare not to shore up Medicare solvency but to spend on this new government program. When you strip out the double counting and what I would call these ‘gimmicks,’ the full ten-year cost of this bill has a $460 billion deficit. The second ten-year cost of this bill has a $1.4 trillion deficit. Hiding spending does not reduce spending, and so when you take a look at all this it just doesn’t add up.
RUSH: Now, Obama is seething. He’s sitting there, his lips are pursed and has a got two fingers up on his lips, emphasizing one of them. He does this. He’s been caught doing this numerous times, even in his career as a US Senator — and he comes out and says, ‘Paul, this is all well and good but we gotta dispense with the talking points, here. If we’re going to have a conversation we gotta dispense with the theatrics and the talking points,’ but Ryan was having none of it.
PAUL RYAN: We’ve been talking about how much we agree on different issues, but there really is a difference between us, and it’s basically this: We don’t think the government should be in control of all of this; we want people to be in control — and that, at the end of the day, is the big difference. We are all representatives of the American people. We all do town hall meetings, we all talk to our constituents, and I’ve gotta tell you: The American people are engaged. And if you think they want a government takeover of health care, I would respectfully submit you’re not listening to them.
RUSH: That is bold talk for a lowly little congressman to spew right in the face of our new young president, Barack Obama, basically telling him… (laughing) I loved it, and I want to hear from all of you who have been sending me these vicious e-mails all week about how there’s no difference in the two parties, that the Republicans and the Democrats are all the same. I want to hear from you. Give me that analysis and let me know how that works on the health care summit. Now, Ed, jump forward to sound bites 28 through 30, because Mike Pence was on Andrea Mitchell (NBC News, Washington)’s show yesterday afternoon, and Pence was panning Obama’s performance on the health care summit. Andrea doesn’t like it. First question: ‘The most remarkable exchange, I think so far, was between the combatants in the ’08 campaign, McCain and Obama. What’s your impression?’
PENCE: This isn’t good government. It’s bad TV. I gotta tell you, I’m not impressed with what we’re seeing. For all the president’s, you know, repeated, somewhat condescending statements about, as he said to John McCain ‘the campaign is over’ and ‘we gotta get away from talking points,’ all we got from the president today is talking points.
MITCHELL: (crosstalk) With all due respect, Congressman —
PENCE: All we got is the president restating the bill that he dumped on the American people on Monday, and the American people want to scrap it and move on.
RUSH: ‘With all due respect, Congressman.’ Andrea is trying to get in there and defend her new young president, but Pence did not come up for air. So she waited and asked another question. ‘Let’s say that there were talking points in the president and his colleagues, Democrats. What’s not a talking point? From what everybody from Lamar Alexander presented very nicely… Talking points from the Republican side has been, ‘Let’s start over.’ So do we ever get past these two sets of talking points?’
PENCE: It really all begins with the president being willing to start with a clean sheet of paper, which he’s obviously not willing to do. Instead the president started out with a loooong monologue defending his government takeover of health care, and I gotta tell you, I really think the real winner today is The Price is Right.
PENCE: I mean, I gotta think that millions of Americans, you know, saw this as TV Land and not real negotiation and tuned over to another channel pretty quick.
RUSH: (laughing) ‘The real winner of this was The Price is Right.’ And, you know, Andrea is sitting there upset. None of this went according to plan. When the day was over yesterday, Republicans were to have been shamed and shocked and embarrassed into never showing their faces in Washington again. Obama was supposed to have just run over them like a Zamboni machine getting the ice ready.
RUSH: You want to hear part of how Obama closed? ‘Cause Pence here is talking about the real winner here was Price Is Right. The Republicans got two hours yesterday, total. Obama and his gang got four and then when he was getting the last word, Obama closed the summit with a threat!
He said, ‘I don’t think, Tom, we’re going to have another one of these because people don’t have seven to eight hours a day to work some of these things through.’ So Obama admits it was a total waste of time. Senators don’t have time to be dealing with issues like nationalizing one-sixth of the economy. So Obama then said, ‘What I do know is this: If we saw a movement — significant movement, not just gestures — then you wouldn’t need to start over because essentially everybody knows what the issues are and procedurally it could get done fairly quickly. We can’t have another year-long debate about this.
