The Regime That Rations Care for the Elderly Has the Audacity to Say Ryan’s Plan Will Send Medicare into a “Death Spiral”
Mar 20, 2012
RUSH: Here’s one more Paul Ryan soundbite on the whole Medicare thing, and here he is pointing out who’s really cut it. Obama has cut Medicare! That’s fundamental. That was part of Obamacare. It was how they got the price tag under $1 trillion.
RYAN: The president’s health care law does that already. The president’s health care law puts 15 bureaucrats in charge of rationing the program, and he raids over half a trillion dollars from the program to spend on other government programs. We preserve the benefit for people in and near retirement. The president doesn’t do that. But in order to do that you have to reform the program to save the program and prevent it from going bankrupt. That’s what we do. Scare tactics I don’t think are gonna work. The country wants to be spoken to like adults, not pandered to like children. We owe the country a choice. We owe them leadership, we think. And if you want to save Medicare and prevent it from going bankrupt, you must reform the program.
RUSH: That was Paul Ryan this morning on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose.
RUSH: I don’t want to spend a whole lot of more time on the budget. I just want to make a couple of points and move on. Every one of you are totally up to speed on this: $100 billion — $100,000 million — is .006% of our national debt, $15.5 trillion. Six one-thousandths of a percent, folks. (Or is it six one-hundredths? I always get confused with the decimal point and the figure to the right of it.) That’s infinitesimal. It’s a thimbleful compared to the national debt. Another way to illustrate size of the national debt and put it in perspective is to remember that for the first time in our history, the national debt is now larger than the entire economy.
We owe more than the annual economic output of this country. Of everything that generates economic output — revenue, money, whatever — we owe more than the entire economy of this country. That has never happened. Well, in the modern era it hasn’t happened. And, of course, the one-party media is already aligned against Paul Ryan. We have an irresponsible, nonexistent budget from the Democrat Party. The only budget we get from them is Obama’s. It’s not even serious. The Democrats in the House and Senate don’t present a budget. They don’t dare. They don’t want people to see what their spending plans are.
So they leave it up to the Republicans to put a responsible budget out and thus become the only target. There’s only one budget to shoot at! Obama’s isn’t real. Nobody believes that it is. The Republican budget is real, and it becomes the target that everybody else starts shooting down. And this Jay Carney sound bite from yesterday afternoon? We spent a lot of time trying to figure out just why that Washington Post story on Sunday, pointing out how Obama lied in a national address to the people of this country about the debt deal last summer. The Republicans did compromise. They did work with him. They gave him some tax increases.
And that scared him off.
He wanted to run against a “do-nothing Congress.”
So we’re living in this false notion that there’s an economic recovery going on, and Carney was asked yesterday (paraphrased exchange), “Is this inevitable that we’re gonna keep going now and recover? Is that inevitable? Nothing can stop us now? This recovery is solid?” And Carney said, “Oh, no, no! The Republican Congress could screw us again just like they did last summer.” Utter irresponsibility from this administration. And here are a couple sound bites of this regime reacting to Paul Ryan’s budget. This is Gene Sperling. He’s the National Economic Council director. He was on Scarborough’s show today, and he was asked for his reaction to the Paul Ryan budget.
SPERLING: What I find most disturbing, it takes this basic Medicare guarantee and essentially creates a two-tier system in which people in health care plans have a fundamental economic incentive to try to siphon off the healthiest and youngest workers, thereby raising costs more for people who want to stay in Medicare. That drives more people out of Medicare, making the cost even higher for those who remain. So this process risks creating an actual death spiral for the basic guarantee of Medicare as more people are forced out of the system and those who remain face higher and higher costs.
RUSH: I honestly do not know how to deal with this as a responsible man. This… (sighs) It is Obama who has threatened Medicare. It’s Obama who cut Medicare. It is Obama who is seeing to it that health care costs are skyrocketing. We just had the news last week that the actual cost of Obamacare is gonna be double what the original projection was, and this guy dares to go out and say this? They’re playing class warfare again? The Ryan budget? Yep, that’s what they need. Democrats are gonna use the Ryan plan to gin up their class warfare again. Yep, that’s right! “Republicans are gonna take your Medicare away from you! Republicans gonna take your benefits away from you. Because all the Republicans care about is the 1%. The Republicans threw Medicare into a death spiral!”
It is Obama who has the death panels. It is Obamacare which would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to “determine” who gets treated and for what, and how extensively. If we do nothing, Medicare is going to completely fail, just like if we don’t nothing the same thing will happen to Social Security. You’ve got one… I wouldn’t even say a full party, but at least Paul Ryan and his budgeteers (as in “The Three Musketeers”) are tackling this seriously and responsibly. He’s gonna get killed for it. He’s gonna get decapitated for it. They’re gonna set out to destroy him, the people of compassion and understanding who want the best for everybody. It appears they’re just against anything that will bring responsibility back to the finances of this country. So Scarborough asks Gene Sperling after that rambling bunch of BS as an answer, “Well, is your position then, Mr. Sperling, the White House position? Medicare will survive over the next 20, 25 years. Save Medicare for next 20 years?”
