RUSH: Here’s Mary in Chicago. Welcome to the EIB Network. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Hello, Rush.
CALLER: Yes. I’m calling to comment about the mandates that the president has initiated for the insurance companies, this whole cost containment for health care.
CALLER: This has all been done before and it doesn’t work. I used to work for a Fortune 500 company in the benefits area, and in the early eighties when health care costs were exploding, all of us benefit managers got together and we tried to think of ways to contain the costs —
CALLER: — to reduce the increase.
CALLER: And all this cost containment stuff came up and prescreening and wellness programs —
CALLER: — and the thought was that if you could prevent serious illness —
RUSH: It’s all a crock.
CALLER: — you would save a lot of money.
RUSH: We all know this is all a crock.
CALLER: Well, it didn’t work, and if you stop and think about it, ’cause when the results came out we were rather mystified but upon —
RUSH: It was never designed to work in the way they said, Mary. The purpose of it was control.
CALLER: Well, that may have been part of it, but most companies I think really were serious about trying to reduce their costs.
RUSH: Oh, I’m sure, yeah. I’m outta time. Can you hang on, Mary? Now, you’ve hit a hot button.
RUSH: You have hit a hot button.
RUSH: We’re back to Mary in Chicago. Mary, I want to thank you for holding on through the break.
RUSH: If you’re just joining us, Mary, you work in human resources?
RUSH: Back in the eighties with a corporation everybody was talking about preventive medicine.
RUSH: And it was the rage back then, a way to save money, get people to live healthier lifestyles, eat healthier food and so forth. And you said something that just, man, I exploded. I didn’t have time to tell you what it was before the break, and what you said was companies were really serious about trying to reduce costs.
RUSH: And that’s why your company and a lot of others got all hopped up into the preventive medicine fad —
CALLER: Well, we were serious —
RUSH: — because you thought it was —
CALLER: — it wasn’t because we wanted to cut benefits or to make people sick or to not pay.
RUSH: No, no, no, I understand —
CALLER: We really wanted to help, provide a good product.
RUSH: Wait. You’re talking to an ally here.
RUSH: You don’t need to be defensive. I’m not accusing you of wanting to cut costs because you want to hurt people.
RUSH: I understand the notion of cutting costs where you can.
RUSH: The thing that gets me is — this is where I really get frustrated and I guess I really am unique. If I were a CEO of a company and some liberal came along and started saying, ‘We need to do preventive medicine, we need to start eating less.’ I would tell ’em to go pound sand because it doesn’t make any difference. There’s no such thing as preventive medicine. I knew this before there were studies. I have seen people who lived the healthiest lifestyles get cancer and die at age 30. I have seen people who have given no care whatsoever to the way they treat their bodies and they live to 80. We’re all different. We cannot all be made to be automatons and robots. We can’t all be subjected to the same damn mandates and requirements, to have the same outcomes. And so this is what frustrates me, and this is not at you personally. If I were a CEO back then, I woulda told somebody that comes along, ‘Screw it, I’m going to find a more effective way to save money. This is all a fad.’ See, the difference between me and a CEO is I see liberals, I see ’em everywhere and when they open their mouths, I say, ‘Screw you! Leave me alone. Take your infectious way of thinking someplace else.’ But companies are scared of government. They can regulate you; they can hurt you; they can cost you a lot of money if you don’t bend over and grab the ankles for them. That’s why I would never be a CEO. I would never be a corporate crony capitalist. I couldn’t do it. Okay, I’ve said my piece. You can reply.
CALLER: No, I certainly agree with you. There’s another problem with all of this. You know, if one company does it and it becomes very high profile in the news, then other companies more or less feel compelled.
RUSH: Yeah, they do it, we gotta do it, whether it works or not. Like an airline, ‘We’re going to start charging you five bucks to bring an extra carry on.’ Well, everybody will start doing it, reduce fares and I understand that. Doesn’t save any money. You get a successful TV show, get your own version of the show.
CALLER: Well, and also there’s the increased costs that come into play because while you may do some good and prevent some illness and postpone some illness —
RUSH: You won’t.
CALLER: — that doesn’t offset the costs of hundreds of thousands of people getting tests they don’t need.
RUSH: See, there’s something even more insidious. They come along with this preventive regimen, and they say that if you can convince all of your employees to stop eating salt, whatever the preventive regimen is, that is bogus and BS, that your insurance rates will decline, so they use the power of the purse to use the power of federal government or a controlling authority to regulate the behavior of your employees, making you do it. I mean the whole thing repulses me; the control of people; the blackmail of corporations to engage. How many other stupid, worthless, costly ideas have business had to adopt in order to keep government off their back or to keep a special interest group from suing them or to keep some liberal activist group from protesting outside the CEO’s office? I mean this stuff just drives me nuts. And so you’re in human resources, and everything you’re focused on ostensibly is to save money, when it doesn’t, and at the same time there’s no focus on productivity.
RUSH: Now, please don’t take this personally. You just happened to say one sentence that launched a missile in my mind. See, I love freedom. I love individuality. I do not like monoliths. I do not like this attempt to force everybody to do everything the same way, to be the same, to have the same outcome, to think the same way, to behave the same way, I hate it, I despise it, I object to it, and I fight it every chance I get. So much of this is the Center for Science in the Public Interest, tell us what we can and can’t eat now, and it just bothers me because all of this is political. It’s not business. It’s all political. And these poor CEOs, COOs, human resource directors almost have no choice but to fall in line behind this, otherwise they don’t care about their employees, they don’t care if they get sick and Die. In fact, it’s one less person to pay. Yeah. That’s how they guilt trip you into it. I feel for you, I really do. I’ll bet you’re really happy you called here today, aren’t you? (laughing)
CALLER: Yes, I am. I have been trying. I can’t believe I got through.
