RUSH: Back at it we are. This is Mark in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Welcome, sir. Glad you called. Great to have you with us.
CALLER: Thank you so much, Maha Rushie. I’m a 23-year-listener. First time I got through.
RUSH: I’m glad you made it, sir.
CALLER: Thank you very much. The comment… I loved yesterday’s show. That’s one of the days I wish you had six hours rather than three.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate that. You know, now, that’s interesting that you say that, ’cause I went home yesterday and thought that it wasn’t nearly as good as it should have been or could have been, and I kind of beat myself up for couple hours after the program yesterday and said, “I need to kick it up a notch or two.” So I’m flattered to hear you say that.
CALLER: Not a problem. It’s the truth. That’s where the truth lives is on the Rush Limbaugh Show.
RUSH: That happens to be the case.
CALLER: Every day.
RUSH: I appreciate that.
CALLER: Yeah. My comment was on Ted Cruz and the purchase of Obamacare.
CALLER: Now, there’s three things that just as Joe Average Middle of the Flyover Country Person I know. He’s intelligent, obviously. By listening to your program and hearing about his professors explain how intelligent he is, I know. The second thing is, we know he’s a world class-type debater.
CALLER: The third thing is, he’s running for president. Now, in my humble estimation, I’ve got an intelligent man, he knows how to debate, and he’s running for president. Now, those three things added together, you look at him purchasing Obamacare, and in the old adage, “A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.” Of all the Republicans —
RUSH: That’s kind of a variation on the old adage, “Never get into an argument with a fool because people will not be able to tell the difference.”
CALLER: (chuckles) Exactly. That’s perfectly put. You know, how many of his Republican challengers are on Obamacare? I mean, how many senators? How many congressmen?
RUSH: Well, by law they all should.
CALLER: Exactly. But I scarcely think any of them do. But when it comes down to debating, and when Ted promised to repeal Obamacare, he — as this world champion debater — is gonna know the other side better than he knows his own side, and that’s the key to winning.
RUSH: Okay, I got it now. So your theory is that it’s a good thing that Cruz signed up for Obamacare. *The caller is also building off of yesterday’s show, which he thought was great. I appreciate that.) I know what he’s saying now. His theory is that it’s a good thing, because Cruz, as a candidate and as one who is enrolled in Obamacare, will be an expert critic. He will be a customer. He will be one who signed up. He will be an Obamacare user and will be able, with credibility, to criticize it, even with more credibility than if he had not had it.
So, in other words: Cruz will not have to be theoretical in his criticism of Obamacare. He will not have to say, “It’s gonna do this; it’s gonna do that.” He’ll be able to explain its flaws because he will be living with it. I get your point. Let’s use this as a transition. I guess it was actually yesterday afternoon on the Daily Signal website, David Brody interviewed Cruz, and they were talking about Cruz signing up for Obamacare.
The question was: “The media is really blowing this up, you know. And you know the deal. ‘Oh, now he’s gonna take Obamacare! Now he gonna take a government subsidy!’ Do you want to clear this up for us? Because there are a lot of people saying that you’re against it but you’re signing up for it, and they’re thinking that you’ve kind of blown it here.”
CRUZ: The mainstream media loves to play gotcha games.
CRUZ: When I announced the campaign, my wife also decided to take an unpaid leave of absence from her job. We have been for the past couple hours covered on my wife’s health insurance.
CRUZ: When she took an unpaid leave of absence, it means that she’s also losing her benefits. And so we’re gonna do what anyone else would do, which is take their health insurance from their employer. So in all looked likelihood, we’ll go on the exchange and so suddenly all the media says, “Ah, ha-ha-ha-ha! Gotcha, ’cause Cruz is signing up for Obamacare.” Listen, I have zero intention of taking any government subsidy or Obama subsidy. Rather than what I’m gonna do is pay in the marketplace for health insurance for my family, just like millions of Americans.
RUSH: Okay, does that answer satisfy you? I’m asking you, not the caller. The caller has politely moved on. Does that answer satisfy those of you who are troubled by. And I know some of you remain troubled by this, and it’s at a basic level. On the one hand, here’s Ted Cruz railing against it. “It’s worthless! In fact, it’s worse than worthless; it’s harmful. Obamacare’s gonna destroy America. Obamacare’s gonna just rip the guts out of or economy. Obamacare is gonna result in higher costs.
“Obamacare is gonna result in less actual treatment for people. If I’m elected president, I’m gonna repeal it word-for-word, sentence by sentence. It’s a goner.” And then one day, “Well, my wife quit her job, so I had to sign up for Obamacare. I’m following the law.” And people say, “Wait a minute! There seems to be a bit of a imbalance or disconnect here!” People are saying, “Where is the guy saying, ‘I’ really wish I didn’t have to do this. I don’t think this is something I ought to have to do, but it’s the law of the land, but I’m not happy doing this.'”
