RUSH: We have a mantra montage of a bunch of Democrats and media types saying that repealing Obamacare is discrimination.
PELOSI: 129 million Americans have preexisting conditions and could lose their health care coverage if you discriminate.
GARAMENDI: The gross discrimination upon Americans for decades.
YARMUTH: Pre-existing condition discrimination.
CLYBURN: Dr. King also taught us the time is always right to do right. Last March the time was right and Congress agreed getting rid of these discriminatory practices —
JOHNSON: Repeal will allow insurers to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.
LOWEY: Discrimination by insurance companies against millions of us.
BRALEY: It prohibits discrimination.
LEVIN: Gives back to insurance companies discrimination.
CANNON: Eliminating discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.
HEUVEL: Do you want insurance companies to discriminate?
KLEIN: To discriminate based on pre-existing conditions.
PALLONE: To discriminate by eliminating people who have pre-existing conditions.
LEWIS: I don’t think any of us want to live in a country that discriminate against people when it comes to health care.
RUSH: John Lewis, who was beat upside the head once, says that I don’t think anybody wants us to live in a country that discriminate against people when it comes to health care. So you see the mantra is out there. This is all discriminatory. And now, ladies and gentlemen, we turn to utter brilliance. Rare do we have the opportunity to share with you such clarity of thought, such unique insight, such special intelligence. This is yesterday on the floor of the House of Representatives, Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Let’s hear it for Sheila Jackson Lee.
LEE: The Fifth Amendment speaks specifically to denying someone their life and liberty without due process. That is what HR-2 does and I rise in opposition to it, and I rise in opposition because it is important that we preserve lives, and we recognize that 40 million plus are uninsured. Can you tell me what is more unconstitutional than taking away from the people of America their Fifth Amendment rights, their 14th Amendment rights, and their right to equal protection under the law? This bill is constitutional, and it protects the constitutional rights of those who ask the question, ‘Must I die, must my child die because I am now disallowed from getting insurance?’
RUSH: Well, there you have it. I mean that’s such clarity of thought, such brilliance, the brightness blinds that kind of brilliance from Sheila Jackson Lee. Repealing Obamacare is unconstitutional and it is discriminatory. CNN and the media are launching a full salvo on this. You know, I think Sheila Jackson Lee is a preexisting condition, if you want to know the truth. But that is just me.
Ed Hornick at CNN: ‘Republicans have put the wheels in motion to try to repeal President Obama’s health care reform law. CNN breaks down the issue and the efforts’ future.’ The first question from the analysis team at CNN: ‘What’s behind the push for repeal? Simple: It’s a campaign promise that House Republicans are trying to honor.’ No, Mr. Hornick, it’s not just a promise Republicans are trying to honor. It’s something half the country does not want. Now, Mr. Hornick, you and CNN can put this in the crosshairs any time you want and try to destroy it, but when a majority of Americans want it repealed, it’s time to admit it is a bad idea. For as many decades as the Democrats have run things in Washington, the fact remains the majority of the problems we have on the cultural and domestic economic side are simply the fault of Democrats’ policies, pure and simple. It’s time to fix all of this, and that’s what the November election was all about. And this effort today, the vote to repeal Obamacare is not the fulfillment of a campaign promise. It is an attempt to fix something that will destroy the US economy. It is an attempt to fix something that will harm the US health care system. And the American people know this.
Mr. Hornick writes: ‘During the runup to the midterm elections, Republicans campaigned heavily on repealing and replacing the law. They cited the ‘will of the people’ – noting that voters, especially members of the Tea Party movement, overwhelmingly rejected the Democrats’ policies. After their historic gains in the midterms, Republicans now control the House and hold a large number of seats in the Senate, and they are living up to that promise. The GOP has been saying that the law as currently written will hamper prospects for long-term economic growth while doing little to slow spiraling medical costs. House Speaker John Boehner, who used to refer to the bill as a ‘jobs killer,’ now says that repealing the ‘job-crushing’ health care law is critical to boosting small business job creation and growing the economy, reflecting sensitivities in the wake of the mass shooting this month in Tucson, Arizona, that critically injured a Democratic colleague.’ Yes, he’s dead serious, this is why Boehner is doing all this and the main thrust is for you to know that Boehner has changed the name of the law.
‘What are the chances of repeal?’ Mr. Hornick asks. And he answers his question with this. ‘The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analysis indicates that Republicans may have trouble moving ahead with defunding the law. The measure includes $106 billion in new spending authorizations that Congress will eventually need to appropriate, according to CBO Director Doug Elmendorf. But $86 billion of those authorizations cover politically sensitive programs that were in existence before the passage of health care reform.’
