RUSH: Is it not becoming clear that there are a lot of people that do not want to repeal Obamacare? I mean, what we’re having to listen to now is the same gobbledygook we had to listen to when they were trying to sell us Obamacare. The CBO numbers, the prediction, the cost overruns, the numbers of people that lose health care.
Some people are now saying… The ACLU’s now got a story out, the number of millions of people who will die, or maybe it’s not the ACLU. Maybe it’s a Democrat politician. The number of people that will die if Obamacare is repealed. Did you…? Somebody’s even saying that if we defund Planned Parenthood, there’s going to be a population explosion that will stress the country. No kidding! That may be the first correct analysis of what happens at Planned Parenthood than I’ve seen in a long time, and I don’t know if the people that did this actually realize what they’ve done.
“Defunding Planned Parenthood will result in a unplanned population explosion!” (chuckles) Yeah, right. “What about the mammograms?” Well, they don’t do mammograms there. But it just seems to me, folks… You know, it helps to go off the grid. I went off the grid yesterday and I didn’t spend a whole lot of time on Sunday. The reason why is ’cause I knew I would be back on Tuesday. The news that’s made on Saturday and Sunday is irrelevant. I’ve tested it. You know, I prepare.
Even when I’m gonna be gone on a Monday, I work Saturday and Sunday like I’m gonna be there on Monday, and I prepare everything. And then when Tuesday comes, all that news is irrelevant because it’s been replaced by newer news. So I was off the grid, and I just go back on the grid late last night and, of course, this morning. And this repeal Obamacare thing, we’ve been here; done that. Everything that I’m hearing about it we’ve heard before. “CBO forecasts these number of people lose health insurance, this number of people die, this happens to the deficit, this doesn’t happen to the deficit, this happens to the national debt, the deficit will be reduced by $337 billion by 2026…”
Big whoop. Who cares. How in the world is that relevant. All I know is that the Congressional Budget Office does not and cannot predict dynamic accounts of things versus statistic. All the CBO can do is deal with the numbers they are given. Everybody says, “Well, CBO, Rush! You have to understand, CBO is nonpartisan.” There’s no such thing, folks, as nonpartisan in Washington, D.C.! I defy anybody to find for me an intelligent person in Washington who is nonpartisan. That, to me, is a human impossibility, particularly now in this climate.
But yet we hear over and over, “The CBO? Yes, my friends, it’s totally nonpartisan,” and they tell us this because they want to sucker us into believing and not questioning whatever they say there. But the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, does what the name implies. It’s only as good as the numbers they’re given. So people that write legislation turn the legislation over to the CBO, and the supposedly nonpartisan bean counters and whatever they are in there, they tear it apart, upside down, inside out.
They start running the numbers and they issue a report, and they tell us what will happen to the federal budget: How many people get covered, how many people won’t get covered. But what they don’t do (because they can’t, they’re not equipped to do it and it’s not their charter) is they don’t account for what any change in the legislation might mean for human behavior.
So if the legislation institutes a tax increase, the CBO just calculates how many new money’s gonna be raised. They do not stop to think, “What if that tax increase kills jobs?” They don’t go there. It’s not their job; they don’t know how to do it. They just accept that everything in the legislation is going to be accepted and acted on without question by the people of the country; that never happens. So a CBO score to me is irrelevant, for that and a whole lot of other reasons.
RUSH: Yeah, I don’t know folks. I’m looking at this whole Obamacare repeal and replace, and I swear this getting rid of it and replacing it sounds and looks exactly like the same stuff that we heard and had to digest and put up with when it was being devised. Why would repealing this look like that?
RUSH: I’m watching Schumer and I’m watching Pelosi, and they’re coming out with their reaction to this Ryan-Trump Obamacare repeal and replace, and I’m watching what I’ve watched I can’t tell you how many times. In 1995, the Republican budget, the Newt Gingrich budget was gonna starve children. We were gonna cut the school lunch program and children were gonna starve and the Democrats had school kids all over the country writing congressmen begging them to feed them.
That they couldn’t learn if they were hungry. “Education would be a waste, Mr. Congressman, if you refuse to feed me lunch.” I’m watching this saying, “There’s no way this works. There is no way responsible citizens in this country will accept the idea that Republicans want the children of Americans to starve!” And yet it worked. And Newt Gingrich and the boys lost whatever energy they had. There was a government shutdown as part of that. I don’t want to relive all that.
