RUSH: The president, after addressing the governors for a short time in the White House today, had a meeting with the health care CEOs — CEOs from health care insurance companies — and they came out, they praised Trump, and they said that they’re ready to work with him. We have the spokesman for the group here, Daniel Hilferty. He is Independence Blue Cross, and then there is Joe Swedish from Anthem.
HILFERTY: President Trump, Vice President Pence was very clear that they will work toward a smooth transition. They will continue to dialogue with the leadership in Congress, with the industry to make sure that we put our consumers first and continue to give all Americans an opportunity to get access to quality, low-cost care. Thank you very much.
SWEDISH: I’d like to echo what Dan Hilferty just said. The president was very engaging, very clear and open about his intent to serve the consumers, to stabilize the marketplace, and to build a health care delivery insurance model that works for all Americans. We’re very glad to be with him today to hear that message.
RUSH: Now some caveats. These guys said the same thing after meeting with Obama. So you have to understand some of the dynamic here. The dynamic here is that these guys are in a regulated business and they’re having a meeting at the White House, in the citadel of power, with the president of the United States, and even if these guys — and who knows? I mean, these guys could be radical leftists for all we know. But they’re not gonna go out of the meeting and start ripping into Trump, even if they are of that framework and that mind, because there’s been a shift in America where businesses like to sidle up to government.
It’s protection; it’s close to power; it’s any number of things. Now, I choose to believe on this one… Because every meeting that Trump has had… I don’t think there are any exceptions to this. Every meeting with whatever group of businesspeople or issue-oriented people, they all come out of these meetings raving. There was a meeting of some people last week — escapes my memory for the moment — but the people in that meeting came out and said they’re never been in one like this.
And my guess is that what that means is that Trump conducts meetings and actually tries to get something done rather than just have the meeting and rather than just announce a framework and rather than just touch on bullet points or outline points and to speak in large terms about what our four-year objectives are. My guess is that Trump gets in there, rolls up the sleeves, and starts talking about actual work that’s going to be done, things that he wants to do, things he believes the American people elected him to do. And I think it probably is a stark contrast for people who basically work in a bureaucracy.
Even CEOs police their own bureaucracy. Trump is not that. He does have more in common with these guys than most elected officials would have, particularly in the Obama administration. Obama didn’t have anybody that’d ever worked in the private sector. All they had is a bunch of theoreticians who thought they were smarter than everybody that runs businesses in the private sector. And who knows what kind of pressure was brought to bear. Remember, Obama’s agenda was one that was to be governed against the will of the people.
And who knows what kind of techniques were used to bring these people aboard in things that they might not actually support. It was a huge labyrinth. What we know after eight years of Obama is that more and more Americans didn’t want any more of it. So Trump has his budget coming up tomorrow night, which he’s gonna go into much greater detail on, and I think it’s gonna shock people, as Trump continues to shock people.
RUSH: This Obamacare repeal and replace, let me ask you a question about this, just a common-sense question. There have been six, minimum six repeal Obamacare bills that the Republicans have passed. Jim DeMint from the Heritage Foundation had this question, why don’t they just grab one, send it up there to Trump? Any of the six. They’ve already voted on it. Send it up there. Why don’t they? Well, I mean, maybe they’re afraid Trump would sign it, but what does that mean? (interruption) Well, now, that gets to my question, because the repeal bills that they sent up don’t have a replacement.
Obama was never gonna sign it. So these repeal bills were just catnip for you, supposed to keep you mollified, half drunk with delirious happiness that your Republican Congress was doing everything it could to stop Obamacare. But it raises a question. The Republicans have been in control of the House of Representatives since when, 2010? Okay, since 2017 now. And we’ve either had Boehner or Ryan as speaker. Why isn’t there a replacement bill? In all of these years, you know, the Obamacare bill itself had been written for 30 years and it’s a Democrat wet dream. They’ve had it in a drawer modifying it for decades waiting for somebody to come along and actually implement it and sign it.
Well, where’s the Republican replacement bill? Well, if Tom Price had one, where is it? He’s now secretary of health — (interruption) I know. I know I’m asking dangerous questions. But, I mean, you in the audience, if you’re asking, after six, whatever it is, now seven years of Republican control, why isn’t there a replacement bill in the drawer there? “Well, you know, Rush, it’s very complicated.” I know, but you’ve got six years here to work it out. “Well, you know, the conference changes every two years. Different members.” Yeah, but the incumbancy return rate is like 94%. “Yeah, I know, but still there’s enough turnover that we don’t know if what we wrote last year passes –” Still?
So you have some cynics who believe that there are some Republicans who really don’t want to repeal it or don’t want to replace it because to an outsider like me many, this doesn’t seem difficult. They’re going through these things, “Well, you know, we can only deal with some of it through reconciliation, because if the full repeal and aspects of the replace are gonna require 60 votes in the Senate and we don’t have 60, we’ve got 52, and we’re not gonna do nuclear option for this.” And then in the Senate you’ve got 60 votes to consider and then you got 60 votes to cut off debate and go to the vote, so you gotta get 60 votes twice, and they’re telling us, “Well, we’re not gonna get 60 votes on everything in the replacement. So we can only go as far as what we can do in reconciliation,” legislative process that doesn’t need 60 votes. And that’s basically taxes and stuff like that.
And so they’re telling us, “Well, we don’t have 60 votes in the Senate.” But you didn’t tell us you needed that. You said you needed the Senate, then you needed the House, then you needed the White House. We delivered all that. Now you’re saying we’re still eight votes — “Yes, that’s right, we need 60 votes in the Senate.” Okay, just repeal the whole thing, you know, do it all outside of the reconciliation process, just repeal the whole thing and force replacement, necessity being the mother of invention, but the thing that bothers me about this from a political standpoint, we believe that Obamacare ruined and destroyed or set in motion the ruination and destruction of the American health care system.
