RUSH: They’re voting on the abortion amendment. I refuse to get caught up in the daily machinations of all this, which is what they want us to do. Do you know what the Republican strategy on this is? Do you know what the Republican strategy on health care is? It’s not to stop it. The Republican strategy in the Senate — and here’s Jon Kyl: ‘In response to the question, ‘What’s your strategy to the extent that you can share it?” Kyl said, (paraphrasing) ‘Actually, I think we can be fairly up front about it. Our strategy is not actually to delay and not take votes. Our strategy is to have a lot of good amendments and highlight the problems in the bill. It’s not our strategy to somehow slow things down.’ You know, I don’t understand why. If there’s ever anything worthy of stopping and being flat-out opposed to, it’s this. Everybody is running around, ‘We gotta be for something.’ No. That’s allowing the leftists to set the premise. We are for things. We just don’t have a lot of people willing to say what they are.
We’re for individual liberty and freedom and small government, low taxes, and get the government out of our way. We’re for private sector solutions to all of these problems that have been caused by government. It’s like Robert Samuelson says today in his piece in the Washington Post, entitled, ‘Health Care Nation.’ Medical spending threatens everybody else. It has to be stopped here, folks. ‘President Obama’s critics sometimes say that he is engineering a government takeover of health care or even introducing ‘socialized medicine’ into America. These allegations are wildly overblown. Government already dominates health care, one-sixth of the economy. It pays directly or indirectly for roughly half of all health costs. Medicine is pervasively regulated, from drug approvals to nursing-home rules. There is no ‘free market’ in health care.’ He’s exactly right and that’s why it’s in the mess that it’s in. And that’s why the strategy, ‘We don’t intend to slow things down, offer some good amendments and make it a better bill.’ There is nothing in this worthy of being improved. It’s got to be stopped.
Samuelson says: ‘What’s happening is the reverse, which is more interesting and alarming: Health care is taking over government. Consider: In 1980, the federal government spent $65 billion on health care; that was 11 percent of all its spending. By 2008, health outlays had grown to $752 billion.’ That’s like 29 years. Let’s round it up and say 30 years, federal spending on health care went from $65 billion to $752 billion, 25% of the total. One dollar in every four is spent on health care. And people still complain about it, and we still hear that there are all these people uninsured, and we still get the medical opportunity tarred and feathered, doctors, insurance companies, drug companies, they’re the villains! And there’s no free market in it. ‘Even without new legislation, the health share would grow, as an aging population uses more Medicare (insurance for the elderly) and Medicaid (the joint federal-state insurance for the poor, including the very poor elderly). Obama would magnify the trend by expanding Medicaid and providing new subsidies for private insurance. Thirty million or more Americans would receive coverage. All this is transforming politics and society. The most obvious characteristic of health spending is that government can’t control it,’ which is why I say that it is a total fraud and hoax perpetrated by the CBO and everybody involved in this to say that this is deficit neutral or that it’s going to reduce the deficit over the long term. It’s absurd!
We’re being lied to left and right by people who want only total control over our lives. It’s really no more complicated than that. ‘The reason is public opinion. We all want the best health care for ourselves and loved ones; that’s natural and seems morally compelling. Unfortunately, what we all want as individuals may harm us as a nation. Our concern sanctions open-ended and ineffective health spending, because everyone believes that cost controls are heartless and illegitimate. The recent furor over proposals to reduce mammogram screenings captures the popular feeling.’ No. This is where I part ways with the brilliant economist Mr. Samuelson. I think the problem is third-party payers. Third-party payment in government. You know, I got all kinds of hell — well, not a lot, but from some people. Did you happen to watch the Shatner show last night, Snerdley? Well, we’ve got the video and the transcript at RushLimbaugh.com. I forgot to watch it, too, I was caught up in the NFL, and I got notes, ‘Hey, this was fabulous, this was great.’ And I said, ‘Ah, I don’t like watching myself on TV anyway,’ so I didn’t feel too bad and Cookie told me there was a replay at two a.m. so I TiVoed that, but I haven’t seen it. H.R. just shouted in the IFB that I was great.
Well, one of the promos they use, he says something along the lines of it’s true that the more money you have the better health care you get. And I said, ‘Yeah, and the more money you have, the likelihood you’re going to have a house on the beach.’ ‘But this is health care.’ ‘So?’ He was just dumbfounded. ‘But it’s health care, it’s health care.’ ‘Well, so? Why is health care so morally different than any other thing anybody wants?’ ‘No, it’s just something we need.’ ‘Well, doesn’t everybody need a house on the beach? Doesn’t everybody need an Aston Martin? Where does this stop?’ I said the whole problem here, Bill, is we’re fixing a problem here that’s been caused by the very thought that you have — and Samuelson is mentioning it here — there’s this moral opinion everybody has that everybody’s entitled, when it comes to health care, to ‘the best.’ And of course politicians try to fulfill that fantasy with people by claiming to be the only ones who can provide the best, and look what they’ve done to it.