‘The question I’m again asking myself and I ask all of you is: Is there enough serious effort that in a month’s time or a few weeks’ time, six weeks’ time, we could actually resolve something? And if we can’t, I think we have to go ahead and make some decisions, and that’s what elections are for. We have honest disagreements about the vision for the country and we’ll go ahead and test those out over here the next several months until November.’ All right. He knows what’s going to happen. Dingy Harry knows. He’s toast! Dingy Harry knows it. Obama knows a lot of Democrats are toast in the House and Senate. The story is out today that Pelosi’s lost control of the House, lost control of the Democrats in the House. This Rangel thing is not good for her.
And, let’s see, there’s the Rangel thing, and then there’s — Oh! They’re gumming up the works on this jobs bill the Senate sent over. Nobody wants any part of it because it’s not big enough. The Congressional Black Caucus says, ‘What do you mean $15 billion? Well, that’s not serious graft. You expect us to be able to do anything with that?’ So they wanted the original $85 billion that Dingy Harry put together. This is a delight to watch.
RUSH: Back to Andrea Mitchell (NBC News, Washington). She said, ‘Well, aren’t they saying, ‘Let’s come up with a smaller package’? He’s not saying, ‘Let’s go back to the Senate bill,’ even though Eric Cantor brought the whole Senate bill.’
PENCE: Oh, gosh, Andrea. When did he say, ‘Let’s go to a smaller bill’? He didn’t rule out the use of reconciliation. Harry Reid, oddly, denied that he’s been talking about reconciliation. That would certainly be news to most of the reporters here in Washington. What I think the American people have seen is almost like a professor with a petulant group of students. He has repeatedly interrupted Republicans. What I see is a lot of political posturing, a lot sentimental statements by Democrats around the table that all seem designed to get us to a point where they can throw their hands up in the air and say to the American public, ‘You know what? We tried, but now we’re just going to have to ram through that government takeover of health care that these Republicans aren’t willing to help us with.’
RUSH: Professorial. Obama, he came across as a lecturer yesterday. But you know why it didn’t work? Remember, now, when Obama went out to the Republican retreat in Baltimore, he was at a podium that was raised on a stage. So he was physically, if not in stature, elevated above the audience. Here, he was just one of a whole bunch of schlubs at the same table on the same size chair and there was no echo. There was no God echo and Obama wasn’t any bigger than anybody else. He was not elevated. And Pence is right: Those Democrats came across petulant. Harry Reid, it’s like… I don’t know. It’s like he was sitting on something and he didn’t want to admit it so it just irritated him all day.
RUSH: Jamie in Petaluma, California, nice to have you up first today on Open Line Friday. Hi.
CALLER: Thank you, Mr. Limbaugh. First of all let me say thank you so very much for being the tip of the conservative spear that’s being thrust into the soft squishy yellow belly of liberal idiocy and hypocrisy. Thank you.
RUSH: My honor, sir.
CALLER: Basically yesterday, aside from watching each politician trying to one-up each other with who has the worst health care sob story, I noticed that Obama stated that everyone must be a part of the government plan because a larger pool of insured people creates lower prices for insurance.
RUSH: Yeah. Yeah.
CALLER: Well, that’s the exact same reason why Anthem Blue Cross is raising their rates and yet he excoriated and ripped on them mercilessly for raising their rates. If Anthem Blue Cross stated that the reason why they’re raising their rates is because they had a large group of healthy insureds drop out of the insurance pool, and they have more unhealthy people —
RUSH: That’s right.
CALLER: — that they’re having to cut the costs for, isn’t that a little bit hippocratic?
RUSH: Right. And why did they drop out? Because the economy’s in bad shape, and they had to make other priorities, like eating, before having health care.
CALLER: Yeah, Steve Poizner, who is the insurance commissioner of California running for governor, sitting here acting shocked and surprised about the rate increases. And yet one thing a lot of people don’t know is that any insurance increase by any company is applied for many months in advance and that the insurance commissioner’s office has to approve of any rate increases or decreases. So either Mr. Poizner has no idea what’s going on in his own office or he knew about it and chose to go after Blue Cross anyway.
