RUSH: Now the Obamacare replacement bill in the Senate. Many questions about this bill, among them, does Mitch McConnell really want this thing to pass? Does the Republican Party really want to go there? It’s an open question. People have not quite figured out the answer.
The CBO score came in yesterday. Anybody that thinks this is a nonpartisan organization needs to quickly rethink your orientation. I mean, for crying out loud, two numbers here. The CBO score of the Senate health care bill said yesterday that 22 million people would lose their health insurance. Twenty-two million would lose their insurance.
And, of course, the response to this has been predictable. This is akin to saying that a thousand prisoners who escape are now homeless. Do you think the prisoners care? They just got out of prison, they just escaped but we’re gonna call ’em homeless because they’re not in prison anymore. In the case of 22 million people losing their health insurance, you cannot forget the context. Obamacare forces, it compels, it mandates that people buy insurance or else, just like Obama told Putin, “You better stop it or else.” Well, we’ve been told you better buy health insurance or else.
Now, for a lot of people it’s insurance that they can’t afford. Not only can they not afford to buy it, they can’t afford to use it because the deductibles are so high. So what good is it? If 22 million people had health insurance that’s out of reach and yet they’ve been forced to buy it, what good is it? If people, therefore, under the Senate bill are no longer forced to pay for insurance that they don’t need, or if they’re no longer forced to buy insurance they can’t afford, they will escape.
A thousand prisoners escape prison, we call ’em homeless. Twenty-two million people escape the evil, punitive clutches of Obamacare, and we call them dead? Who is to say that some of these 22 million will not buy affordable insurance when that becomes an option? Aetna, one of the Obamacare insurers, has said that the Senate bill will motivate them to ratchet up their individual market. Well, hell’s bells, Mabel, that’s exactly what the agenda needs.
The individual market in the private sector needs to be ramped up, market forces involved making it affordable. So if people flee — if they’re allowed, if they are allowed to escape the evil clutches of Obamacare which they can’t afford to buy and can’t afford to use and end up having more affordable options — this what the CBO doesn’t do. They just give you static, raw numbers and leave it to the Drive-Bys for the worst interpretation possible. Whereas I, El Rushbo, come along and can tell you how this could actually end up being a very, very up positive. It could be.
The fact is that nobody knows. But where we are is with people on the left, if government isn’t doing it, it isn’t being done, and if government isn’t doing it, it isn’t being done well. And of course that’s the exact opposite of word. If government is doing you can make bank on the fact it’s inefficient. If government is doing it you can make bank on the fact that it isn’t gonna work. And if government is doing it you can make bank on the fact that there are no cost controls involved and therefore there’s nothing relevant to people’s ability to afford something if the government’s involved.
And yet people think the only way we can make progress is if the government’s involved. It’s cockeyed, it’s cockamamie, it’s 180 degrees out of phase. Who is to say that people will not buy affordable insurance when that becomes an option? If the 30-hour workweek is eliminated, stop and think of this. How many people were working full time and were converted to part time by their evil bosses because their evil bosses wanted to escape the evil clutches of Obamacare?
So now Obamacare’s repealed and this 30-day workweek and all of this rigmarole is gone, so people now are able to once again gets jobs that are full time, not part time, and if that avails them the opportunity to purchase individual health insurance in an individual market that’s more in line with private sector market forces, why would that be bad? If the 30-hour workweek is eliminated, which it will be, more can be earned and insurance can be afforded, not just to purchase, but to use it!
Nobody talks about that aspect of Obamacare. It’s out of the price range of most people, which is why they need subsidies. But even after that it becomes too expensive to use, what with the deductible. Now, if we get tax cuts passed down the road — hint, hint — there will be even more jobs so people can afford insurance. So this number of 22 million people uninsured, you want to bet, you want to bet that wouldn’t be the case? I’ll bet against the CBO any day of the week on this program, I don’t care what they’re scoring, I will bet against them.
I watched something atrocious on TV today. I watched it before the show began. John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, looked to me like he was moderating a session of the nation’s governors at the National Press Club, who were whining and moaning and complaining about the Senate health care bill, and then, by extension, the Republican health care bill. By extension, the repeal Obamacare, replace Obamacare bill.
And I happened to see only one governor up there with Kasich. He was standing off to the side, though you could see him inching closer to the microphone, he wanted to get back up there, John Hickenlooper, who is the Democrat governor of Colorado. And Hickenlooper was talking about what would happen if the Republican bill in the Senate passed. And he actually said that in his state 187,000 people would die. Where does this stuff come from? Why does it go unchallenged? 187,000 people will die. Why did nobody besides us talk about the number of people who would die under Obamacare at the direction of the death panels?