SPERLING: You know, you can say that it’s unfair to say the death spiral phrase, but it really refers to something in economics that I think you understand: That if you put everybody in one common insurance pool, and then you allow people to siphon off those who are healthiest and youngest, those who remain in Medicare, instead of being part of — of a large pool of — of seniors, are now just the sickest and the oldest. Of course that means their costs are gonna go up. Creating a two-tiered system does create a serious risk of a death spiral that undermines the basic affordability of Medicare that we have today.
RUSH: The audacity of these people. They are clearly relying on the fact that 95% of the people will not know what the hell he’s talking about, and they’re just gonna accept it. So to help people understand, I want to go back to June 24th of 2009. ABC did a prime-time special: Questions for the President, Prescription for America. And in this special a woman stood up and asked the president of the United States if he would allow her elderly mother to basically live once she needed a pacemaker. Stop and think about that — just that — for a second. A citizen of this country goes to the White House for an ABC network TV special, stands up and asks the president if he and his government will allow her mother to survive. And the president said no.
The woman talked about her mother’s will to live, her spark, her energy.
Obama says, we can’t take that into account.
Her name was Jane Sturm. Let me read her question verbatim and then listen to Obama’s answer. Now, you remember what Sperling just said. (summarized) “It’s Ryan and the Republicans are gonna send old people into a special pool where they’re gonna get sick and it’s gonna be so expensive to treat ’em that they’re not gonna be treated and gonna die! Republicans are gonna kill ’em!” That’s what Obama’s economic adviser just said will be the result of Ryan’s budget. But we already know that that’s Obama’s plan. Question, June 24, 2009: “My mother is now over 105. But at 100, the doctors said to her, ‘I can’t do anything more unless you have a pacemaker.’ I said, ‘Go for it.’ She said, ‘Go for it.’ But the specialist said, ‘No, she’s too old.’
“But when the other specialist saw her and saw her joy of life, he said, ‘I’m going for it.’ That was over five years ago. … Outside the medical criteria for prolonging life for somebody who is elderly, is there any consideration that can be given for a certain spirit, a certain joy of living, a quality of life, or is it just a medical cutoff at a certain age?” Can you believe this question is being asked in this country? Can you believe that a citizen has to go to the president or the government to ask if her mother can get medical treatment? This woman’s already thrown in the towel! She’s already accepted the premise that Obama will be totally in control. I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, and even 20 years ago, I never dreamed that I’d have to get permission from a government official for a member of my family to have medical treatment. I mighta had a hint of it.
Here’s Obama’s answer to this woman’s question.
OBAMA: I don’t think that we can make judgments based on people’s “spirit.” Uh, that’d be, uh, a pretty subjective decision to be making. I think we have to have rules that say that we are gonna provide good quality care for all people. End-of-life care is one of the most difficult sets of decisions that we’re gonna have to make. But understand that those decisions are already being made in one way or the other. If they’re not being made under Medicare and Medicaid, they’re being made by private insurers. At least we can let doctors, you know — and your mom know — that, you know what, maybe this isn’t gonna help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but, uh, taking the painkiller.
RUSH: “Hey, Mom, I just talked to the president. He said no on the pacemaker. But I’m to tell you that you’re probably better off not getting the pacemaker. Here, just take the Percocet. That’s what the president said.”
I don’t know, folks. This is not the country in which I grew up. It just isn’t.
RUSH: So who’s The Party of NO?
Who is The Party of NO?
Who told the woman, “Ah, your mother can’t have a pacemaker. It doesn’t matter how badly she wants to live. It doesn’t matter what her spirit is. We can’t take that into account. Probably tell her she’d be better off not having the surgery, the pacemaker. And, here, give her a pain pill.”
We’re going to hear this same exact argument when Obamacare kicks in: “Everyone has to be in Obamacare. That’s going to be the law of the land, or it will only cover the sick and the poor. Everybody’s gonna have to be in it.” And this is how they’re going to argue against allowing private insurance plans once Obamacare really takes hold. “We can’t let there be private insurance plans! Some private insurer may give that woman the pacemaker. We can’t have that! We can’t have some people getting something somebody else can’t have. So we’re gonna run the whole show and we’re gonna determine who gets what and we’re not gonna tell you how we decide. It’s none of your business!”
(chuckles) They call us The Party of NO?
This is how they’re gonna argue against private insurance: “It’s unfair. The people that are for private insurance are gonna get a pacemaker and other people aren’t. That’s not fair.”
So everybody has to be equally sick, equally miserable, so that everything is “fair.”