Mr. Hornick’s next question: ‘What do Americans think? ‘Fifty percent of all Americans favored repeal — even though only one in six dislikes everything in the bill.’ Fourty percent oppose. It’s 58%, Mr. Hornick. At any rate, we’ve had a year to debate this, over one year and no one can sell us that this is a good idea. Nobody can sell anybody that this is a good idea. They had to ram it through on Christmas Eve. They had to ram this through with parliamentary tricks, they had to ram this through with a bunch of pork, a bunch of earmarks, they had to buy off members of the Senate, members of the House of Representatives. CNN seems to forget how this steaming pile of garbage was pushed through. CNN seems to forget this is the one reason that the Democrats lost that Senate seat in Massachusetts to Scott Brown. This, Obamacare, the American people were never in favor of it. It’s much more than just a campaign promise being fulfilled.
Now, Wall Street Journal: Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Joseph Antos and James C. Capretta. Who are these people? ‘Mr. Holtz-Eakin is president of the American Action Forum and a former director of CBO. Mr. Antos is Wilson Taylor Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former assistant director at CBO. Mr. Capretta is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a former associate director at the Office of Management and Budget.’ So they either come from OMB or CBO. Written well, clear and concise, here’s a pull quote: ‘The history of federal entitlements is one of inexorable growth. Once erected, more and more people get added to the programs. [Obamacare] will be no different. Spending will soar, and the tax hikes and spending ‘offsets’ that were cobbled together to get the bill passed will either wither away or vanish altogether.
‘Repeal isn’t a budget buster,’ they conclude, and this is the previous CBO director. ‘Repeal isn’t a budget buster; keeping [Obamacare] is. Assertions to the contrary are, well, audacious. … The Congressional Budget Office says repealing the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] would increase the deficit by $230 billion over the coming decade and by a modest amount in the decade after that. The CBO estimate has become the central defense by ACA advocates fighting the upcoming repeal vote in the House. They might want to re-think their strategy. A close examination of CBO’s work and other evidence undercuts this budget-busting argument about repeal and leads to the exact opposite conclusion, which is that repeal is the logical first step toward restoring fiscal sanity.’
It doesn’t take an analysis; it doesn’t take a survey; it doesn’t take research. It takes intelligence guided by experience. As these people point out, the simple history of federal entitlements, there isn’t one that reduced the deficit. Quite the opposite. There isn’t one that came in anywhere near to its promised projected cost. They all cost much more. There isn’t one that has succeeded. The war on poverty has not eradicated poverty. The Great Society, all of these Lyndon Johnson programs have not worked. There isn’t a one of them that has worked, depending on how you define ‘worked.’ If the objective was to buy votes for Democrats and keep them in power, yeah, it’s worked. If the expressed, intended purpose of the legislation is what you want to look at, the results of that, it’s an abysmal failure, every one of them is. Federal finances are buckling under the weight of unaffordable entitlement programs. How often do we hear about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid? They’re unsustainable as they are right now. We’re gonna add the largest entitlement ever to this, and now we’re gonna be told it’s gonna cut the deficit and that if we repeal this — in essence, if we don’t spend this money, we are going to bust the budget.
This is no different than somebody trying to tell you, if you live in a $200,000 house, ‘If you don’t go buy that million-dollar house, you are gonna blow your whole budget.’ But you live in a $200,000 house, your income hasn’t changed, but you go out and buy a million dollar house and you are gonna have extra cash flow at the end of the month. It’s an insult to anybody’s intelligence. ‘Federal finances are buckling under the weight of unaffordable entitlement programs. So what is the primary aim of the ACA? Open-ended entitlement expansion: to more people at greater expense than any time since the 1960’s. If CBO is right, 32 million people will be added to the health entitlement rolls, at a cost of $938 billion…’ and that’s not even right, that’s just what they say ‘… through 2019, and growing faster than the economy or revenues thereafter. How, then, does the ACA magically convert $1 trillion in new spending into painless deficit reduction? It’s all about budget gimmicks, deceptive accounting…’ the kinda stuff that put Enron people in jail or drove ’em to suicide. ‘… and implausible assumptions used to create the false impression of fiscal discipline.