My point is, I’m watching a replay of every technique the Democrats have ever used. Today, I had to hear how many people are gonna get killed if Obamacare’s repealed. Then I had to hear how many people are gonna die. Then I had to hear how many people are gonna lose health insurance. Then I had to hear how many people who had health insurance were gonna pay everything they ever earned for the rest of their lives and what their kids earned if they wanted to keep it.
I mean, I heard every horror story I’ve ever heard about everything that Republicans have anything to do with since the beginning of the time I started paying attention to it. So I saw history repeating itself, and I said, “Why is this this complicated?” And then something hit me upside the head. This country has a lot that needs to be fixed, and the people that voted for Donald Trump really, really believe that Trump is the guy that’s going to finally address it. And I think he was. I’m not disputing that.
But look, folks, I’m sorry here. If we can’t even get rid of the most disastrous government boondoggle program of our lifetimes, and if our method of getting rid of it is to create a new entitlement or welfare… I saw a member of Congress on… (interruption) Snerdley is saying, “Yeah, but millions will lose their coverage!” Let me ask you a question. Let me ask you a question. If you are no longer forced to buy… Let’s say if somebody chooses not to buy cable TV after having had it for several years.
If they choose, if they decide not to buy cable after having it for several years, do we describe that as them having lost it? Yes, we do! The Democrats will say it. If somebody decides not to do health care ’cause they can’t afford it ore not to do cable TV, the Democrats are immediately out with, “The Republicans caused X to lose their cable, caused X to lose their health insurance.” If you are no longer forced to buy it and you choose not to buy it again, did you lose it?
If a person buys health insurance but the deductible is so high that they don’t use it, was that person ever really covered? No! All this talk that twenty million people will lose their coverage? Nobody knows these numbers are true or not. It’s all fear. It’s all crisis mentality. My point is larger than this. There’s a lot that needs fixing. There’s a lot culturally. Trump talked about all of it during the campaign. This was right up there, this and tax reform.
And now look at that. I mean, we’ve got the Senate saying, “Tax reform? That’s not happening by August. That’s not even happening this year.” Really? Then what was the election about? I mean, everybody on both sides admits Obamacare’s imploding, do they not? Even the Democrats admit that it is spiraling, quote, unquote, out of control.
Well, if we can’t get rid of something that is this disastrous and come up with something to replace it — we’re smart people. We’ve got the best health care system in the world. We have the most open, free market in the world. If we can’t come up with something that replaces the biggest disaster in terms of entitlements in our lifetime, what of the rest of the agenda?
“But this is really hard, Rush.” I know it’s hard because of the expectations that have been created about Obamacare, health care, people having it as a right and so forth. I haven’t changed my attitude on bureaucracies and government. They’re not the best place to tackle complicated things like this. Markets sort out whatever problems there are.
Preexisting conditions. You realize the whole mess about preexisting conditions — now, people disagree with me on varying degrees of this. I think it is a huge element of what’s blocking moving forward on this. Now, some people say, “It’s not that big a deal, Rush. It’s not as big a deal as you’re making it out to be.” Well, it is in terms of it being used as an excuse.
Well, why can’t we separate that bunch of people? Do you realize we set up high-risk pools in Obamacare to deal with preexisting conditions, and people were allowed to join these high risk pools. Nobody did. The mechanism that was set up to handle preexisting knows, the high-risk pools, nobody sought them out, nobody joined ’em. They were an abysmal failure.
Preexisting conditions is not even insurance. It needs to be a separate program if we’re gonna deal with it. If we’re gonna make the decision that somebody who already has cancer or already has diabetes can get insurance and have somebody else pay for their care, we need to set it up specifically and separately as what it is, call it an entitlement program, reap the political rewards for caring about people. But don’t put it in with the rest of health care and health insurance reform, because it isn’t even that.
