RUSH: Jim in Concord Township, Ohio. You’re up first on Open Line Friday. Great to have you here, sir.
CALLER: It’s a great honor, Rush. Hey, I’m a die hard conservative. The thing that bothers me during these debates, especially with Romney and Gingrich, is the “gotcha” questions that they keep coming up with. For instance, the health care last night. I mean, Romney has said over 50 times he’ll repeal Obamacare. Every one of the candidates said the same thing. What I’m a little frustrated about is nobody’s saying what they would do going forward, because health care is in a little bit of a mess right now, and nobody has a plan that’s out there. Romney being the best fiscal conservative out of the three, and promising as he has that he won’t follow Obamacare, I’d like to see what he has, and I think he’ll have a great plan going forward.
RUSH: That’s an interesting point, ’cause you’re right; every Republican is saying he would repeal it. But they don’t offer an alternative. Maybe they have, and it’s out there in their white papers, in their 59-point plan.
CALLER: It’s hard to do that in a debate where you only get like 30 seconds, you know?
RUSH: Well, some of them say we want to replace parts of it. Some of them say that we can’t get rid of the whole thing. Some say, as I said in the first hour, “Hey, there are parts of this that the American people want: Preexisting condition, keep your worthless kids on the policy up to age 26, all that kind of stuff. We gotta be very careful, Rush. We can’t just broom the whole thing.” Some of them are saying that. Santorum, I thought last night got closer than anybody else has in talking about what needs to be done to fix this, and that is orienting health care costs to people’s ability to pay (i.e., market forces). Imagine if hotels were not priced according to people’s ability to pay.
There’s nothing about a hospital stay that is priced according to the market, according to what people can afford. But in the hotel business, you’ve got every option from renting by the hour right by the George Washington Bridge to the St. Regis. Whatever you can pay, for however little or long you want to stay, the option hotel-wise is there. (interruption) I’ve never been there, but you can’t miss it. It’s right there when you’re going through the tunnel. It’s actually the Lincoln Tunnel. I’m sorry, it’s the Lincoln Tunnel, not the George Washington Bridge. The Lincoln Tunnel. You’re heading into the city. It’s right there, right before you go down the hill and make the turn into the tunnel. By the hour! I wonder, “Who’s in there right now? Is some mob guy in there with some mole?”
But it’s there. You go to Indianapolis. Indianapolis has a Super Bowl next weekend. You can’t get a room now. In Dallas you could, but there’s 6,000 hotel rooms in Indianapolis. Six thousand hotel rooms! That’s not very many for a softball game! One of the best hotels in town there is the Conrad. It’s a Hilton; it’s been booked for three years. The NFL took it. The point is they charge whatever they want for it this week. Any hotel can charge whatever they want, and that’s the market, the market working. You know what? (interruption)
Of course there’s gouging! (interruption)Oh, everybody complains about the gouging, but they pay it. We’re a nation of whiners. But everybody pays. For example, if you want to buy a suite, lease one at Lucas Oil Stadium for the Super Bowl, I checked: There’s one for a million dollars that has something like 24 seats in it. Now, what’s that price? A million dollars for a suite. Somebody leased it early on, either can’t go or is trying to flip it for a profit. It’s the market. That doesn’t happen in health care, is my whole point. Santorum was saying, go to medical savings accounts, make it so that people buy their medical care and they can only pay what they can afford — and watch what will happen to prices.
RUSH: Tammy, Marble Falls, Texas. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you very much, Rush. I never thought that I would call in, but I’m just honored. Thank you so much.
RUSH: What made you call in?
CALLER: Actually, I was listening to one of the other callers earlier this morning and you were talking about market forces in medicine.
CALLER: And you gave an analogy about, for example, the hotel rooms for the Super Bowl.
CALLER: I absolutely agree that market forces need to play in medicine, but I don’t think the analogy is quite accurate. And the reason is that in medicine, there are times when it is not discretionary that you be seen by a physician or have a surgery or something like that, whereas going to a hotel or any other transaction is oftentimes something that you can decide to do or not.
RUSH: Well, that’s true.
CALLER: While I’ve been on hold I’ve been trying to think of an analogy that actually would work.
RUSH: Well, rather than do that, the point of my analogy was to try to say that since the government has taken over, become the primary provider as far as most people are concerned, insurance company — it’s not them. Their ability to pay is not a factor. And until we get some semblance of market forces in as much of the health care system as possible, no price is ever coming down.