RUSH: Heidi in Fort Bragg in North Carolina. I’m glad you waited. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. We love you out here.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: I’m gonna try and get to the point because I’m crying, I’m so upset. I’m sitting in a parking lot here at Fort Bragg. My husband’s been in the Army for 30 years, and he’s deployed again. I’m sick and I’m alone here. I was diagnosed last week with some cysts and some tumors and things, and I’m in pain, and I’m sick, and I’m scared. I came out here… Apparently our referral office at this hospital on post has, from what I’ve heard from someone in an office next door, let go 50 people. There’s a sign on the door blaming the budget cuts, and when I asked someone about it, I said, “This was probably before the March 1st apocalypse, right?” And she tried not to laugh. She said, “Yeah, they let 50 people go. They knew it was coming.” I cannot get a referral! I’m sick and I cannot see anyone. I feel like there’s no respect for the military.
RUSH: Wait, wait. Hold it. I need to understand some things first.
RUSH: What do you mean, you can’t get a referral?
CALLER: There’s literally no one to speak to to get a referral. They’ve shut their doors. Apparently… They said they let 50 people go before the March 1st, and I don’t think there were 50 people in that little office to begin with, and the phones are literally down. The message says, “We cannot take a call. There’s no more room in the mailbox.” I literally cannot speak to anyone to get my referral, and since someone here told me this was already done before March the 1st, it sounds like they were going to do this anyway. They had already set this up, you know what I mean?
RUSH: No, they did. Just to give you an example of how you’re right, 2,500 illegal aliens were let out of prison three weeks/a month prior to the sequester going into effect.
CALLER: Right. I saw that.
RUSH: So the idea that they would shut down… I don’t understand. I still don’t know what a referral is. To me a referral is somebody’s referring you to a doctor. That’s obviously not what you’re talking about. A referral is a hospital or a doctor’s office?
CALLER: I have seen a doctor off post, and he saw my tests and he has referred me to a specialist, a gynecologist —
CALLER: — and that’s who I cannot get.
RUSH: Oh, you can’t get in to see him?
RUSH: Now, are you limited in the kind of doctors you can see because of who pays for your treatment?
CALLER: Yes, we have TRICARE. Uh-huh, yes.
RUSH: So you have to see military personnel? Is that it?
CALLER: Oh, they can be civilians as long as they take our insurance.
RUSH: And that’s limited?
RUSH: By what?
CALLER: Not every provider chooses to take our insurance, which is TRICARE, and then some doctors I’m seeing are packed. One of my doctors is seeing almost 60 people a day because they’re just cutting so much into our military. Now, like I said: I’m sitting here sick, I’m alone, he’s deployed, and I literally cannot speak to a human being to see a specialist about these tumors.
RUSH: Let me just —
CALLER: You know, you hear “tumors” and you get scared!
RUSH: Heidi, let me just tell you something.
RUSH: Last week as we were paying attention to this deadline coming up, we learned a lot of things. We learned that it takes a month to furlough anybody. It takes that long for the paperwork and for the action to actually occur. And there has to be a 30-day notice before any furloughing takes place. So, for your circumstance to have happened, this would have had to have been done a month ago, Heidi.
RUSH: And this would have had to have been done by somebody anticipating that this was going to happen or being ordered to do this. This is very painful. I think you need to get some names of the people who told you that doctors were let go and that offices were closed and find the name of your local congressman — hopefully he’s a Republican — and call him. Call that office and explain to them what’s happened here. There’s no excuse for this. We could have cut funding to the Salamander Preservation Project. We could cut two or three programs we’re spending on feeding kids who are on spring break.
RUSH: There’s any number of ways. This is the equivalent of, in your local community, when they threaten budget cuts, the mayor says, “Well, we have to close the fire department,” and the townsfolk say, “No, no, no, don’t get rid of our fire truck!” And they support the tax increase. What they’re doing here is trying to inflict this pain so that you, Heidi, will never, ever again support the government getting smaller or budget cuts or what have you.
CALLER: Well, they have it the wrong way around. ‘Cause I know exactly who to blame, and I get to go home and worry about a deployed husband and turn on the news and see my money going to Syria, for example.
RUSH: Yeah, or Egypt.
RUSH: John Kerry sending money. By the way, I’ve got a story here in the Stack. I shouldn’t tell you this ’cause it’s gonna make you even angrier.
CALLER: You mean the Muslim Brotherhood?
RUSH: No. No, no, no, no, no. About the federal government hiring people. They have job applications out. They’re asking for people to apply for jobs. I’ve got it here in the Stack somewhere. While the sequester is going on, the federal government is accepting applications for employment in certain areas. There simply is no excuse for you in the United States military not being able to see a doctor, particularly if your husband is uniformed combat personnel deployed. There is no excuse for this. There is no rational reason whatsoever. This is suspicious to me. I’m sorry. Here it is.
CALLER: It is to me, too.
RUSH: Here it is. The Washington Times: “The sequester cuts are now officially in place, but many government agencies appear to be hiring freely anyway. The US Forest Service on Monday posted help-wanted ads for a few good men and women to work as ‘recreation aides’ this summer, the Internal Revenue Service advertised for an office secretary in Maryland, the US Mint wanted 24 people to help press coins, and the Agriculture Department said it needs three ‘insect production workers’ to help grow bollworms in Phoenix.” So they’re out there hiring.
CALLER: But they’re cutting what is the most important or urgent to us. It’s very suspicious to me, too. That’s why I called. I know you love the military. I feel like no one in Washington — what is the Army doing about this? Are they just putting up with it or are they being ordered to blackmail — (crosstalk)
RUSH: Well, now, it’s a very sensitive subject, too.
RUSH: Because Leon Panetta announced that 800,000 civilian Pentagon people get furloughed with the sequester — 800,000, Heidi. What it means is they work four days a week instead of five. In your case, they’ve shut down this medical office.
CALLER: Severely limited the hours.
RUSH: The military’s got two kinds of generals. You got the warrior generals; you got the political generals. Every organization’s like this.
RUSH: You got people devoted to the cause and others devoted to their advancement. I don’t have any idea what happened to make your situation happen, but there’s no excuse for it. There is no excuse for military families in this country not having access to health care. We’re spending way more than enough money to be able to accommodate this. This is outrageous. Get names of people you’ve talked to who’ve told you what and call your local congressman.
CALLER: Okay. Well, thank you for talking to me. My husband’s the one that turned me on to you. I was raised a Democrat and never again.
RUSH: God bless you. If I was a doctor, I’d have you into my office for nothing. I feel frustrated.
CALLER: Well, at least people know about it. People know that they’re purposely cutting what is going to —
RUSH: Would you give Mr. Snerdley your phone number? ‘Cause I have a feeling something’s gonna happen here. We’re not gonna give it to anybody, don’t misunderstand, but if somebody offers to help you, I want to be able to follow through on it, so would you give him your number?
CALLER: Well, sure, Rush. Thank you. Love you.
RUSH: Okay, don’t hang up.
RUSH: Don’t hang up. I appreciate the call.
RUSH: Yeah, they are cutting. I’ve got a lot of e-mail from people. They’re cutting TRICARE, which is what’s affecting Heidi, and it would be a great place to cut if you want to call attention to it. If you want to cause some suffering and pain and have everybody understand that there’s a lot of suffering and pain, cutting TRICARE is a place to do it. This is what people are talking about whether the sequester cuts are being done on purpose to inflict pain for the political gain. That’s hard for people to believe, but there’s no reason. We’re not cutting any money. We’re just spending less than was projected. There’s no excuse for this.