RUSH: All right, look, folks, the biggest news, or the most important news of the day is not Stupak. It’s close. We predicted this would happen, said Stupak would be hounded out of office the day after the House passed the bill. And the biggest news of the day is not how they’re trying to cover up the Stupak announcement. That’s the retirement of Justice Stevens. Something else much more important than all that: It’s Friday. Let’s go.
JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny South Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!
RUSH: As usual, America’s Real Anchorman, the Truth Detector, Doctor of Democracy serving humanity on Open Line Friday. And we have a huge new tune-in factor because of the importance of this program, and of course it’s a good show. So people may be listening for the first time today. If that’s true, Open Line Friday differs from Monday through Thursday in this way. Monday through Thursday, I don’t take calls from people on things I don’t care about. Life’s too short. I’m not going to sit here and be bored, because if I’m bored, you’re going to be bored, and then you will tune out. Can’t have that. But on Friday, I throw all that out. I take one of the biggest career risks ever taken by anybody in Big Media. When I go to the phones, the content of the program is all yours. On Friday you can talk about whatever you want whether I care about it or not. And it’s a golden opportunity. If you think something hasn’t been discussed that should be or there’s a point of view on something that you need to express that you haven’t heard or if you have a question, comment about anything, this is the day for it. Telephone number is 800-282-2882, and the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
Okay, so Stupak’s quitting. He says the tea party had nothing to do with it, which means the tea party has everything to do with it. One story says he’s scared. The truth is he has no prayer of being reelected, zip, zero, nada. He’s just the first of many dominos to fall here in this regard. I just hope all of these Democrats remember, Bill Clinton, Obama, everybody saying, ‘You better vote for health care if you want to get reelected. We lost the House in ’94 because we failed to get it done.’ And now the Gallup poll has the Democrat Party’s image at the lowest point it’s been in memory. John Paul Stevens is quitting, no big deal, predictable, he’s been leaking it, been talking about it. I think the timing is interesting. They’re going to lose their majorities in November, probably want to get some radical, wild haired liberal nominated and confirmed, if they can, before the November elections, or certainly before next January when the new Congress is sworn in. But the big, really important thing that’s out there today is in the Wall Street Journal, because this is something that affects you and your family. It is the health care reality check that is taking place in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts and the health care plan they have is the role model, it is a miniature laboratory, if you will, for Obamacare. Even Democrats have described it that way. Insurance rates are going through the roof. The governor has imposed price controls. The insurance companies who asked for their rates to be raised are nonprofit companies, nonprofit. Today Massachusetts, tomorrow the rest of the nation. ‘This week it became impossible in Massachusetts for small businesses and individuals to buy health-care coverage after Governor Deval Patrick imposed price controls on premiums. Read on, because under Obamacare this kind of political showdown will soon be coming to an insurance market near you. The Massachusetts small-group market that serves about 800,000 residents shut down after Mr. Patrick kicked off his re-election campaign by presumptively rejecting about 90% of the premium increases the state’s insurers had asked regulators to approve.’ They have to go get approval to raise their rates. Deval Patrick said hell, no, and started tarring and feathering the companies as part of his reelection campaign, same thing Obama has done is demonize these people. These are nonprofit companies.
‘Health costs have run off the rails since former GOP Governor Mitt Romney and Beacon Hill passed universal coverage in 2006, and Mr. Patrick now claims price controls are the sensible response to this ostensibly industry greed,’ exactly what we were discussing yesterday. There is no greed in industry. These are nonprofits. They’re trying to make enough money here to stay in operation in Massachusetts. The real greed can be found inside most Congresses and legislatures in these states. That’s where the greed is. Not in the free market. ‘Yet all of the major Massachusetts insurers are nonprofits. Three of largest four — Blue Cross Blue Shield, Tufts Health Plan and Fallon Community Health — posted operating losses in 2009. In an emergency suit heard in Boston superior court yesterday, they argued that the arbitrary rate cap will result in another $100 million in collective losses this year and make it impossible to pay the anticipated cost of claims.’ And this gets even better. Stick with me. ‘It may even threaten the near-term solvency of some companies. So until the matter is resolved, the insurers have simply stopped selling new policies.’
