RUSH: This story Byron York had in the Washington Examiner on March 31st: “Uncovered: New $2 Billion Bailout in Obamacare.” Two billion of corporate cronyism, or crony capitalism, if you will. For example, AT&T got $140 million to subsidize health care plans. Verizon, $91 million. General Electric, despite not paying any US income taxes last year, got $36 million. General Motors, Obama’s car company, received $19 million in bailout money in order for them to be able to more easily afford health care within their companies.
RUSH: Two groups of people that the Democrat Party owns and it will forever, and I mean forever, present us an ongoing battle, and that is the media and unions. And when you look at the fact that there were twice as many union members, public sector government jobs as there are American manufacturing jobs, the takers outnumber the makers in America today. And it wasn’t that long ago, 40 years ago, JFK, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Today the motto of the Democrat Party, the motto of every Democrat constituency is, “Ask what your country can do for you.” Or worse, “Demand what your country must do for you.”
From Byron York, again, the Washington Examiner on March 31st: “Investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee have discovered that a little-known provision in the national health care law has allowed the federal government to pay nearly $2 billion to unions, state public employee systems, and big corporations to subsidize health coverage costs for early retirees. At the current rate of payment, the $5 billion appropriated for the program could be exhausted well before it is set to expire.” This is something nobody knew was in the bill until it was passed and then signed. A little-known provision, $5 billion can be spent by the federal government to pay unions, state public employee systems, and big corporations to subsidize health coverage costs for early retirees. In other words, for people who are not working.
“The discovery came on the eve of an oversight hearing focused on the workings of an obscure agency known as CCIIO — the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. CCIIO, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, oversees the implementation of Section 1102 of the Affordable Care Act, which created something called the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.” Obamacare pays — I mean, you know, the things that we continue to learn are not really surprises generically. Specifically, yeah. We knew that this was nothing more than massive federal spending, slush fund type spending. But get this. And remember, now, this is the authorship, this is Democrats, and they’re the ones running around talking about all the favorable and the unfair tax breaks to Big Oil, the unfair tax breaks to all these rich corporations. It’s the Democrats running around trashing “big this” and “big that,” and yet here they write legislation. GE is not paying any federal income tax and they’re getting $36 million from the federal government to pay for their retired employees health care. AT&T got $140 million. Verizon, $97 million.
“The legislation called for the program to spend a total of $5 billion, beginning in June 2010 … and ending on January 1, 2014,” 2014 is when the full thing gets implemented, and this is another one of these provisions put in the legislation to buy off support. You know that the AT&T crowd knew. You know that Verizon knew. You know that all these unions were told, “Okay, don’t oppose us. Here’s what we’re gonna do for you,” and this is all gonna happen before all the real excrement hits the fan. You know, all the benefits, that’s really gonna kick in in 2004. This is gonna happen under the radar, nobody is gonna know anything about it until it’s been discovered.
“The idea was to subsidize unions, states, and companies that had made commitments to provide health insurance for workers who retired early — between the ages of 55 and 64, before they were eligible for Medicare.” So it’s patently obvious what this was. The authors of Obamacare go to these various companies, institutions, unions and so forth and say, “Here’s the deal: You shut up. You don’t oppose us. Go along with this. You commit to providing health insurance for your early retirees before they’re qualified or eligible for Medicare, and we’ll pay you for it. We’ll use US taxpayer dollars to cushion the blow on you at the corporate level and to also cushion the blow on us.” So where’s the money going, this $5 billion of a slush fund? “The biggest single recipient of an early-retiree bailout is the United Auto Workers.” Look at me. Are you listening to this? Two hundred and six million dollars, your taxpayer money, went to the United Auto Workers to subsidize health care coverage for early retirees. Other big recipients were AT&T, $140 million, Verizon, $91 million, General Electric, $36 million. Obama Motors, also owned in part by the United Auto Workers, $19 million.