The death panels were gonna ensure death. Obamacare counted on it! Obamacare counted on the old getting sick and not being treated because they wanted to treat the young and the healthy who didn’t need treatment because they’re young and healthy. But they wanted to focus on people who had many more years ahead of them than people who had very few years ahead of them, and that’s what the death panels were all about. That’s where all of the redistribution would take place, and that’s where all of the — what’s the word I’m looking for? — ah, it’s a simple word. I’m having a mental block on it. It wasn’t gonna be universal coverage.
And now we got Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett’s right on schedule. “You know, the only solution to this is single payer.” Warren Buffett, that’s it, the only solution we have now single payer. Right on schedule. So here’s how these scare headlines work: 187,000 Coloradans die if the Senate bill passes, quote, Governor John Hickenlooper. Twenty-two million lose health insurance, 1,000 prisoners escape Shawshank are now homeless.
RUSH: I want to grab a phone call, squeeze it in here before the hour expires. It’s in Tuscany, Italy. This is Fritz. It’s great to have you on the program, Fritz, how you doing?
CALLER: Hey, Rush.
CALLER: How are you doing?
CALLER: I spent six hours on a (unintelligible) yesterday and had time to think about the Republicans’ health care dilemma. You know, on one hand if they don’t do anything they get blamed, and if they do something the CBO really hurts them. So I was wondering if the administration couldn’t perhaps had the CBO score Obamacare as it stands now, ’cause I have a feeling the scoring on that would look much worse than what the Republicans are proposing.
RUSH: (laughing) Even if they didn’t do it, just the request would make a brilliant point. “Hey, CBO, score Obamacare where it is, not on the legislation as presented, score it now, compared to what you told us was gonna happen before it was implemented.” I think it’s a brilliant idea and I’m happy to have you help put it out there.
CALLER: You’re very kind, sir. Thank you.
RUSH: What are you doing in Tuscany? Do you live there, or are you on vacation?
CALLER: No, I sell super yachts, Italian super yachts to Americans. So I was here delivering a couple boats. Kind of exciting.
RUSH: Wow. You sell super yachts to Americans, and you’re delivering a couple of them. Very cool. They’re Italian and they’re sleek. An Italian yacht, you can see it, you know just by the design. (interruption) Yeah, I’m a yacht guy. Well, I have been a yacht guy. You know that. It’s the closest I ever get to the water. (laughing)
RUSH: Here’s Mike in Jacksonville, Florida. Glad you waited, sir. How you doing?
CALLER: Greetings, Maha Rushie. It’s a pleasure to be speaking with you, sir.
RUSH: Well, thank you, sir, very much. I appreciate that.
CALLER: I wanted to ask you or go back to your opening today where you talked a bit about the health care non-repeal proposals, that they might be good for the individual market. And my chin hit the floor as I was like, “Oh, my gosh, did Rush trade in his small government conservative free market card?” I mean, the worst part of Obamacare, Rush, is not the taxes or the Medicare stuff, but the mandates that require the minimum coverage to have so much stuff most of us don’t need. We can’t even just buy catastrophe care. So when I heard this, I was like, wow, Rush, happened to the free market?
RUSH: Wait a minute. Are you thinking I support mandates?
CALLER: No. You had mentioned, you know, someone from Aetna saying, “Oh, yeah, we think these proposals at the Senate and the House will be great for the individual market,” and given that they don’t really repeal any of the mandates on what the minimum coverages must be — in other words, Aetna can’t sell me just catastrophic care; they have to sell me something with all the stuff I don’t want.
RUSH: That’s what makes me think they don’t want this to pass. I questioned the question at the beginning of the hour, I was speaking philosophically there, and I maybe did not make a distinction, or draw enough of a distinction, I was speaking theoretically and philosophically.
Let me rephrase the whole thing. I first started out talking about these stupid statistics from the CBO, 22 million will lose health insurance. Well, that’s a static score. My analogy is, okay, a thousand prisoners escape prison and the media calls ’em homeless. If we get rid of the current version of Obamacare, they claim 22 million people will lose their health insurance. How many of those 22 million are gonna lose it because they have to buy it at present and wouldn’t have to buy it theoretically if we repealed Obamacare?