They’re not selling anything. That’s their response. Now, let’s extrapolate. In Massachusetts, the government can’t take over for the insurance companies or doesn’t want to. In the case of Obama, when this happens, as we predicted, as a lot of people predicted, when this happens in America’s private sector, nationwide, that’s when Obama will move in, if this happens, and get his single payer. When the insurance companies can no longer stay in business even if they’re nonprofits, they’re just gonna quit. That’s the objective — mark my words — of the Obamacare problem. ‘A court decision is expected by Monday, but state officials have demanded that the insurers — under the threat of fines and other regulatory punishments — resume offering quotes by today and to revert to year-old base premiums.’ So the State of Massachusetts, ‘You’re not selling policies? Fine. You better start quoting for people that want to buy, and you’re going to quote last year’s prices.’ And they talk about greed in the private sector?
‘Let that one sink in: Mr. Patrick has made the health insurance business so painful the government actually has to order private companies to sell their products (albeit at sub-market costs). One irony is that Mr. Patrick’s own Attorney General and his insurance regulators have concluded — to their apparent surprise — that the reason Massachusetts premiums are the highest in the nation is the underlying cost of health care, not the supposed industry abuses that Mr. Patrick and his political mentor President Obama like to cite.’ And they’re actually acting surprised. They’re stunned to learn that these costs going up are related to the price of health care. They say they’re surprised. See, their template, their narrative has been the insurance companies are evil, they’ve been demonizing, they’re raising prices without any regard for the consumer, raising prices without any regard for true market forces, they’re just greedy. And now the attorney general and Deval Patrick all of a sudden learn, no, no, no, the cost of health care is just skyrocketing. And you’ll hear why, this gets even better in just a moment.
‘On top of that, like ObamaCare, integral to the Massachusetts overhaul are mandates that require insurers to cover anyone who applies regardless of health status or pre-existing conditions and to charge everyone about the same rates. This allows people to wait until they’re about to incur major medical expenses,’ such as getting sick or right after they have the car crash, before they buy insurance. So they buy the insurance only when they need to, and then after the catastrophe has passed, they are selling, they’re getting out, they’re canceling the policies. ‘This week Blue Cross Blue Shield reported a big uptick in short-term customers who ran up costs more than four times the average, only to drop the coverage within three months. Last July, Charlie Baker detailed similar gaming at Harvard Pilgrim, the health plan he used to run. Between April 2008 and March 2009, about 40% of its new enrollees stayed with it for fewer than five months and on average incurred costs about 600% higher than the company would have otherwise expected.’
Well, bingo, this is perfectly allowed under Obamacare. The only difference here is if you don’t buy the insurance — there’s a mandate that you buy it — if you don’t, you get fined. We know now the IRS will take the value of your fine, the amount of it, from your so-called IRS refund, your income tax refund. And then when you need the insurance, doctor tells you you got a bad problem, illness, or the minute you have the wreck call the insurance company and they have to insure you just like they have to in Massachusetts, at controlled prices. Well, this is what’s causing prices to skyrocket in Massachusetts. This is why these insurance companies have asked the commission for rate increases from anywhere from eight to 32% and Deval Patrick said no way as part of his opening salvo in his reelection campaign. So the insurance companies, ‘We can’t do business like this.’ They’re nonprofits don’t forget, so they stop selling policies. And the governor has ordered them to start quoting prices at last year’s premiums. Well, folks, they can’t stay in business this way. It’s not possible. This is a 100% microcosm. This is just one of the many aspects that is rife throughout Obamacare.