RUSH: He’s a bureaucrat. Why would you expect him to know what’s going on in his office or anybody else’s?
CALLER: Exactly. So Mr. Limbaugh, thank you once again so much —
RUSH: Thank you, Jamie.
CALLER: — for being the leader that you are. We appreciate it.
RUSH: Really appreciate that. I love being the tip of the spear. By the way, I have a piece here, William Tucker at the American Spectator today. It’s got some interesting little factoids in it. ‘About halfway through yesterday’s all-day healthcare summit, Democratic Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina told another of the many insurance horror stories that peppered the proceedings.’ This is Clyburn: I was talking to a man recently who had undergone a transplant. And when he was done, he was horrified to learn that his insurance would only cover follow-up procedures for three years. After that he’d have to pay with his own money! ‘A gentleman was called in and he was very, very emotional. He was getting ready to have transplant surgery. But he was told that because he’s on Medicare, his post-operative treatment is going to be limited to three years. After that, he’s going to have to find some way to pay. He was very, very emotional.’
‘Think about that for a minute. The patient is about to receive a transplanted organ (the Congressman didn’t specify what it was) and the horror –‘ he’s gonna get a totally paid for transplant. The horror is that he was going to have to start paying his postop bills in three years. ‘If this is the worst we can say about American medicine, are we really in that bad shape after all?’ I have a different observation on this. I mean look at where we are with this. This guy about had an emotional breakdown because he was told he’s gotta start paying his own medical bills after three years, he gets a free transplant, he gets a free aftercare for three years and then he’s on his own and he’s mad and thinks he’s getting screwed.
Here’s another little factoid. ‘Only 6 percent of the population actually buys their own insurance. (And for this, we are painting the insurance companies as the villains of this melodrama?) Fourteen percent of the population is on Medicare, 14 percent on Medicaid. The other 66 percent do not have insurance but health benefits, which is not the same thing. Nine percent gets its benefits from government employment, 4 percent from the military and the remaining 43 percent get their benefits from private employment,’ and it’s tax-free, by the way. Your health benefits that you get at work are tax-free. You’re not buying insurance at all. Your employer is. Now, you may have copays and deductibles and so forth, but you’re not buying insurance policies, your company is. Only 6% of the population actually buys their own insurance and yet we’re going to blow up private insurance for this.
You want to hear another statistic? When I heard this, this blew my mind. You could take the annual profits of the private health insurance companies and buy health insurance for people for two days. You could combine all the annual profits of the private sector health insurance business and you’d have enough money to buy health coverage for Americans for two days. And yet Obama and the Democrats rail about these obscene profits that are being made by private insurance companies.
RUSH: Couple more sound bites before we go to the break. I want you to hear Kent Conrad from the health care summit yesterday afternoon at the Blair House. If you think that the death panels are out of this bill, listen to Kent Conrad.
CONRAD: Five percent use 50% of the money. Who are they? They’re the chronically ill, people who have multiple serious conditions. A study was done with 20,000 patients. They put a care coordinator on each one of them. These are chronically ill patients. And what they found was by coordinating their care — and the first thing they did, by the way, was go into their kitchen tables, sit down, get out all their prescription drugs, on average they found they were taking 16. They found that by looking at them, they could eliminate eight. The result was hundreds of thousands of dollars of savings per patient.
RUSH: Now, who do you think this 5% using 50% of health care money is? Who do you think the chronically ill are? The elderly, exactly right. And don’t forget, the New York Times declared war on the elderly in one of their blogs this week. We told you about how these people, they’re soaking up all the freebies, they’re getting all the benefits, it’s just not fair out there. So here’s Kent Conrad, 5% use 50% — and, you know, what else? They’re a bunch of druggies. They walk in there and they got 16 different prescriptions, we find out they could get by with eight. You think that there aren’t death panels. (laughing) Think again. John Boehner eloquently destroyed Obama’s bill yesterday and its entire premise.