This is crony capitalism, but it’s worse than that. This is emblematic of all the things that the Democrats and this regime have been working so hard to do: Take from the people who work and earn and produce and give it to your friends; give it to people who will shut up and not criticize you; give it to people who will vote for you; give it to people who will raise money for you. Come up with a health care plan that’s gonna break everybody else’s bank. Come up with a health care plan that’s gonna raise everybody else’s premiums, and then go to the United Auto Workers, who already have sweet health insurance deals, go to AT&T, Verizon, wherever, and offer to pay their employees’ health care coverage. All the while as a party, in public, you’re ripping the AT&Ts of the world. You’re ripping the Verizons because their costs are way too expensive for the average American to afford. You rip them, and you send protesters to the front lawns of their executives. But under the table you’re best friends with them. “Payments to individual states were dwarfed by the payout to the autoworkers union.” The United Auto Workers got more money than the states of New York, California, and Texas combined in this Obamacare provision to provide health care costs, money for retirees who were not yet eligible for Medicare.
RUSH: We even reported back in August of 2009, $10 billion aimed at union retirees, provision called welfare by some, not enough by others. This is something that we alone had and nobody believed us, actually was from the Detroit Free Press. But this has long been part of Obamacare. I don’t know about you, but to me this is outrageous. Our tax dollars paying the health care costs of early retirees. The United Auto Workers, $202 million. AT&T, $140 million. Verizon, $97 million. All so that the impact of Obamacare would not be seen for what it really is.
And now I move on to a story from the Associated Press about Paul Ryan’s budget, which will be officially announced tomorrow. It’s an AP story. The headline of which: “GOP 2012 Budget to Make $4 Trillion-Plus in Cuts Over Ten Years.” And in the story — now, keep in mind what you just heard — in this story is this little paragraph. “Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, slammed Ryan’s plan in a press release Sunday. ‘It is not courageous to protect tax breaks for millionaires, oil companies and other big-money special interests while slashing our investment in education, ending the current health care guarantees for seniors on Medicare, and denying health care coverage to tens of millions of Americans,’ Van Hollen said.” I mean classic, 30-year-old cliched reactions.
But Mr. Van Hollen, you may want to take a look at this provision in Obamacare because it is your party, sir, offering tax breaks for millionaires using taxpayer dollars to pay for health care for the United Auto Workers and AT&T and Verizon and others, and you have to go out and attack Paul Ryan and the Republicans, “It’s not courageous to protect tax breaks for oil companies and other big money special interests.” Big money special interests? The crony capitalism that has been popularized by your party, sir, and your president dwarf whatever cliched criticism you can mount about Republicans being in bed with big business or what have you. Ending current health care guarantees for seniors? How about using US taxpayer dollars to pay for health care for early retirees from rich American corporations and rich American unions so as to hide the real punitive costs of Obamacare on every average American in this country.
RUSH: Bruce in Detroit, you’re up first. Bruce, I gotta ask you, did you show up at the Charlie Sheen Torpedo of Truth Tour on Saturday night?
CALLER: No, I didn’t think he had much to offer for my hard-earned money.
RUSH: Well, (laughing), yeah, he got roundly booed. You know what he said when they booed him? “Go ahead and boo me, man, I got your money, dude.”
RUSH: Yeah, he did, so they booed louder and walked out.
CALLER: But Chicago liked him so I guess he’s doing all right.
RUSH: Yeah, they changed it up a little bit. Some adults got together on the production side of the show and made it somewhat passable. Anyway, I know you didn’t call about that, what’s up?
CALLER: Well, I called because I’m a UAW retiree and you mentioned them getting 200 some million out of the government, but yet in the last year they raised what they take out of my retirement check, they’ve raised my copay to doctors, and they raised my copay on prescription drugs. Meanwhile, we appointed former Governor Blanchard to our medical advisory board on our retirement system. I’m a little miffed here on finding out that they got that kind of money.
RUSH: I would be miffed, too. You say you’re retired UAW worker?
RUSH: Okay. This money is going to pre-retirees. Here’s the deal. A little-known provision in Obamacare allowed the federal government to pay nearly $2 billion to employees, state employee systems and big companies to subsidize health coverage costs for early retirees. The UAW, your union, got $206 million dollars.
CALLER: Early retirees are funded by the fund I’m speaking of.
CALLER: So they’re funded by the fund I’m speaking of, so they got $200 million to cover them, and then they raise my rates.
RUSH: Well, the money, I don’t know if it has been spent, but it has been allocated. The total amount of money here is five billion. They’ve already gone through two billion of it. The five billion is supposed to last through 2014. They’re not gonna make it at this rate so they have to print more, but it’s still fascinating. You are part of a group that’s supposed to be having your health care subsidized, and it’s not being subsidized.