‘For starters, that $1 trillion price is a low-ball estimate, covering only six — not ten — years of subsidies that don’t begin until 2014.’ You may have forgotten, but we haven’t. In order to get this whole shebang passed, they had this magic figure of a trillion dollars that it could not exceed, and the reason for that is the Iraq war cost about a trillion dollars, and they used the Iraq war as [an example of] wasteful spending, gotta get outta there, trillion dollars, spend elsewhere. So the trillion dollars became, $900 billion actually, became the operative figure. So to have this thing cost $900 billion they needed a gimmick: Ten years of taxes; six years of benefits. That’s what we’ve got. We don’t have ten years of benefits. We’ve got six years. We have ten years of taxes.
‘That $1 trillion price is a low-ball estimate, covering only six — not ten — years of subsidies that don’t begin until 2014. The uninsured were clearly less of a priority than the deception of making the law look less expensive than it really is over its first decade. Over ten years of full implementation,’ meaning the second ten years of this debacle, ‘it’s more like $2.3 trillion,’ not $938 billion. Nine hundred thirty-eight billion the first ten years; $2.3 trillion the second ten years. The difference? We’re actually going to be spending all the benefits for the entire ten years of the second decade of the program. So that’s all you need to know. The column is filled with much more data and information, but right there is all you need to know. So it is a lie. It is irresponsibility, and if anybody in the private sector were trying to do this where shareholders were involved, the very people calling this discrimination, unconstitutional, the very people who are saying that this is a panacea, the very same people claiming how great this is would be trying to put those private sector people in jail for coming up with a scheme like this, for defrauding investors and everybody else.
Let me give you one more. ‘Next up is the CLASS Act (for the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act) providing a new long-term care insurance entitlement. CLASS hitched a ride on the ACA for one reason only: premiums are collected in the first ten years, but no benefits are provided.’ So here’s ten years of income to offset no spending, as an accounting trick. So therefore ‘it creates the perception of $70 billion in deficit reduction,’ but they’re not spending any money, they’re just collecting. ‘In fact, CLASS is a bailout waiting to happen, as it will attract mainly sick enrollees. Only in Washington could the creation of a reckless entitlement program be used as ‘offset’ to grease the way for another entitlement,’ which is what this is. Again, ‘The history of federal entitlements is one of inexorable growth. Once erected, more and more people get added to the programs. [Obamacare] will be no different. Spending will soar, and the tax hikes and spending ‘offsets’ that were cobbled together to get the bill passed will either wither away or vanish altogether.’ The thing is you know all this. You knew all this during the debate. We have been lied to since the first day this whole program was explained to us.
RUSH: This is John. It’s great to have you on the program, sir. Hi.
CALLER: (Julio impression) Oh, Rush Limbaugh, what an honor to speak to you. Oh, gracious god! Oh!
RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much.
CALLER: Hey, Rush?
CALLER: I just want to call… Hello?
RUSH: Yeah, I’m here.
CALLER: Yeah, okay. I’m one of these guys that I’m up on the slopes snowboarding. I’m on the street skateboarding. I’m 28; I’m healthy. There’s not much I won’t do. But I’m not gonna get insurance because I’m gonna be covered, whatever happens to me. I will never need insurance because if something ever does happen to me I won’t have to have insurance. I mean, they’ll cover ‘preexisting conditions’ with the new plan, correct?
RUSH: You mean like when you break your leg or something?
CALLER: Yeah, or my back or my neck — or you know, something worse.
RUSH: Well, yeah, that’s a preexisting condition.
CALLER: Yeah, right.
RUSH: ‘Preexisting’ before you got to the hospital. Sure.
CALLER: Right. What’s the point of insurance then with the new Obama plan?
RUSH: Well, in the first place: If this thing does survive the light of day, you either will be buying insurance or you’re gonna get a knock on the door from an IRS agent and you are going to be paying a penalty or fine. Now, at first, the fine will be much less than what insurance would cost you. This is by design.
RUSH: They want you to not buy the insurance. They want you to pay the fine instead. At some point over the next couple or three years the price of the fine will exceed the cost of insurance. The law will remain that you have to have insurance. At that point you will have to buy it from the government. If you don’t — if you don’t — some years down the road, you can go to jail. Mrs. Pelosi has confirmed that is in the law. So don’t just rely on the emergency room and your preexisting condition theory. You might be in jail, too.
RUSH: ‘As the House prepares debate on the future of the $1 trillion health care overhaul enacted last year, 200 economists have asked members of Congress to repeal the act. … The letter includes the signatures of Douglas Holtz-Eakin and June O’Neil, both former directors of the Congressional Budget Office; Arthur Laffer, the first chief economist for the Office of Management and Budget, Brian Wesbury, former chief economist of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress; and William Niskanan, former chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors and chairman emeritus of the libertarian CATO Institute.’