My only point is generic here, folks. I look at all this and I haven’t the slightest desire — and it’s not because I’m getting lazy. It’s because I don’t waste time. And I haven’t the slightest desire to get into the down and dirty of the latest CBO analysis and the 20 million that will lose coverage, the 20 million that will cost an arm and a leg, whatever it is, it’s all just a distraction. “No, Rush, no, it’s the process. It’s the process we must go through if we’re going to have new legislation.” Yeah, I know. What does that say about it? All the CBO is is a way for elected officials to pass the buck. “Well, the CBO says, the CBO says, the CBO says.”
“Oh, you don’t say, the CBO says.”
“That’s right, the CBO says it’s gonna do this, and I don’t want my name attached to that.”
I watched, I can’t remember his name, a very, very conservative member of the House. He was on CNN today. Malone — I think it was in Alabama. I should have made a note, but I didn’t, 10 different things going on at the same time. Anyway, this guy was just standing up in total opposition to this Ryan-Trump bill claiming it’s nothing but a brand-new welfare program. (paraphrasing) “We are creating a brand-new welfare entitlement. This is not health care. And I can’t believe the Republican Party’s putting its name to it.”
And I recall that even I myself last week said that this looks like a new welfare entitlement because we’re talking about covering people that can’t do this or can’t do that, we’re creating new victims. And what are they? They’re always victims of some unfairness intrinsic to the United States. But my common sense, intelligence guided by experience tells me it’s not this complicated! “Well, we can’t do this because of reconciliation, need 60 votes.” There’s a lot of people that don’t want 60 votes if you ask me.
There’s also a lot of people that don’t want Trump to succeed, if you ask me. And I don’t think that that is exclusive to parties. I think it’s the entire whatever you want to call it, the ruling class, the Washington establishment, or what have you. I got some sound bites here to support all this. We got your phone calls coming up. But there’s other stuff in the news too. I just wanted to lay out — you know, if you expect to hear down and dirty adding and subtracting and multiplication and division and analysis of these CBO numbers, go somewhere else, folks, ’cause I’m not falling for the trick.
RUSH: You know something else that happens here, folks? And this is just human nature. I’m sure this has occurred to you before. At some point in every piece of legislation the objective changes. And all that matters is, quote, unquote, passing the bill. “We gotta pass the bill. We gotta send it up to president. No matter what’s in it, we gotta pass the bill.”
Passing the bill becomes the measure of success. And so that’s when the real dangerous horse trading begins. “Well, what do we need to pass this sucker?” And somebody says, “Well, you gotta take out this and you gotta give me what I want.” The deal-making starts and it doesn’t take long before the entire reason the whole process began is forgotten. This is another aspect of bureaucracies. Just get it passed. We gotta be able to claim that we moved the legislation, we passed the bill.
Back to the phones. Salt Lake City and Ron. Glad you waited, sir. How are you?
CALLER: I’m well. Thank you, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.
RUSH: Yes, sir.
CALLER: Congratulations on your golf game, by the way.
RUSH: Thank you very much.
CALLER: Wish I could have been there. So I’ll just get to my point real quickly. I was a strong, enthusiastic supporter of Trump because of the promises he made. And, of course, one of them being the repeal of Obamacare. But to me it seems like the question that we should be asking has not been asked. I agree with you in terms of the CBO report means nothing, but the real question that we should be asking is how many pages of Obamacare remain at the end of the day? Because I don’t know what the number is. I’ve read as high as 30,000, and as Pelosi said we need to pass the bill so we can understand what’s in it. But if we still have tens of thousands of pages of bill as a result of the Republicans tweaking it, then we really haven’t repealed it.
RUSH: Well, I think the actual number is between 2,200 and 2,500.
RUSH: And even that makes it near record.
CALLER: Yeah, even that. So how many of those pages are gonna remain?
RUSH: Right. Yeah, that’s a good measuring stick. And of course why does it take so many pages? Who writes this stuff? Who are they? What is their objective when they write this? When you want to write a piece of legislation that nobody, by the way, can ever consciously comply with all of it — do you realize that? This is a law. It’s not a list of suggestions.
It’s a bunch of people that aren’t in the medical business, with a couple of exceptions, dictating the entire medical and health complex from hospitals to doctors to ambulances to insurance, a bunch of people that have never done it, never made a dime doing it, telling everybody else what they have to do, what they can’t do, what they’ll be penalized if they do do or don’t do. And it takes 2,500. There is no way that any single, even the person that wrote it can remember everything that’s in it to comply with it. So what is it, really?