RUSH: You know, I feel… It’s hard to describe this. A 43-second sound bite from Dr. Benjamin Carson is giving me the shakes, and it’s hard to describe it. It’s because of what could have been, what could have been versus what is going to happen and is in the process of happening. It’s devastating what’s in the process of happening where health care is concerned. Everything else, too. But health care is the focus.
We just had a story the other day that Obamacare is going to result in seven million Americans losing their employer-provided health insurance. This is new report from the CBO. It was unexpected. It was not part of the original Obamacare proposal. Nothing like that was. Nothing like it. It’s twice as much! Nothing like this was ever told to people. Folks, it’s one thing that I remember telling people the truth about this in the midst of the health care debate, but I’m not an elected Republican.
I’m just a guy on the radio, informing you. You were saying all these things, too, to your friends. Any number of people said it. The vast majority of the American people, in every poll taken, oppose Obamacare. But, as unusual, the thing was punted to the Supreme Court, like campaign finance reform was under the guise, “There’s no way the court will ever find this thing constitutional,” and they did, and now we are stuck with it.
Yet in 43 seconds, Dr. Carson at the National Prayer Breakfast today proposes a system — and he’s not the first to do it. It’s been done by countless people. Me, the Heritage Foundation, any number of scholars, medical professionals have had alternative proposals to Obamacare. Quite frankly, the Republicans never had the votes to stop this and the way the Democrats went about passing it, of course, skirted the edges of the law, skirted the edges of the Constitution.
That’s why repeal actually became the last line of defense on this. We’re stuck with it now. It is the law. There’s nothing to stop a future Congress from repealing it and reversing it, but the more this Obamacare gets its tentacles entangled in the deep webs of our society, the harder it will be to untangle it. That’s why early repeal was such a crucial thing. This thing takes four years to fully implement. But we’ve never walked back an entitlement. We’ve never canceled one. We’ve never taken one back.
In this case, we have an ideal replacement for Obamacare that is much better, that promotes the health care industry, that promotes cost savings, that promotes competition, and it gets everybody covered. Dr. Carson said the one thing that Obama and the Democrats do not want to hear. Instead of sending all of our money to some bureaucracy, let’s put it in our health savings accounts. Now people will have some control over their own health care.
That’s what’s gonna end up vanishing, folks: control. You’re not gonna have control over your own health care, and that’s exactly the way Obama and the Democrats want it. They want to be in control of your health care — and as it stands, they are. But I don’t know. Hearing this 43-second sound bite was like a slap to the face, to realize what could have been and what’s probably been lost.
There was a journalist covering the National Prayer Breakfast, a pool reporter. You want to hear what the pool reporter said, in part? Quote, “John Kerry began yawning seven minutes into Dr. Carson’s speech and basically didn’t stop.” So that’s what people who weren’t there and didn’t watch it heard. That’s what they know about it, that the new secretary of state spent from seven minutes on yawning through Dr. Carson’s speech. It’s just… I don’t know.
It’s a real shocking shame here what we’re going to be doing, what we’re going to be spending, and what’s gonna happen to the health care system and how people are gonna have less of it. It’s gonna cost through the roof. The solution, the alternative is so simple that it was difficult to explain to people. “No, it’s too simple.” Everybody thinks health care (because it has become that) is just massively complex, and it is. So the solution that sounds too simple. “Ah, that’s too simple. That’ll never work.”
Admittedly, some people don’t want to be in control of their health care. They’d rather farm it out. They’d rather somebody else handle it. They don’t want the responsibility, and of course, here comes one of the natural objections. “Well, Rush, what do you do if…? Okay, so Enos Slobodnik has his health savings account. What if Enos goes out and blows it all in Vegas and then Enos needs an operation? What do we do? We’re still gonna have to pay for him, right?”
Theoretically, yeah, but one of the things you could do is put a restriction that money in the HSA can only be spent on your health, so you can’t go blow it in Vegas. That doesn’t stop people from still trying to do it, but that’s not the point. For exceptions like that, come up with a plan to deal with them. We’re talking about the overall philosophy here. We’ve got an out-of-control health care system that’s just been made more out of control and worse.
I don’t know. There’s nothing to be done here. I just wanted to play his sound bite. I wanted to go through the explanation of what a health savings account is, and I wanted to take the occasion of his sound bite to once again reassert the whole notion of liberty and freedom. YOU live your life. YOU are control of your life. YOU determine where you’re going in your life. YOU determine what you’re gonna be. YOU determine where you’re gonna end up. YOU determine how successful you’re gonna be.
YOU determine how your health care is gonna be handled. YOU determine how much you’re gonna get. YOU determine when you go to the doctor. YOU determine when you opt for a procedure. YOU determine it! “Control” is just another word for freedom in this case, and we’ve lost it in health care and we’re losing it in so many other places as well. The numbers here are that US health care spending is around 18% of GDP, which is higher than any other nation.
Eighteen percent of our GDP is health care spending, and frankly I thought it was higher than that. The federal government currently spends almost 6% of GDP on health care. So a third of all health care spending is by government and growing. So what Dr. Carson’s plan says is just take that money that’s already in the health care system that’s coming out of your pocket in form of taxes — Medicare tax, Medicaid tax, income tax, all that — and you keep it instead of sending it to Washington.