There’s a story here. This is in the Wall Street Journal. (muttering). Yeah. ‘The Coming Doctor Shortage — We can’t insure 32 million more people and cut funding to train doctors by $60 billion,’ which is what is happening. Well, the deficit commission is proposing that, did propose it. This is the kind of thing, the reason I mention it… ‘What do you mean, Rush, $60 billion and cut doctor funding?’ This is what you get when you start talking spending cuts. The left, in order to scare people into not supporting spending cuts, they start to say, ‘Okay, we’re gonna have to cut the cops. We’re gonna have to cut the fire department. We’re gonna have to cut Santa Claus! We’re gonna have to cut sewage. We’re gonna have to cut this, gonna have to cut that.’
‘We’re gonna have to cut doctors!’
‘Oh, no, no, no! Don’t cut my fire department! Don’t cut my fire department! Don’t cut my doctor!’
‘Okay, well, then they can’t have these spending cuts.’
From CNBC (actually it’s a Reuters story): ‘Nearly two-thirds of U.S. doctors surveyed fear healthcare reform could worsen care for patients, by flooding their offices and hurting income, according to a Thomson Reuters survey released on Tuesday. The survey of more than 2,900 doctors found many predict the legislation will force them to work harder for less money. ‘When asked about the quality of healthcare in the U.S. over the next five years, 65 percent of the doctors believed it would deteriorate with only 18 percent predicting it would improve,’ Thomson Reuters, parent company of Reuters, said in a statement.’ No matter where you look, the news on this is devastating.
In other economic news: ‘Builders began work last year on the second fewest number of homes in more than half a century, as the weak economy kept people from buying houses.’ Boy, that weak economy. Redlining against the minorities again, I’ll bet. ‘Builders broke ground on a total of 587,600 homes in 2010, just barely better than the 554,000 started in 2009. Those are the two worst years on records dating back to 1959. And the pace is getting worse. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that builders started work at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000 new homes and apartments last month.
‘That’s a drop of 4.3 per cent from November and the slowest pace since October 2009.’ Now, isn’t there something conspicuously missing from all this? Somehow, somehow the only blame — this is an AP story, the only blame — AP can find here is on the faceless ‘weak economy.’ Yeah, the ‘weak economy,’ which has no face — and it ought to have a face, that of Obama. The ‘weak economy’ is the reason for so few homes being built. No mention of Obama. No mention of the congressional Democrats who have had as much power over the economy as it’s possible to have for the last two years.
RUSH: This is Vickie in Dallas. You’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. Hi, Rush. Listen, when you played that I believe it was Maxine Waters clip of her standing up there and saying how people aren’t gonna get this and they’re not gonna get that, well, listen, I happen to be an ER nurse, and I run the department, and I’m telling you, people are not denied anything. If they come to an ER and they don’t have a primary, we refer them to a primary, we refer them to clinics they need to get to. I watch my staff daily working their rear ends off to get people into the right places where they need to go. If you need help, you get it.
RUSH: I know.
CALLER: I’m appalled! It’s slap in my face. It’s a slap to everybody out there working the front lines on a daily basis. I take offense to what she said. I truly do.
RUSH: This is one reason why people don’t have insurance. They know they can go to the emergency room any time and you people are gonna take care of them as though they had money to pay for it.
CALLER: We spend gazillions of money on people without money. Traumas. I mean you come through the door and I’ve heard a lot of people say that, you know, the Arizona Senator she got special care, are you nuts? I’ve worked trauma units and you get the same care with every person who walks in the door. It’s a trauma. Hello. We work on you.
RUSH: I’m glad you said that. That is the point I made about this. Only in this country in whatever city that accident happened could she get the best health care available.
RUSH: In Canada they’d have to come here for it most of the time.
CALLER: Yes. I mean EMSers take you to the right level one trauma to get the care that you need. We don’t stand around saying, ‘Hmm, let’s check their wallet and see what they got in there.’ Oh, I’m just screaming!
RUSH: That only happens in Democrat produced television shows and movies.
CALLER: Oh, my gosh.
RUSH: By the way, the spokesman on that sound bite was Sheila Jackson Lee from your state. She’s from over in Houston.
CALLER: Well, you know, running an ER and seeing how hard my staff works every day, we spend hours on referrals. There are social workers who spend hours in the ER to make sure that these people get follow-up.
RUSH: I know, plus you get to work with George Clooney. A lot of people would love to have your job.
CALLER: Well, we’re too busy to even look at how cute he is.
RUSH: I know, it’s a pop culture comment. Look, Vickie, I’m glad you called, you’re right on the money and I’m glad you made it through and I love your passion.