What I Said About Obamacare in 2009 and What Trump Said About It Today
Mar 17, 2017
RUSH: Oh, yeah, Trumpcare, Obamacare, replace and repeal. A couple of things, a listener sent me a note today saying, “Rush, I remember you were on Greta Van Susteren’s show on Fox back in 2009, and you said some of the smartest stuff about health care. Could you go back and find it?”
So we did, and it runs about a minute and 22 seconds. She was asking me about Obamacare in 2009, and I proposed a solution back then that was much, much less than Obamacare, and we found it in the archives. I was looking at it and I said, “That’s damn good.” I wish I could remember all these things. I’m so forward thinking that once I’ve done something it’s done and over with and I never look back, so I’m glad this listener remembered it.
About this, this morning there was a meeting, Trump had a meeting in the Oval Office with VA people; let the media in there. Before the VA meeting started, Trump was surrounded by Republicans from Congress. And he said (paraphrasing), “We have been here working all night long. We’ve been on the phones, we’ve been here, we’ve been working all night, and we’re gonna end up with the best health care bill you’ve ever seen. Obamacare is a disaster. It’s falling apart. It’s becoming untenable. It’s destroying things and destroying lives. We’re gonna have the best health care bill.”
And he said, “Every ‘no’ vote that was in this room is now a ‘yes’ vote.” I don’t know how many people were in there, but it was a sizable number. But it was upbeat, it was optimistic, and it was promising. He said, “Everybody in this room was ‘no’ vote when we started last night, and they are a ‘yes’ vote on this.” We don’t know details yet. Don’t know what happened to convert those votes from “no” to “yes.” We’re following it.
RUSH: Grab audio sound bite number 1. We head to the sound bite of me with Greta Van Susteren back in 2009. This was July 24th, summertime, and the discussions on Obamacare were just heating up. The Obama administration had just passed a stimulus, the Porkulus bill, and they were moving on to Obamacare. The numbers here in 2009, Republicans couldn’t stop anything. They didn’t have the votes in the House or the Senate to stop anything. Obama could get anything he wanted. He got the stimulus first, was coming out next with Obamacare.
And, again, I’m playing this within the context of something major happening this morning just right before the program. Trump in the Oval Office talking to the media surrounded by Vice President Pence and a bunch of Republicans, some from the leadership, some rank-and-file. He went out of his way to praise all the work everybody had been engaging in and had been going on all night, he said. “We’ve been working on this all night, all morning.” He said, “Every Republican vote in this room was a ‘no’ vote when they came in here, and right now every ‘no’ vote is a ‘yes’ vote.”
He went on to trash Obamacare and then extol the virtues of his repeal and replacement bill, without mentioning any details. But he said that it’s gonna be the best health care bill anybody’s ever seen, it’s gonna be the best solution. It’s gonna take some time to phase in, it’s gonna take some time, but it’s gonna end up being the absolute best anybody’s ever seen. It was typical Trump. But the point is he was effusively confident.
Trump betrayed literally no awareness of what is being said about him and his health care bill in the media. There was literally no acknowledgment of it either attitudinally or specifically. And by that I mean most people are very aware of what the media is saying about what they’re doing, and when they make public comments you can tell they’re aware because they answer criticisms, maybe not by specifying the criticism, but if you watch enough, you know what the criticisms are.
So the president says something, you know he was reacted to criticism. There was none of that. There was no acknowledgment that there is any opposition. There was no acknowledgment that whatever the conventional wisdom on the status of replace and repeal is. There was nothing but full-fledged, full-speed optimism and confidence. So it’s in that setting that I want to play for you a sound bite of me from July of 2009.
And again, I was prompted to do this by an emailer today who remembered that I had said something about reforming health care in 2009 that they thought was really smart and asked if I still had it. So we looked in the archives, and this is it. Greta Van Susteren said, “In your view, there’s nothing to be fixed in the health care system from the government’s standpoint? Is that what I hear you saying?”
RUSH ARCHIVE: Well, we don’t need an overhaul, and we certainly don’t need Obama’s reforms. We don’t need the government running health care. We don’t need to the government telling doctors what specialty they’re going to go into. How are you going to ensure 47 million people and cover them with no new doctors? And he’s putting squeezes on doctors. He’s gonna squeeze doctor fees and so forth.
Obama’s plan’s not about health care. It is about control. Obama’s plan is about reorienting the American society and the American private sector. It is the single one thing that government could then have control over every aspect of our lives and our behavior. So I gave you an answer. Deal with catastrophic. That’s what scares everybody. If giving health care coverage for people, Greta, was so important, 12 million people this country, that number that I found, literally are too poor to have insurance at all and they’re unemployed and so forth.
For $29 billion you can cover those 12 million people for a year. We just spent $700, 800 billion in a stimulus. Now, if health care is so important and these people without health insurance, without coverage are so important, why not, $29, 30 billion in the stimulus money to insure ’em? Why a trillion dollars to take everybody out of their current plans, enroll ’em in a public option that no government official will be part of.
RUSH: So when I read the transcript for this today, it reminded me of something I’ve been trying to say about this in this latest debate. I have said on numerous occasions, why don’t we just go back to the way it was before Obamacare? And that’s what the six Obamacare repeal bills that the House had already sent to Obama did. They just took us back to 2009 before Obamacare was signed in.