RUSH: And maybe they don’t want to buy it. Who says you have to buy it? Obama does. But what if young people don’t want to buy it? They should be allowed not to have to buy it and not have to pay a fine for it. And if they don’t want to buy it and the insurance companies want to sell it, they’re gonna have to be competitive in making the price attractive so that people who don’t want to buy it could be persuaded to do so based on need. This bill doesn’t do that; I acknowledge that.
CALLER: To me that’s the worst part of all of it, Rush, is that, you know, without getting rid of the mandates that, for example, my wife’s tubes are tied. We don’t need pregnancy coverage, among other things that we’re forced to purchase, and those are the things driving our premiums up to the point where literally I’ve been in the individual market 20 years now, I’m self-employed, and my health insurance cost has gone up to be as high as my mortgage now. And I’m not asking for subsidies. I’m just asking, let me buy what I need and when I go to the doctor for the small stuff I’ll pay for it. I’m gonna fall out of the system, too.
RUSH: I saw a story I think it was yesterday, maybe the day before, and it was from an unnamed Republican talking to the media who said, “Look” — talking to the media, to whoever wrote the story, “You gotta understand, we can’t totally repeal this. It’s not possible to totally repeal it.” Now, the House bill killed the mandates. The Senate bill puts them pack in. This is why I’m asking if they really want this bill to die. I’ve never been convinced the Republicans actually want to repeal and replace. It shouldn’t be this hard, should it?
CALLER: No it shouldn’t. I mean, you know, I thought the whole point was to undo the takeover of a sixth of our economy and put back in place free market reforms, but it doesn’t seem like the Republicans want to do that.
RUSH: I don’t think that’s ever been the intent. They may have told you so. And the reason for it, the Republicans are scared to death whatever numbers are involved that do treat this as an entitlement and it will be taken away from people. And the media is gonna tell them that the Republicans took away their health care and the Republicans are not gonna have a means because they don’t have the talent or the skills or the message to fight back and explain what’s going on.
But, no, I’m not in favor of the mandates or anything of the sort. I’m not in favor of them remaining. When I saw the Aetna comment, I think, in a free market, they’re right. If the individual market returns, like it was the way you just described, where you could go buy only what you needed, Aetna was describing a circumstance like that where they thought the individual marked would grow, and I agree with them. If people had the freedom to buy only what they needed with no mandates and no built in prices to cover people who can’t afford it and all that garbage. You and I are on the same page about this. This whole health care system has been bollixed since the 1960s.
CALLER: Yeah. Yeah. I didn’t think as positively about the Aetna comment. It kind of struck me as a guy who’s gonna get a bailout from the government if he’s not profitable and a lobbyist saying, I’m for whatever they pass ’cause I’m gonna get my bailout. That’s kind of the way it came across to me.
RUSH: Well, in the current structure, the Aetna people probably are looking it that way because that’s the way Obama sold it to ’em. With Obama attaching the mandates — stop and think of this, folks. Just to make a point here. Obama mandates that everybody have insurance, mandates individuals buy it, mandates businesses provide it. Of course the insurance companies go along with it. The government is demanding by law that every American buy their product!
Bye-bye competition; bye-bye meaningful price structure. Of course they went along with it. And if those mandates remain in the Republican version of the bill, then of course the insurance companies are gonna be singing kumbaya. But I was not endorsing that by any stretch. I’m sorry for the confusion. I’m glad you called and were able to point it out.
RUSH: Okay, now, on the mandates, just to be clear, the Republicans have been saying for months now that they can’t remove the mandates until their bills have passed. That’s one of the things that Tom Price, Health and Human Services secretary, can do. He can change the mandates after the bill has passed, ’cause that’s how Obama did it.
RUSH: The Senate just delayed the health care vote now until after the July 4th recess. That means they come back in September, right? (chuckling) Just kidding. (interruption) Yeah, I know they might cancel the August recess. This is unlike any other political summer. I mean, I thought Obama kept us active but this is unprecedented. At any rate, the McConnell said, you know, he wants a new CBO score. He wants to trash this one. Well, not trash it, but he wants to rewrite it, come up with a new bill, try to get a new CBO score and have a vote after the July 4th recess.
Priebus, the chief of staff, has invited some Republican senators to the White House for a meeting at four o’clock this afternoon where no doubt President Trump’s gonna try to put the big sell on them here. Now, I want to go back to our caller from Jacksonville, Florida, because I was thinking about what he was talking about versus what he thought he heard me say. And I think the confusion here is mandates. Now, the mandates are gone in the House bill, but they’re in the Senate bill.