So common sense would say just dial the clock back. Go back to before Obamacare. It might not have been great, but it’s not as bad as this. But, no, no, no, no, because if we go back to pre-Obamacare, we’re now being told, oh, that was the worst. Oh, so now you’re saying there’s a justification for Obamacare? Is that what you mean? “Well, no.” Well, what do you mean? (interruption) That’s the theory. The theory is, there are too many people who now have free subsidized insurance. You can’t take it away from ’em. What a convenient excuse.
To me this isn’t all that complicated because there’s this thing out there called the market, and we have seen over the course of centuries that markets work and that government intervening in markets is what bollixes everything up. But there’s a fear, there’s a fear of repealing Obamacare and going back to market. The fear is that these evil insurance companies are just gonna start raising premiums and refusing coverage and being mean to people. Have you seen what the premium increases are now? Sixty-six, 68, 70%, with Obamacare.
It all boils down to, if you’re sitting out there and you’re not detecting a huge desire to do this, who could tell you that you’re wrong? And President Trump today said, for all of you biting the nails here on comprehensive tax reform, can’t do that ’til we deal with Obamacare. Can’t do that, ’cause we don’t know what the tax circumstances are gonna be on the Obamacare replacement, and until we know that, we can’t move forward with tax reform.
RUSH: Now, I’m pretty sure that I heard President Trump say that we couldn’t really finish tax reform until Obamacare — it could have been reversed. I watched this while in the midst of show prep, and it was in his comment to the governors. So let me track that down. But I’m pretty sure he said that they can’t do tax reform until Obamacare reform is done because they won’t know what the tax reform in Obamacare is. Until that’s known, they can’t do the rest of it. I’m pretty sure.
RUSH: I had it right from Trump’s little address to the governors today. “President Donald Trump insisted that tax reform is not an option until the White House and Congress can push through a plan to ‘repeal and replace’ Obamacare. Obamacare reform has to come first because it has such drastic effects on the tax code” that until they fix that, they can’t reform taxes. In fact, “Trump added tax reform is a ‘tiny ant’ compared to the replacement of Obamacare.” So. Now… I mean, if… Look, I can be Mr. Pessimism as well as anybody. I just choose not to.
But, I mean, I can do it. (interruption) You want me to…? (interruption) You want me to replicate some of the pessimism that’s out there? I’ll show you what’s out there. (impression) “Well, really. So we can’t do tax reform ’til we replace Obamacare, and it’s clear that the Republicans in the House don’t want to replace Obamacare? So we’re never gonna get tax reform either, Rush! What do you say to that?” I know some of you are dialing the phone even now to tell me that. We shall see.
RUSH: This is Mattie, Newport Beach, California. You’re next. Great to have you with us. How are things?
CALLER: (garbled cell connection) Well, first let me just say I have submitted your name 100 times for the Nobel Peace Prize for Brilliance Beyond Human Understanding.
CALLER: Rush Limbaugh. So, once again, you connected the dots for America this morning when you’re talking about Obamacare and what happens. And the problem is the GOP, because let me tell you what happened, Rush. I’m a small business owner, and I have a coalition of small business owners here in Southern California, and we are all GOP donors forever. And after Obama got in and we saw this Obamacare, we knew it was the end of business. So we all got together and said, “Hey, we gotta get Congress back,” and we sent them money. We had calls with Boehner daily. We did everything we could.
And they got Congress back. And then they told us, “Hey, hey, we need the Senate. We can’t do anything without the Senate.” So we were sending money to the Senate Conservatives Fund. We were making the phone calls, sending the emails. And then you know what they did, Rush? They went and not only did these arrogant — the epitome of arrogance. They exempted themselves, and they funded it, and told their donors, “Kiss our behind.” That’s what they did. So then the business owners…
It was small business America that put Trump in office, because we knew if we did not get someone like him who was a businessman, who understood the small business — which makes up 70% of all the jobs in the United States — we were done. We were history. And so we got together… CEOs and GOP donors, we do nothing but write checks. We don’t go out there and door knock. We don’t do anything. We write the checks and tell them, “You better make it happen.”
This time with Trump I helped put together 200 businesswomen here in Southern California. We went as delegates to Cleveland. We went above and beyond because we were so scared. And now that Trump is in and they’re trying — the GOP (unintelligible) the Dems, they have nothing coming. You’re right. When you look at that map of the United States, it’s all red. Only a few states are blue, and we plan on taking those back by 2020, and now the GOP —
CALLER: (chuckling) I’m telling you, Rush, you have no idea what’s going on. Well, no, you do.
RUSH: No, I do. That’s the thing. I just lost my connection, and I can’t plug it in. So I can’t hear you right now. But bear with me. I’ve gotta go to a commercial break anyway. What I wanted to say was… (interruption) No, I can’t hear myself, either. The cable came out. The point is: I do know what’s going on out there. I do know the kind of still rabid support Trump has. I do know that Washington still doesn’t understand it. They don’t want to understand it, and they’re hoping that they can demoralize you — the media — and have you go away.
So the question that you’re gonna… You’ve heard Trump say that they can’t get to the tax reform ’til they fix Obamacare. He said it today, and he said even today he’s got this great plan for Obamacare and he’s gonna get it done. Now, I know that the people that voted for him still have undivided support for him. They still trust him, still believe him. There’s no reason not to yet. But over there, you said GOP, and that’s where people are wondering if the long knives are out for Trump, and if so, how can he or will he deal with it. But, look, you keep doing what you’re doing out there, because it’s obviously working like a champ.