RUSH: I want you to finish your point because I have taken over here. Your whole point was that none of it worked back in the 80s, none of it worked, the preventive —
CALLER: No, it didn’t work, and we were really baffled. Again, we were very sincere in this undertaking —
RUSH: Oh, I’m sure.
CALLER: — we thought it would, on the face of it, it sounds good. But once you look at the figures you see that what it results in is so many people getting tests that don’t need them.
RUSH: Right, exactly right.
CALLER: And for the one cancer you may find or the couple years you may postpone high blood pressure medicine or something, it doesn’t save money. And the only thing that’s going to happen here, and on a national scale, these premiums are going to go through the roof.
RUSH: Ha-ha, exactly right. Exactly right. Definition of terms. Preventive medicine equals mind control. Preventive medicine equals behavior control. Preventive medicine equals ‘1984.’ Preventive medicine equals Logan’s Run. You’re 30 years old we’re going to kill you; you’re no longer worth anything. Remember the movie Logan’s Run? Finally some 30 years old, ‘We don’t want to die,’ trying to escape the system that was killing them. Mind control, behavior control, that’s what preventive medicine is. Thank you so much, Mary, for the phone call.
CALLER: Okay. Thank you.
RUSH: I feel bad. I don’t think she know what hit her. I feel bad, she probably thinks I was launching at her personally, and I wasn’t. You don’t think so? See, Snerdley has been frowning through this whole thing and I just want you people to know this because it did not distract me even a syllable. Now, what are you frowning at? If you want them. Dawn just said mammograms are preventative, and they’re taking those away, aren’t they? They used to be mandatory at 40, now it’s 50, whatever, taking those away, right? Mammograms are preventative, sure, if you want it. (interruption) Hm-hm. You don’t. You don’t. Snerdley is asking me, ‘Ask how many parents they have tried to get their kids to change and ask ’em how much success they’ve had, and then you take that to the government level and you have somebody like Obama or some bureaucrat working with a human resource person in an office and you tell ’em you’ve gotta change, you’ve gotta do this, or you don’t get paid, what kind of life is that, what kind of country is that?’
What do you mean change behavior? Have you ever told a drug addict to give up the drugs? Have you ever told an alcoholic to give up the alcohol? It’s not that simple, you don’t just tell people to change. And besides, it’s none of your business anyway. Now, if you’re running a business and you do have certain requirements for your employees to do their work, yeah, then you can, but the motive is the thing there. You can say, ‘I’m doing this for your betterment. I’m doing this for your own good.’ You’re not. I’m doing it for my good. You work for me, I need work done, I need you healthy. If you can’t do it you’re gone. I’m not gonna sit there and send you to 15,000 different counselors and monitor whether you’re going to McDonald’s or not. And if you are I’ll probably applaud you, they need the business. Yeah, this is one of these things, Snerdley, it’s an admirable goal to get people to do the right thing and to not eat the wrong stuff. And that’s how we end up with Mayor Bloomberg’s — (interruption) hm-hm. Hm-hm. Snerdley, crossing the street is destructive to people if you do it at the wrong time.
There is not a behavior on this earth that isn’t destructive or potentially so. He’s asking me, ‘Are there not behaviors that are destructive that you should try to avoid?’ Yeah, parents can try it. Ask them how successful they are. Yeah, by all means, try it. But you go down that road and nobody’s going to be a sky diver, nobody’s gonna get on an airplane, nobody’s gonna get in a car. The risks of a car accident and having an injury or dying in a car are much, much greater than getting in an airplane. You want risky behavior? There could be a snake in the toilet when you go in there. It’s happened in Guam. We’ve talked about it. You gonna stop using the toilet? Might be a snake in there. The whole concept of free will, I’m big into it. We have free will. There are consequences to our actions. And the best behavioral control there is, is a wife.
RUSH: All right, a little pop quiz here. Who — and there is an answer to this. Who is the father of the concept of national health care? Who’s the father — and don’t say ‘Hitler.’ He was number two. Hitler was a follower. The father of the concept? Who was it, Snerdley? Who was the…? (interruption) Close. It was Vladimir Lenin. Vladimir Lenin (or ‘Vlad-eemer,’ if you are Russian.) All you need to know about government-run health care was that Vladimir Lenin had the brainchild. Now, do you think Vladimir Lenin was concerned about the health of Russians, or was he concerned with controlling them? And about this behavioral business, ‘Oh, yeah, we’ve really had a lot of success there.’ Remember when they told us, ‘You get people to quit smoking, and you get rid of secondhand smoke, and look at the health care cost savings that we’ll have.’ Remember that? Oh, I do. I remember everything these little commie twits say.
I remember it, folks, because it’s all BS. It is. Everything that comes out of their controlling, little, small minds is BS. So, ‘We can’t have second-hand smoke, and if people will just quit smoking look at the cost savings in health care.’ Well, we’ve had a whole bunch of people quit smoking. In fact, it’s very odd to see a smoker. The most commonplace to see a smoker is in a movie. On the screen not in the theater. Actors and actresses. That’s where most smoking takes place these days. Yet last I heard, health care costs were skyrocketing at such a rate that we needed Obamacare to reduce the deficit. We’ve been successful with behavioral control. We have succeeded in convincing a vast majority of former smokers to give it up. Our health care costs, fshew! skyrocketed, as they continue to skyrocket.