Of course, the Senate bill is now inoperative. I think they’re going back to drawing board. But until that just moments ago the Republicans have been saying all along, even from the first days of the House bill, that they need to get passed in three phases — and I guess they’re sticking this in one form or another. Remember Obamacare itself empowers the secretary of Health and Human Services in incomparable ways. The health care bill is over 2,000 page and on practically every page you will find da-da-da, da-da-da, da-da-da “as the secretary shall determine.” Much of what ended up in Obamacare happened after it was passed.
That’s what Pelosi meant when she said, “Well, we gotta pass it to find out what’s in it,” because they couldn’t — Obama could not — get what he really wanted passed legislatively. He barely got the shell passed. There were no Republican votes for it. So much of what was currently U.S. health care was added after the bill was passed, including some of the mandates. Now, the mandates the caller was talking about are (you’ve hard of this) the Essential Health Benefits Requirements under Obamacare. Both the House bill and the Senate bill allow states to opt out of those requirements.
Essential health benefits, the dreaded EHBs. This is where, by executive order or by the secretary of Health and Human Services arbitrarily adding something, the bill powered the secretary of Health and Human Services to add things, to take things away, ’cause that’s the only way to get this passed. They couldn’t spell out every option. It was too… People wouldn’t have supported it if it had ever gone public what was gonna happen, and that’s why Obama was able to do all these waivers and tailor it to the political needs he had of the day, because the bill allowed that kind of flexibility. The Democrats in the House and the Senate gave it to him, and of course he signed it.
So what the Republicans are saying here in their effort here to repeal it is that we want to repeal it the same way. So you pass this in the House, which they did, and then in the Senate, and then what they want is for Price — our secretary of Health and Human Services — to then take the mandates out and cancel a bunch of Obama essential health benefits. The argument against that from the get-go, from the first days of the House bill has always been, “But that still makes it temporary. That’s not repealing anything, because the next time we have a Democrat president, he can go back in and put whatever he wants.
“We need to repeal the legislation! Just get rid of it and start over.” The Republicans have never had any desire for that. Politically, substantively, they just have never had any desire. So this work-around here is impaneling, under the current terms of Obamacare, the same secretary of Health and Human Services — in our case, it’s Tom Price — to go in there and rip out all these things that the Obama people put in there, including some of these mandates. In the current structure of the bill, “[s]tates can opt out of some of the requirements if they apply to the federal government for a waiver — and ‘there will be intense pressure for state regulators’ to do so, said Linda Blumberg, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute.”
There’s all kinds of people weighing in on this. And like the House bill, the Senate bill allows states more choice about these essential health benefits. But, of course, that’s now moot because McConnell has delayed the vote. He wants to change it and get a new CBO store. The CBO is just a… Folks, it’s just plain BS. It’s a static score based only on the numbers they’re given, and I don’t believe for a moment that it is nonpartisan. I never have believed it. The Democrats run that town, and like this Politico story that I mentioned the top of the program… I’ve always told you the Democrats run this town — and the media, they run this town — Washington, not just politically but social as well.
And this Politico story “It’s the End of Small Talk in Washington.” This is a long story about how Trump and his administration, his people, his family (impression), “They are not Washington aristocrats. They’re not that type. They’re not welcome here. They’re not the kind of people you’d go to cocktail parties and make small talk with. These are the kind of people that if they showed up at a cocktail party, you would leave and youd’ start asking, ‘Who invited them?’ They’re just rabble. They’re not elites, these Trump people! His cabinet secretaries, his family? You know, these people are the Clampetts that have shown up here, for crying out loud. They come from their cement pond over at the White House into our upper crust cocktail parties and they turn over the punchbowl. We don’t want ’em here!”
That’s what this story’s all about. So the whole idea of this CBO… It’s stacked with Democrats just like every other part of this town is, this idea that the Senate bill is gonna add 22 million uninsured. How about the uninsured now under Obamacare that nobody wants to talk about? What was the score on that? And 22 million uninsured? How many of them are gonna be uninsured because they choose to be, because they no longer have to buy health insurance because it’s not mandated? How many of the uninsured are there by choice? What’s wrong if somebody doesn’t want to buy health insurance?