Novel concept. You keep it. It’s yours in the first place. You earned it. It goes in your health savings account. If you get sick, you spend it. If you don’t get sick and you don’t spend it, it continues to grow. You don’t go to the doctor every day. You don’t go to the doctor every month. You don’t go to the doctor for a hangnail. You don’t go to the doctor for a common cold. You don’t go to the drugstore and get a prescription every week for something you don’t need, because you’re paying for it now.
Well, the dirty little secret is you’re paying for it every day anyway; you just don’t know it because you don’t have direct relationships with health care providers. They’re intermediaries: insurance companies, government, Medicare, Medicaid, you name it. But health care’s like any other product or service. If the consumer is in charge of spending the money on it, then the market will make sure that it is affordable. I love to use the hotel examples. We’ve got hotels in this country that rent by the hour up to $25,000 a night, maybe more than that; I don’t know. You can rent a private island for $300,000 a week, if you’ve got the money and if you want. If you can’t afford that, there’s Motel 6 where they leave the light on for you. But whatever you can afford is there.
That doesn’t exist in health care, because you don’t have a direct relationship with the provider. And until that direct relationship exists, costs can never come down. By law of economics and math, they can’t come down. When you determine whether money is going to be spent on something, then market forces intercede to make sure that prices charged to you are attractive to separate you from your money. It’s that simple. Market economics. You know it works every time it’s tried, kind of like abstinence. Works every time it’s tried. Obama doesn’t like hearing that, either. Okay that’s it for that. There’s nothing more to be said. All there is is disappointment. That’s why I got this tingy feeling here. It’s one of these what-coulda-beens. And it still can be. I know the future is not over. It’s actually encouraging. Talk about a tingly feeling up your leg. I got it from Dr. Benjamin Carson.
RUSH: I’m sorry. I have one more observation, one more observation to make about Dr. Benjamin Carson. What is also refreshing is the man communicates in plain English and with simple rationality. In 43 seconds! Remember, Shakespeare: “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Brevity is how you make an impression. The fewer number of words you need to make a point, the more powerful the point. Forty-three seconds, and we got the antidote to Obamacare. Plain English, simple, rational — and, in addition to that, he illustrated how to confront and deal with Obama.
Now, contrast that to what’s going on in Washington. The Republicans are out there giving long speeches about how they want to help people and how they’re misunderstood. “We’re gonna reach out to this group and that group and we’re gonna rebrand! We have to a better job of explaining what our policies are all about, and we need to explain how we really like people.” We have seminars about abandoning principles. We have long discussions and treatises and people writing long columns on suggestions from the Republicans on how they need to moderate here and modify there and reach out over here and do this, that, there and so forth.
And a guy comes along in 43 seconds and sets out a position based on our principles of individual responsibility and free markets that is a logical solution that makes total sense to everybody who hears it. Now, they might have some questions. “Well, what do you mean about this health savings account? Where does it get the money? How can I spend it?” But they’re easily explained. Those questions have easy answers that are also understandable and rational.
RUSH: Ann, Raleigh, North Carolina, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s a pleasure. I just wanted you to know a little about Dr. Ben Carson’s background. He is not only the head of the pediatric neurosurgery unit, but he is a world-renowned surgeon. I had the pleasure of meeting him when I worked at Johns Hopkins, oh, a dozen years ago, very down-to-earth man, and there’s been a movie about his life called Gifted Hands starring Cuba Gooding Jr. So he is totally a wonderful person, a great man, and he helps young people. He grew up in Detroit himself, made it out of that gangland area and now helps the youth of Baltimore when he encounters them when they come into the hospital after a shooting or stabbing. He tries to help them turn their lives around. Great man.
RUSH: Well, I’m glad you called. I appreciate it. Grab sound bite eight and nine again. I’m gonna play these both again. Benjamin Carson, Johns Hopkins. He was at the National Prayer Breakfast today with Barack Obama sitting right nearby, and these two sound bites are just, as I say, in plain English, simple, rational, understandable, straight to the point, minces no words. Listen.
CARSON: Well, some people say, they say, “Well, that’s not fair because it doesn’t hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made ten.” Where does it say you have to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot!
CARSON: You know, we don’t need to hurt him. It’s that kind of thinking…
CARSON: It’s that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here, building our infrastructure and creating jobs.
RUSH: Right. He’s basically saying, Obama, you keep talking wanting to hurt people who’ve already put money in the bank. You hurt the producers. No wonder they take money out of the country. And here again is what he had to say about his solution to the health care problem.
CARSON: Here’s my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed — pretax — from the time you’re born ’til the time you die. When you die, you can pass it on to your family members, so that when you’re 85 years old and you got six diseases, you’re not trying to spend up everything. You’re happy to pass it on and there’s nobody talking about death panels.
AUDIENCE: (laughter and applause)
CARSON: Number one. And also, for the people who were indigent who don’t have any money, we can make contributions to their HSA each month because we already have this huge pot of money. Instead of sending it to some bureaucracy, let’s put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care.
RUSH: We’re already spending this money, we’re giving it to the government. For what? Let’s keep it in the hands of people who earned it, or who are going to spend it. It’s their money. Let’s not send it to Washington. I’ll tell you the simple rationality of all of this is just profound, folks. It’s just profound.