RUSH: How much is your copay?
CALLER: Our rates are going up. Our copay to the doctor is 35. It’s ten for a generic drug and 30 for a non-generic, and they tell us we got the best health care plan in the world? Not really. Not really.
RUSH: Wait a minute. Hold a second, now. I find that interesting. What do you define as the best health care plan in the world?
CALLER: Well, probably the school teachers got a better plan than we do. They pay very little, especially here in Michigan.
RUSH: Was $35 a lot for a copay?
CALLER: Well, no, not for me.
RUSH: For a doctor?
CALLER: No, no, no, no. It’s $25 for a doctor. They deduct 35 a month from my requirement check. This originally started out at nothing, but when we went to a retirement trust, it’s been going up. It started out at 25, went to 35. Our copay for doctors started out at 10, went to 25.
RUSH: What does your typical doctors visit cost you? Do you know? I mean without the copay, what’s it cost?
CALLER: I’m not sure.
RUSH: Because you don’t pay for it.
CALLER: Exactly. I don’t see a bill on that. I just pay my $25. I don’t know what kind of a deal Blue Cross has made.
RUSH: That’s my point all along, reason number one why the health care system is out of whack because the consumer, the patient has no idea what it costs. Believe me, if you knew what it costs, you’d be shopping around for the best deal you could get.
CALLER: Right. Absolutely. And some things we do see the cost on, like the cost of drugs. I do see that. And don’t get me wrong. We have a great health care plan. I’m not knocking —
RUSH: I’m sure you do. That’s why I was asking you earlier what’s wrong with it. But, now, you have to pay $35 a month for your insurance?
RUSH: And you know that.
RUSH: You know that and that bothers you. You know that, but you don’t know what the actual doctor visit costs you.
CALLER: No, I don’t —
RUSH: This is my point, if we all had to pay, you would know what your doctor cost is.
CALLER: Absolutely. Absolutely. We’re just allowed to pick from a list of doctors on an HMO system.
CALLER: Don’t get me wrong, we have a great health care system. But I’m just making a point.
RUSH: Believe me, we’re paying for it, we know.
CLLER: Why did they give them $200 million and they raised my rates? You know what I’m saying?
RUSH: Well, who are we talking about here?
CALLER: The UAW is — (crosstalk)
RUSH: All right, there’s your answer.
CALLER: — the medical.
RUSH: Where do you think that money is gonna end up? Where do you think most of this $206 million is gonna actually end up, Bruce?
CALLER: Politics if I had to guess.
RUSH: It’s gonna end up with the Democrat Party. It’s gonna end up with various candidates, what’s the whole point. Whenever money goes to a union, it’s —
CALLER: That’s where it goes.
RUSH: It’s a money laundering operation.
CALLER: I’d like to make one statement about the president of my union, Bob King, stood on TV the other day and said what the Michigan legislature was doing was undemocratic. Not one president of this union has ever run for election by the membership. They’re anointed by a group.
CALLER: Now, you tell me he knows about democracy?
CALLER: Run like the teamsters do, I’ll give Hoffa credit. His members all vote for him. Not the UAW. They’re anointed by the Politburo.
RUSH: Yeah. I know. Let me tell you something else. You’re exactly right. It’s not about democracy. You are just a pawn. You’re like Mongo in Blazing Saddles. You are just a pawn in the game of life, shifting money from one group to the Democrat Party and back and forth, and you’re the middleman, and you’re supposedly the hardworking, beat-up, disrespected, blue-collar working guy, these other people looking out for you. So they come up and announce this big plan of $206 million to help you pay for your health care costs and you find out when all the money is spent your premiums are still going up. And you know why? They raised your rates — and this is something for you and everybody within the sound of my mellifluous voice needs to hear and don’t doubt me. They raised your insurance rates because even with all of this bailing out, they still can’t give you free health care. They want to pitch it as free health care. They got a $206 million bailout at UAW and your rates still go up. Now, I have to say, the average doctor visit — I looked it up while I was talking to you — the average doctor visit is 400 bucks. When you couple it all and when you take an average nationwide, you’re looking at, depending on what’s done, you could spend as much as $400 going to doctor, and your copay is $35, which is pretty damn close to free, but it isn’t free. It never will be. Just a little point. Bruce, thanks for the call.
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