Now, I know that back then there were people upset and panicking at the rate of price increase for premiums and so forth. It was nothing like it is now. The point here is that we had back then, at most 12 to 20 million uninsured, and we blew up the health care system. We took people out of the plans that they had and out of the doctors that they liked and we reworked everything. We made people go to exchanges run by the states, funded by the federal government with the Medicaid expansion.
It became a foreign language to try to understand this. The people that enrolled were few and far between. The young were supposed to carry the most of the financial burden by signing up, but they didn’t. And just going back and looking at what we had in 2009, come up with a way to get everybody insured. That was the objective. That was one of the big selling points of Obamacare. It’s unconscionable, people said, that in the wealthiest country in the world that there are 12 million or 20 million, whatever the number was, people without insurance.
Well, you can insure those people, give them health insurance, according to the economic circumstances of the day in 2009 for $29 billion. And you’ve solved the problem of everybody having insurance. But that’s not what they did. They blew it up. They totally blew up the entire health care system and they took it over and they reworked it. It was a plan they had in a drawer. It’s been a dream the left has had to take over this entire industry, because I said in this bite, once the federal government controls who gets treated, because that’s ultimately what health care is.
You get sick, you get treated. When the government’s in charge of that, that gave rise to the death panels, and all the death panels were is a government, usually the secretary of Health and Human Services and a committee decide whether or not we’re gonna spend X-number of dollars to cure somebody with a disease at age 75 or does it make more sense to spend that money on somebody who’s sick when they’re 30, they’ve got many more productive years. Purely socialistic in its thinking. And that’s exactly what this was.
All this massive overhaul was not going to increase health care treatment, access to actual care. It was gonna put the government — it did. That’s what we’re living with now. The government decides who gets treated. You talk about health insurance all day long, but the point of having health insurance is so you can go to the hospital, so you can go to the doctor.
So my plan was two things. First, if you’re really serious about this, spend $29, 30 billion and insure everybody. Then have something called catastrophic insurance over here that takes care of the emergencies unanticipated that nobody ever anticipates but that nobody can afford. That’s why you have insurance for it. And everything else people pay for it as best they can, and the people who can’t for genuine economic or other illness-related reasons we take care of.
But that’s not what Obamacare is. Obamacare is totally blowing up the system, and it was not nearly as bad as everybody made it out to be, particularly compared to what we have now. So the point is, why couldn’t we just go back to what it was before Obamacare? “Well, you can’t do that,” they say, because that means turning everything back over to the insurance companies. Well, what do you think this deal does?
One of the problems with the repeal and replace is that it keeps the insurance companies in charge of a lot of things, and if you have an opposition to that for whatever reason, that’s not change. So I’m gonna be real eager to see what Trump was celebrating today. After Trump finished, Bill Hemmer at Fox had a short interview with Cathy McMorris Rodgers who is in the House leadership, and she had the toughest time answering his questions because she didn’t know specifically what Trump was talking about, at least in terms of the specific questions Hemmer was asking her. So she had yet to be informed about what had happened in this meeting.
It’s gonna trickle out, we’re gonna find out. But folks, it was remarkable how upbeat and optimistic and almost defiant Trump was and how proud he was of what they’d come up with and how he had converted all these “no” votes on the Republican side to “yes.” ‘Cause when I started the day today, when I got here and started today’s phase of show prep, there were something like 22 House Republicans that were gonna vote “no” on the Ryan bill. Now, not all 22 of them were in the Oval Office with Trump. As I said, I don’t know how many were in there, but it was a sizable number that he converted, he said, from “no” to “yes.”
So he clearly thinks that they gained a lot of ground last night and into today. And I think — well, I don’t want to go too far. I’m not sure that what I heard I can actually attach a certain — it sounded like he was going all-in on the Ryan bill except that Ryan last night announced that he realizes there’s gonna have to be some changes. So it sounds like some genuine horse trading has gone on here. We’ll have to wait and see. Time’s coming. Won’t be long before we do.
RUSH: Got a little blurb here from Trump in the Oval Office. I’ve referenced this a couple times today. This was about maybe a half hour, 45 minutes before the program began today. Trump in the Oval Office, at least that’s what the video ran with the Republican Study Committee. They were talking about health care reform, and they let reporters in for a moment and Trump told the reporters what all has been going on and what has happened.
THE PRESIDENT: I just want to say that these are folks that were either a “no” or a “maybe.” And we had a nice meeting, and we’ve been talking all during the night. This didn’t just happen over the last 20 minutes. This has been going all night long. And we are doing some incredible things. I want everyone to know I’m a hundred percent behind this. I want everybody to know that the press has not been speaking properly about how great this is going to be. They have not been giving it a fair press. This is gonna be great for people. I watch, I say, “That’s not the bill we’re passing.” And I also want everybody to know that all of these no’s or potential no’s are all yes’s. Every single person sitting in this room is now a yes.
RUSH: And not a one of them stood up and said, “No, no, no. I’m still voting ‘no.'” Every one of them, when Trump said they were no’s or potential no’s and now they’re yes’s. So what is he doing here? He’s once again going straight to the people and saying (paraphrasing),”You’re not being told the truth about this health care bill. Everything you think you know about it, you don’t know beans. We’re putting together a great bill. You’re gonna love it. We have been meeting all night. We’ve been doing this all night, not just since the last 20 minutes, not just since this morning.”
And he went into a little diatribe on the fake news and the fake media. He’s not caving, not giving up, not feeling defeated. Feelings aren’t hurt that Washington’s not accepting him. None of that crap is going on. It’s the other way around is what is happening.