BOEHNER: Having the government takeover of health care, and I believe that’s what this is, is a dangerous experiment with the best health care system in the world. At a time when our economy is struggling, the last thing we need to do is to be raising taxes on the American people. You’ve got the individual mandate in here which I think is unwise and I do believe is unconstitutional. Mr. President, what we’ve been saying for a long time is let’s scrap the bill. Let’s start with a clean sheet of paper on those things that we can agree on.
RUSH: Whoa, he just sat there and told the Bamster that his bill is unconstitutional. These guys were on fire yesterday, and they were likable when they were on fire, and it was the Democrats that looked like a bunch of spoiled rotten little brats, petulant little creeps, arrogant little smug you-know-whats.
RUSH: This morning in Washington Nancy Pelosi had a weekly press conference, and among the things she said was this.
PELOSI: One year ago nearly, March 5th of 2009, the president started this bipartisan conversation at the White House at the summit. It was a great day —
RUSH: Oh, yeah.
PELOSI: — when Senator Kennedy came into the room and said I’m here to enlist as a foot soldier in the fight, in the campaign to pass health care reform. He would later say to the president, this is about the — not about the details of policy, it’s about the character of our country. Many of us carry — carry that with us as we go forward, as we have gone forward in this campaign and brought it to the table yesterday.
RUSH: All right. So yesterday it was, ‘Do it for Paul! Do it for Paul!’ Now it’s, ‘Can we give it one more shot for Ted?’ Back to that. David ‘Rodham’ Gergen last night on CNN, The Situation Room, the host Wolf Blitzer. ‘The Republicans had less speaking time, David, counting the president the Democrats got four hours, the Republicans got two hours but the Republicans took full advantage of the minutes they had.’
GERGEN: Intellectually, the Republicans had the best day they’ve had in years, the best day they’ve had in years. There’s been this perception that Republicans are either brain-dead or just sort of ideologically resistant to anything, they have no ideas and all the rest of it. I thought it was not just people like Lamar Alexander and Tom Coburn but these new people of Ryan and Cantor were fresh. I think they really evened the score and kept it even.
RUSH: Whoa ho-ho-ho! So Gergen says the GOP, which had been perceived by people like him to be intellectually brain-dead were so good that they evened the score. (laughing) They drew even. They were so sharp, these guys were so fresh and so smart, that they got close to being even. Obama was skunked yesterday, and everybody inside and outside the White House knows it. Stephanopoulos, look, whenever you hear them say it’s a tie, it means it was a Republican big win. Diane Sawyer last night on World News Tonight said, ‘George, thumbs up, thumbs down, and for who?’
STEPHANOPOULOS: I think it was probably an honorable draw. You say theater but it was also chess. I mean there’s political chess, as well and both sides I think gained something.
RUSH: Wait a minute. Cue that up. Is that Stephanopoulos? Are we speeding this up or something? I mean this sounds — play this again.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I think it was probably an honorable draw. You say theater but it was also chess. I mean there’s political chess, as well and both sides I think gained something.
RUSH: What? I didn’t even hear what he said the first time because I didn’t believe it was him. Both sides I think gained something? What did the Democrats gain out of this? What did the Republicans have to lose? Republicans really didn’t have much to lose.
RUSH: Barbie in Lakeland, Florida. This is the first Barbie that I have ever heard from. I’ve never had a caller named Barbie, even though it’s in my top ten all-time favorite female names. Hi, Barbie.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. (giggling)
CALLER: The reason I’m calling is to talk about the health care seminar yesterday.
RUSH: Oh, yeah.
CALLER: I was actually very, very proud of the Republicans because they used the Drive-By Media to their advantage yesterday. And I was almost dancing a jig as I was listening to it. Of course after a while I kind of just muted the Dems because they weren’t coming back with a legitimate answer. But I’m very proud of the Republicans yesterday, because they used this opportunity to get their message out against the health care thing.
RUSH: Have you noticed something, however, Barbie?
RUSH: When the president went up to the Republicans’ weekend retreat in Baltimore —
RUSH: — the Drive-Bys thought that was an Obama home run and for the following week we got looped videotape of Obama performing at the Republican thing, right?