So now you have no relationship between the patient, the customer, and the provider of service. And that’s why there’s no affordability. The government being involved in this is precisely why it’s as out of whack as it is and why it’s going to get even worse. As he points out, government cannot control costs, and these people at Washington don’t care about that. This is about control, as most of what they’re doing is.
RUSH: I want to get back here to this Robert Samuelson piece ’cause it says so much. Two more paragraphs that I wish to quote to you: ‘A society that passively accepts constant increases in health spending endorses some explicit, if poorly understood, forms of income redistribution. The young transfer to the elderly, because about half of all health spending goes for those 55 and over. Unless taxes are increased disproportionately for older Americans (and just the opposite is true), they are subsidized by the young. More and more resources also go to a small sliver of the population: In 2006, the sickest 5 percent of Americans accounted for 48 percent of health spending. … Obama’s health-care proposals may be undesirable (they are), but it’s mindless to oppose them — as many Republicans do — by screaming that they’ll lead to ‘rationing.’ Almost everything in society is ‘rationed,’ either by price (if you can’t afford it, you can’t buy it) or explicit political decisions (school boards have budgets). Health care is an exception; it enjoys an open tab. The central political problem of health-care nation is to find effective and acceptable ways to limit medical spending.’
Now, I want to go back to this concept of rationing because that’s essentially what I was telling Shatner. If you can afford a house on the beach, you can. If you can’t, you can’t. If you can afford an Aston Martin, you can afford one. If you can’t, you can’t. And if you can afford the high-tech hospital services and room, you can. If you can’t, you can’t. And when I said that all of a sudden I became heartless in his mind. ‘But it’s health care. It’s health care.’ I said, ‘Yeah?’ ‘But it’s health care.’ But see, society does ration everything. Nobody gets everything they want, except Barack Obama and now the Democrats in Congress. They’re about to get everything they want, including personal wealth. Nobody gets everything they want. Now, when we approach the subject of health care, though, we throw that out. Samuelson’s right. He says if you want it you should have access to it because somehow your body, your health is no different than anybody else’s. If we’ve got the best technology to treat cancer, and everybody that gets cancer ought to have assess to it. Fine. Somebody has gotta pay for it.
We all are paying for it. And costs are out of control. And, by the way, after all this spending, does everybody get access to the best in health care. They don’t, do they? I wonder why that is? Because it’s impossible for everybody to all have the best of anything. Now, when the free market rations, that’s the free market. And you see, the way it works in human nature, in a free society, you’re born, you grow up, you see things, you’re inspired, you’re motivated, or you’re not, whatever, you want to become something in your life or you don’t care to. Depending on how badly you want something, you’ll work your buns off for it. And if you succeed in working your buns off for it, then the spoils go to you. If you outwork others, that’s up to you and them. We’ve gotten to a point now where the people in a free society who have sought to be the best they can be, and that’s what America is. America, the United States of America, is the place in the world you come to be the best you can be. The United States of America is the place for all people to become the best they can be.
But not everybody has the same ambition. Not everybody has the same desire. Not everybody has the same commitment. Not everybody has the same devotion. Not everybody has the same ability. Not everybody has the same educational opportunity. Not everybody has the same intelligence. And nowhere in the history of mankind have outcomes ever been guaranteed unless you live in oppression, and then everybody is equally miserable. But that’s what American exceptionalism is. We are the exception to the history of the world: tyranny, oppression, discrimination, dungeons, torture. We’re the exception. It’s not that we’re better people because we live here. It’s that our system, our freedom, our enshrined documents, founding documents, laid the groundwork for this country to be an exception to human history. We have been. It’s under attack now. Now, it may be heartless to say, ‘Well, yeah, Bill, if you have a lot of money you get better health care than somebody else. If you have a lot of money you get house on the beach, other people don’t have one.’ But the simple fact of the matter is it’s the reality.
We’ve gotten to the point now where everybody thinks that when it comes to health care, that there ought to be no differences, even though the differences exist. And now we’re spending money left and right, and transfers of wealth, Samuelson is exactly right about this, but when the free market does the rationing people like me have to problem with it because you end up getting what you deserve in the free market. And sometimes you don’t get what you deserve, sometimes you do work hard, sometimes you do bust your butt, sometimes you do outperform and you still don’t get what you deserve. You keep working at it. It’s the story of life. It’s human nature. It’s hard. Even in a country like this, life is hard. But we have it easier today than it has ever been in the history of humanity. But since most of us never lived during really tough times, we can only relate to things based on our own baselines or own experiences. But to people who are knowledgeable and educated it is pure folly for anybody in this country to think they’ve got it tough. You may have it tough compared to somebody else. But you’re on a cakewalk.