Why is it a crime now? The reason it is is because everybody — particularly the young — have to buy it in order to pay for treatment for the elderly. “White House Says CBO has a ‘History of Inaccuracy.'” Washington Times, January 29th, 2015: “Obama Amnesty Would Save Feds $7.5 billion.” Do you believe this garbage? In January of 2015, the CBO scored an Obama amnesty bill. Do you know what they concluded? By granting amnesty to who knows however many millions of people, the federal government would “save $7.5 billion.” Somebody tell me how the math on that works.
How do you grant citizenship, or at least grant legal status to however many — 12 million, what’s the number they keep bandying about? And that’s gonna cost less? How? How does that work when they’re not able to work, when they’re gonna be on some form of the welfare system. November 18th, 2009, Washington Times: “U.S. Health Plans Have History of Cost Overruns.” No kidding! The bottom line is that these CBO numbers… You want to drain the swamp? Get rid of this. But you can’t. See, the inside-the-Beltway people swear by this. “It’s just part of the system, Mr. Limbaugh! The CBO scores legislation and it’s just the way it is.”
Well, “just the way it is” isn’t working, and just the way it is hasn’t been working for a long time. Now, here’s the story the caller heard me talking about. This is the Wall Street Journal. “Anthem insurance…” I said Aetna. I was mistaken. “Anthem Says Senate Health Bill Will Bolster Individual Insurance Market,” and the Wall Street Journal is… They’re ticked off at this. They’re not happy about it, reporting it. “Anthem Inc. said it believes that the Senate Republicans’ health bill will bolster the individual insurance market, an endorsement for the legislation as many other insurers have suggested it could undermine the marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act.
“In a statement, Anthem said it believed the bill ‘will markedly improve the stability of the individual market and moderate premium increases,’ because it allots billions to help stabilize the markets, eliminates a tax on health insurance plans and, Anthem said, works on ‘aligning premium subsidies with premium costs.'” So this is why the caller was upset, because Anthem is supporting this because the government’s gonna be in there stabilizing and making things fair and equal and so forth, thinking it’s gonna be more workable. And that’s not how I read it.
I read it that Anthem would bolster the health insurance market, the individual market because insurance would become more affordable because premiums would come down, which is the way it ought to be. Insurance companies ought to want free markets and they ought to want to be able to price things so that people could afford them, and that’s how you really sell them. You get these subsidized markets and exchanges and stuff? What a mess. It all ought to be just thrown out and start over. But this this notion, grab sound bite number 29. This is Hickenlooper. He’s the governor of Colorado. He’s standing next to John Kasich today at a governor’s forum on the Senate health care bill at the National Press Club. Listen to this governor of Colorado, what he says here…
HICKENLOOPER: If this bill went through as it is, you would have, y’know, a level of — uh, I mean, by some estimates over a hundred thousand deaths over the next 10 years.
RUSH: Now, what are these people? Who do they think they are to say that a health care plan is going to be responsible for people dying? This has become a Democrat Party trope, that health care administered by Republicans causes death. This is one of the most obscene, filthy charges I have ever heard. It’s irresponsible. We have emergency rooms. People do not die in this country because of the state of American health care. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. But just putting out there that a Republican health care bill is going to end up murdering people? How do you think people are gonna hear this?
Here’s the estimable governor of Colorado wringing his hands (with a Republican governor nodding his head right next to him) that a hundred thousand people are going to die over the next 10 years because of the Republican health care bill. That is just outrageously obscene. And to say it as though it’s just a matter of fact as though the Republicans… Just like the Republicans are gonna starve children and the Republicans are gonna whatever else they’re gonna do. And he’s not the only one. Bernie Sanders is out echoing this and Elizabeth Warren and any number of others. Tim Kaine is talking about the numbers of people Republican health care will kill!
Is it any wonder deranged lunatic Democrat supporters pick up guns and want to start shooting people? Where are the Republicans? Why is Kasich up there nodding his head with this, and where are Republican senators pushing back on this? Well, they know that their friendly media is gonna push back for them, I guess. But this is just absurd, the number of people who are gonna die? When, in fact, the death panels that were in Obamacare were, in fact, going to ration health care and treatment.
Obamacare death panels were going to determine who got treated and who didn’t. It was Sarah Palin who accurately named them “death panels” because that’s exactly what would happen. They come out and they say that Republican health care repeal efforts and rewrites where gonna kill people? A hundred thousand people just in Colorado, folks? Now, he doesn’t detail how they’re going to die. He just leaves it to the imagination of the panicked, and it fits right in: Republicans kill people, starve children, all this other rigmarole.