RUSH: So yesterday your assessment is right on the money, we got a grand-slam home run from the Republicans for six hours. Have you seen any of it today?
RUSH: None. The buildup was huge and, of course, this is tantamount evidence that the Drive-Bys know for a fact that Obama got skunked by our guys.
CALLER: I know. I loved it. (laughing) But anyway, I was even proud of McCain and Lamar came out and Cantor and I can’t remember that —
RUSH: Paul Ryan.
CALLER: The rookie, the little rookie from — I can’t remember his name, but I mean he really knocked a home run —
RUSH: Paul Ryan.
CALLER: Right, exactly.
RUSH: Yeah, Paul Ryan from Wisconsin.
CALLER: But anyway, I really enjoyed that yesterday. I mean I didn’t watch every single bit because, you know, I do have a life, but I was just very proud yesterday.
RUSH: You’re even proud of McCain, you said?
CALLER: (laughing) Yes. Well, he kind of came back and then he wouldn’t —
RUSH: Well, I did love the fact he got underneath Obama’s very thin skin.
CALLER: I think so. I think he did.
RUSH: He really did. And he came back in the afternoon, I forget what he came back in the afternoon with, but he was firing both barrels. Remember, now, he’s in a reelection campaign. Now it’s time to be conservative.
CALLER: Oh, that’s true.
RUSH: Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes.
CALLER: Oh, shucks, I forgot about that.
RUSH: That’s right. That’s why I’m here.
CALLER: (laughing) Thank God.
RUSH: Okay, Barbie, great to talk to you. Thank you very much.
CALLER: No, thank you.
RUSH: You bet. Who’s next week here? Carson. Carson in Chicago, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, how you doing, buddy?
RUSH: Fine and dandy, sir.
CALLER: Listen, I’m calling up to support you and the Republicans —
RUSH: Carson, would you hang on just a second here?
RUSH: What are you people laughing at on the other side of the window and distracting me? They’re laughing at Barbie’s sultry voice, Carson. That’s what they’re laughing at. Okay, Carson, back to you. Where were you?
CALLER: I was saying that I did watch the seminar yesterday on TV and I was really proud of our Republicans. They really came off as educated, quick on their feet and they made the Democrats just look like a bunch of buffoons which we all know they are.
RUSH: You know they’re listening at the White House. This is not what they had in mind today.
RUSH: They expected this show to be filled with Obama seminar callers ripping the Republicans today and instead it’s just the opposite.
CALLER: Oh, absolutely. I thought they did a great job. Once again they showed that they really stand for their ideas. I loved it when Obama, after finally being cut off at everything, saying we’re just going to shove it through —
CALLER: — and if you don’t like it you can take it out at it elections. You could see the Democrats in back wincing.
RUSH: The whole thing was a sham, as they said yesterday in The Politico, to put a face on gridlock. But the whole thing I think as evidenced by the fact that you don’t see the news media playing any videotape of it all today was a total, total bomb-out for Obama. It wasn’t even close. And the fact that they’re not talking about it at all today is just further evidence. Carson, thanks very much for the call, I appreciate it.
You know, if there’s been any spamming going on this week it’s in my e-mail from people who are telling me I suck because I don’t see the difference between Republicans and Democrats, and, you know, we’ve talked about it all week long, and my good friends, the fact of the matter is, I am stunned when I hear informed people say, ‘Wow, you know, the Republicans really have some ideas.’ Of course they do. It’s not a surprise. I run into the same thing personally that they’re experiencing today. When I go out in public and people meet me who only know me by either listening to this program, or, more importantly, through the media image that the Drive-Bys have created, they are shocked, they are stunned at what a nice guy I am. And just like today, people are shocked that the Republicans have some ideas, shocked that the Republicans could speak and sound intelligent, shocked that the Republicans just didn’t go over there and bend over and die. Shocked! I’m not shocked, especially about the ideas, ’cause the guys that were in that room on the Republican side are conservatives, and there’s a world of difference between them and the Democrats and it was on full display. So it’s a good thing that it happened, I just continually am amazed that people find out that normal, everyday people with ideas are smart, that’s somehow a shock to them. Don’t be shocked by them. That’s who they are.