Cruz isn’t say that. He’s not saying he’s unhappy about signing up for Obamacare. He’s not saying he’s bothered by it. He’s not criticizing. He’s not doing any of that. He’s saying, “I’m just doing what everybody else does. I’m getting my health care through my employer. That’s what everybody in America traditionally has done. I’m not gonna take a subsidy. I’m not gonna take it.” He doesn’t sound like somebody signing up for something he doesn’t like.
He doesn’t sound like somebody signing up for something he wishes weren’t there. He doesn’t sound like somebody signing up for something that he can’t wait to get rid of. Instead what he’s saying is, “It’s the law of the land; I got health care for my family. My wife had it. She’s quitting to follow my campaign. She lost her health care. I have a responsibility; I’m doing what millions of Americans are doing. I’m gonna go on the exchange. I’m gonna buy a policy and be covered.”
I think some people — I don’t know how many, but some people — are expecting to also hear, “But I hate it! I resent having to do this. I resent my options are limited. I resent that it’s gonna cost me so much.” People want to hear that from Cruz, and they’re not hearing it. I mean, it’s a natural human nature thing, isn’t it? Here’s a guy who has made no bones about his disgust for it, about his opposition to it and for all the reasons (and they’re all legitimate) and when he signs up for it, he doesn’t talk about any of that.
There doesn’t seem to be any anger, any resentment, any pressure at being forced to do this because there aren’t any other options. And some people think that if you on one hand have such disgust or if you disapprove or disagree with it — if you think it’s so harmful — then at least when you sign up, you ought to be saying how uncomfortable you are doing it. But he’s not doing that. So we will see. This could be a huge nonstory to most people, and it probably, as the days go by, will end up being.
But I still notice that we have a number of people calling here yesterday and today telling us their theories. The latest we got was, “Hey, Rush, don’t sweat it! Ted’s doing this ’cause now as an Obamacare customer. And ’cause expert debater, he’s gonna be able to blow this thing to smithereens once the campaign gets rolling ’cause they’re gonna actually have experience with it.”
Okay. We’ll see if that happens to be the case.
RUSH: This is Sandy somewhere in parts unknown in Maine. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. I work for the federal government so I wanted to clarify something about our health benefit plan because the Congress is eligible for the same plan. As federal employees, we can choose from a variety of health plans that cost less than others or more than others, and our contribution to those plans is about 30% and the government’s is about two-thirds.
CALLER: Yes. So Ted Cruz could choose Obamacare or he could choose the Federal Employees Health Benefit plan, but he said he didn’t want to take subsidies from the government, and I think he was probably referring to the 75% that the government kicks in on a federal employee’s health plan. It’s also brilliant that he would go with Obamacare, because it shows that he’s willing to take what the rest of the country is forced to do. I think the news media will fix it so whatever he does — whether it’s health plans or Obamacare or whatever choices he makes, basically, whatever he does — is wrong. So if he takes Obamacare, that’s wrong. If he doesn’t take Obamacare, “See! He didn’t take Obamacare.” So they’ll fix it however they want.
RUSH: Well, when this all happened yesterday, one of the first places that I was aware he went to talk about was CNN, and on CNN they tried to make him out to be a hypocrite, because on the one hand they say, “Well, here you are you’re constantly criticizing it. You’re saying you would repeal it, you’re saying it’s doing all this damage, and yet here you are signing up for it. Aren’t you a little hypocritical?”
CALLER: No, it’s the law. He knows it’s the law, and he’s gonna follow the law until he can change the law, if he can. But if he follows the law, that’s what everyone has to do including him. And he’s a very calm person so he’s not gonna get rattled and he’s not gonna get resentful. That’s one of the things I like about him.
RUSH: That’s true. He is unflappable, and that’s very good.
CALLER: It is.
RUSH: So you work at the Office of Personnel Management?
CALLER: I do.
RUSH: Yeah. Well, your agency is providing the subsidies for federal employees as per an order from President Obama. I went back to my website and I found the source story for this back in 2013, and it basically was what I said. A bunch of members of Congress and congressional aides really started complaining about the cost when they found out that Obamacare was gonna apply to them, and Harry Reid was leading the charge.
It all got started by Chuck Grassley. Grassley inserted this provision that everybody that wrote and voted for this law was gonna have to be subjected to it, and they didn’t fight him on it. They thought it would just be forgotten. But they were held to it, and they started complaining, and Obama decided to run the subsidies through your department rather than through the normal exchange setup that had been set up for them.
CALLER: I think they’ve always been eligible for the Federal Employees Health Benefit because Congress are federal employees.
RUSH: Well, they weren’t gonna be if they went the Obamacare route. That’s what it was all about. They were gonna have to pay full boat. That’s what Grassley’s amendment required, and they were just raising holy heck about it. Anyway, you got it right at the beginning of your call, as normally you would do.