That’s why I’ve always said — and always got in trouble for this, too — I’ve always said that the Baby Boom generation — and I’m a not-so-proud member of it because half the Baby Boom generation has now grown up to run this country into the ground. But I’ve always said the Baby Boom generation had to make up its traumas in order to convince itself that life was a b-i-itch. Try living through the Great Depression followed by two world wars, followed by Korea, followed by Nikita Khrushchev saying he’s going to bury your grandchildren. You try living before the invention of the automobile and electricity and air-conditioning, you try living that. Those were tough times, when horse manure was essentially the street, the main street of town, horse manure. I know that times are tough now, everything is relative, but look at the life expectancy then versus now. We don’t have it that tough, we had to invent our traumas and we’ve done a great job of it. We now have psychotic drugs to handle all of our traumas. We got people ringing their hands over the inequities and unfairnesses of life and how tough they’ve got it, and it is tough now for a lot of people in this recession, unemployed and so forth.
I’m not trying to diminish it, but I guess just a little sense of perspective, especially this time of year, to have a little appreciation for what we have and what we still have a chance to become. Even though the slogging is going to get tougher because we’ve got much bigger obstacles than we in our lifetimes have ever faced. But we can overcome this, too. We’re going to have to have an educated, informed public to do it. Okay, so that statistic about the amount of money spent, 5% of Americans accounted for 48% of health spending in 2006. They are the seasoned citizens. And they will be rationed, their care will be rationed. If you’re going to make even a pretense at cutting costs you have to go to where the costs are, and the young, if you’re Obama and the Democrats, you can’t tax ’em totally into oblivion or they’ll stop working for you. You need them to continue to work. But if you’re Obama and the Democrats, and you look at the elderly as the wisest segment of the population, if you look at the elderly as the most informed and, because of the length of their lives, the most educated, and because of the length of their lives, the greater their memories, what harm is there in a bunch of people who realize that the way to get out of a recession is what we did in the eighties, to get sick and sort of wither away, not be around to remind everybody? That stuff is insidious.
Folks, what is happening here, to me, it’s as near criminal as this climate hoax, climate change, global warming, whatever it is. But we are where we are in part because expectations have been raised that in this one area, everybody expects the best, which is just not possible. Snerdley, what’s your favorite car? If you could go out and buy a car tomorrow, don’t think about it, what’s your instinct reaction, what’s your favorite, what would you buy? Top-of-the-line Beamer. All right. Snerdley’s preferred car is a top-of-the-line Beamer. I saw a car the other day that I had never seen before. And it was being driven by a buddy of mine, Buddy Marucci who, by the way, took Tiger Woods to extra holes in the US Amateur in ’96 or ’97. And I bought the car I have from Buddy when he was in the business. So I pulled up to him, I said, ‘What kind of car is that?’ It was right there on Royal Poinciana Way. He said, ‘It’s an Aston Martin.’ I’d never seen this car. I know what Aston Martins look like. I’d never seen this.
It was a ragtop convertible. Boy, it was sharp looking, black. Why doesn’t everybody want one of those? Why doesn’t everybody want a top-of-the-line Beamer? Why is there not a national clamor for it? Why is Congress not working to give everybody a top-of-the-line Beamer? Why? Why is Congress promulgating the hoax and the lie that they’re going to give you the best of health care? There’s no power in everybody driving a top-of-the-line Beamer. If you’re driving a top-of-the-line Beamer you can probably outrun Congress when they chase you down to collect your taxes.
RUSH: Now, one more thing here on the notion that the free market rations, which was the word used by Robert Samuelson. I know what he means by rationing, he just means that not everybody can have what they want and that the system, capitalism, decides who gets what. But here’s the basic difference. In the free market there is abundance. Now, this is very important to understand. In a free market there is abundance. Any centrally controlled product or service must be rationed. For example, if coffee was considered a right, it would have to be rationed. And it would cost through the nose. ‘What do you mean, Rush, what do you mean?’ Because if there’s one entity involved in bringing it to the market and charging for it, and there’s no incentive, and there’s no competition in it, it’s going to have to be rationed because there won’t be enough of it. There’s never enough of anything that government provides unless they go into debt or start printing money wildly to provide it. And even then, with the government now mostly in charge of health care, we still have all these uninsured people. Right?
So it is not in any way, shape, manner, or form consistent to say that anything government does results in abundance. But since coffee is available from the free market, it’s abundant, and it’s affordable, because there are all different types of it, ways you can get it, prices based on what people will pay for it. The one consistent result of government-controlled anything is scarcity. Go to Cuba. Go to Venezuela. Go to the old Soviet Union. Scarcity, that’s what you end up with when the government controls everything. The consistent result of a free market is plenty, and this country is the greatest illustration of plenty in the history of humanity because it has been largely a free market. FDR tried to sabotage it and Obama’s doing FDR on steroids. But they were both doing it for the same political reasons. Obama I think is a little, slightly bit more dangerous than FDR was, but it’s close.