‘Mr. Baker is almost certain to be Mr. Patrick’s GOP opponent in the fall election. The Governor’s lurch toward price controls is obviously part of a bid to tar the former CEO as an industry villain.’ We know that’s going to happen because, ‘David Plouffe, the architect of Mr. Obama’s Presidential campaign, has signed on as a Patrick 2010 consultant. These kinds of collisions between politics and health care are going to occur constantly across the country as ObamaCare kicks in.’ The thing you have to realize is, this is by design. I don’t know if it’s by design in Massachusetts, but this is by design in Obamacare. And who knows. Patrick may be using this the same way that Obama intends to use it, and that is to continue to tar and feather the insurance companies, to blame them for being involved in greed, making obscene profits and so forth, basically to run ’em out of business because single payer is where they want to go and I don’t know if they want to head that way in Massachusetts, but regardless, you can’t buy insurance there today. You can’t buy health insurance. The companies that sell it refuse to sell it, and they’re nonprofit. All they’re trying to do is make enough money to stay in operation. And, by the way, this is exactly how Obama envisions the private sector. There shouldn’t be any profit. A company exists to provide health care and jobs. And if they make exactly what it costs them to operate, then that’s fine, that’s fair and that’s the way it ought to be. It is profit that is the evil thing, gets a bull’s-eye painted on your back.
RUSH: Nicholas in Dallas, start with you. Welcome to the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you, sir. Mega genius dittos here.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: I work with specialists in medicine, cardiology, neurosurgery, allergy, any kind of specialist that’s not primary care, and I can tell you that this bill is going to destroy those specialists that are the hardest to replace in medicine. What will happen is he’ll say, ‘Oh, we can promote nurses, we can have physicians assistants to be those primary care physicians.’ But the problem is when you need to go get an aneurysm taken care of or something to that point, they’re already doing charity by accepting Medicare. Some of these guys are posting a hundred to a $200 loss for every Medicare patient that they see.
RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but wait a minute, wait a minute. The Democrats say that they’re gonna do the doc fix. But even with the doc fix they’re on the losing end of the proposition, right?
CALLER: They’re taking a loss now! They’re already doing charity, and they do it because they love their patients. I mean these guys didn’t get to start working until they were 36. Sixteen years of additional college, and now you want to say, ‘Well, we’re going to make all your patients charity. Congratulations.’ Yeah, this is a recipe for disaster of epic portions. And here in Dallas, this is the best medical market in the nation right now as far as reimbursements and stuff go, and I’m already helping people plan their exits.
RUSH: You’re helping doctors plan their exits?
CALLER: Absolutely. Because they can’t just leave, there’s a bunch of hurdles that they have to achieve. But most of them can get out within 18 months. So I’m already helping these guys plan these things out.
RUSH: What are they going to do when they leave? What career are they going to go into?
CALLER: A lot of them have side investments that they’re working on, they’re going to sell the big house, they’re going to just have to cut back and wait ’til things pass out, if things get too much worse.
RUSH: Well, I don’t think this is by design. I know a lot of this health care plan is by design, but I don’t think that the regime intends to force specialists out. There’s nothing in it for the regime for that to happen. I mean, that’s the kind of stuff, if there aren’t any doctors no matter who’s paying for it, that’s the stuff that revolts are made of, and the regime doesn’t even want to contemplate revolts.
RUSH: I just got an e-mail from a member of the Government-Run Media who says, ‘I heard you bashed Romneycare today. Where can I get a transcript?’ (laughing) Ah, see, the template here is: ‘El Rushbo, leader of the Republicans, bashes Massachusetts health care plan.’ I did mention Romney’s name once, but mainly it was Deval Patrick and what he’s done, the insurance commission and so forth. But they want to take the occasion to bash Romney and try to take him out based on this. Obama himself has been pointing everybody to Massachusetts, ‘That’s what you should look at, that’s our role model, that’s what this is.’ Well, that’s what we’re doing, we’re taking a look at Massachusetts. So if you want to try indict Romney with this, go ahead, but at the same time it’s Democrats that are running this show.