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RUSH: Open Line Friday on Thursday. That means people can bring up whatever they want. Doesn’t have to be anything in the news. We’re gonna start with Emilio in Clinton Township — is that New Jersey? Michigan. Emilio, welcome. Great to have you with us, sir.

CALLER: Thank you, Rush. Just calling about what you’ve been talking about all week long.

RUSH: Yeah?

CALLER: I mean, I have been listening to you every day this week, two and a half hours you’ve talked about it, the next day, two and a half hours. Today you open the show the same way. You’ve fallen right into their trap. That’s what they want you to do, keep talking about this dumb stuff. Nobody believes it. I’m a Trump supporter. I’ve been a Trump supporter from Day One, and nobody believes what these people are saying, and this is liberal tactics. They hold on disinformation. This information was available out over a year ago. So they just wait at certain times so they can keep the people talking about this, talking about it, and forget about everything else. And Rush, believe me, I’ve been around a lot longer than you, but I don’t claim to know as much as you do. I’m 84 years old, but I know how they operate. I know how the liberals operate, because I listen to you.

RUSH: Well, I appreciate it that, Emilio. I understand what you’re saying. It bothers me too. I feel a compulsion, however, to straighten out the lies, the distortions, and the misinformation just in service to doing what I can do to maintain an accurate record for people who I hope I’m arming with information they can use to refute anti-Trumpers they run into out there.

Look, I’m also in a rotten mood here, Emilio. I have been all week. I’m not taking it out on you. So when you’re in a rotten mood, you kind of tend to gravitate to stuff that ticks you off anyway ’cause you already are. But this stuff today and the media really think they’ve got Trump on this, and I’m trying to tell people why they think they do and how I don’t think they do. I’m just trying to give people information and ammo, if you will.

CALLER: Let me tell you something else. I’ve been listening to you for years.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: And everything you say I believe on. I agree with you ’cause you’re the only thing that we have fighting for us. And this is what gets me, ’cause these people are —

RUSH: Are you worried that I’m being sidetracked? You think I’m falling for this, you think I’m being sidetracked —

CALLER: Yes, that’s what I’m worried about. That’s exactly what I’m worried about.

RUSH: Okay, what’s out there that you think I should be discussing that I am not giving enough attention to?

CALLER: Well, we have the health care bill.

RUSH: We know what’s happening on the health care bill. Nothing is happening on the health care bill. We know that. They’re not gonna do anything on health care. They’re not gonna change it. I know this. You know this.

CALLER: That’s what’s sad. We have to bring it up because if we don’t do something this time, and I don’t have that much time left anyway myself, I’m 84. And I don’t think, if we don’t do it now, do something now, it’s never gonna happen again.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: This is, I think, my last opportunity to see the Republican Party do something.

RUSH: Let me tell you something, Emilio, you may not remember this, you probably do, though, because you sound like a regular listener. Remember when McConnell submits the first Senate health care bill and it comes back with a CBO score and it says 28,000 million Americans are gonna die because they’re gonna miss their health insurance. And I posited a theory, because then McConnell said, okay, we’re gonna go back again. I said, “What if McConnell purposely sent up a phony baloney bill just to figure out how the CBO’s gonna score this thing and then later resubmit the bill in such a way that the CBO cannot do damage to it?”

That may be exactly what’s happened. If you listen to Rand Paul, and if you choose to believe him, what they’re actually doing is enacting Obamacare lite, that they’re not adopting any of the Cruz amendment in this so far. Now, John Cornyn thinks that Rand Paul is grandstanding and has said, “Well, I don’t see any votes for what you want to do, Senator Paul. I do see other votes out here.” But it could well be that McConnell did submit a bill that would secure either a positive or not so bad CBO score.

But if that’s what he did, then what are we gonna end up with? If the CBO score of the latest health care bill is, “We love this,” what can it possibly be? So we’ll have to wait and see what that is. But you can’t find anybody more on the same page with you.

I made mention of this yesterday during the two or three minutes I wasn’t talking about Trumpgate about how the fastest way Trump could move past all of this is just to get this stuff done. Actually repeal and replace Obamacare, move forward with the tax cuts, build the wall or something that’s equivalent, just do this stuff in addition to everything else he’s doing on his own, and none of the rest of this stuff is gonna matter.

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RUSH: Trump had a joint press conference with this new kid that runs France, and he delivered another barn-burner, pro-America set of remarks. What this tells me is that the Drive-Bys will have to drop another bombshell scandal. That’s the way this always works. Trump does something magnificently great and the Drive-Bys drop something shortly after.

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RUSH: Rush Limbaugh here on Open Line Friday on Thursday, which means whatever you want to talk about is fine and dandy.

The first call today was from a devoted listener taking me to task for spending too much time on this stuff that you all know is BS, it’s not true, and there’s a little… not anger. You wouldn’t call it anger, right? He was frustrated that I’m spending more time on this than he thinks is warranted. I mentioned yesterday I was nervous about that. But there’s something about this, folks, I don’t know.

I resent being on defense every day. It feels like that has to be the standard modus operandi because the left is constantly attacking. They’re constantly accusing. They’re constantly alleging. They’re trying to drive Donald Trump out of office. They are conducting a silent coup that is actually making a lot of noise. And I’m sorry; I just can’t sit here and say, “You know, I trust you all to get this. I’m gonna move on to the mating habits of the Australian rabbit bat,” as an alternative topic. So it’s a delicate balancing act. But remember what the new version of Limbaugh Institute is. It’s advanced anti-leftist and anti-media studies. And these are ongoing illustrations of just how that world functions.

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RUSH: I don’t know if we should call it breaking news, on health care. Senator Cruz has announced that he supports the new Obamacare replacement bill. Cruz said that he will support it, which is a major boost for the bill’s chances of passage in the Senate.

This is from TheHill.com. Cruz told reporters just now, just this afternoon, “If this is the bill, I will support this bill.” Now, he added a caveat. He said, “Now, if it’s amended and we lose the protections that lower premiums my view could well change.”

“An amendment from Cruz to allow insurers to offer plans that do not meet ObamaCare requirements was included in the new bill in a key move to win his support.” The Cruz amendment, by the way, we’ve got an extensive interview about this with Senator Cruz in the next issue of The Limbaugh Letter, which should be reaching you el quicko. And Cruz offered a multifaceted amendment here which initially was said to have quite a lot of support. His objective is to lower premiums.

Now, in the Cruz bill — I don’t know if this is true in the latest bill — in the Cruz proposal, there are three types of mandates: the personal mandate requiring you to buy insurance. If we broom that, that is a big chunk taken out of Obamacare. It’s not a kill switch, but that’s a big bite. Because the mandate that forced everybody to buy insurance was one of the funding mechanisms Obamacare used to come up with money to pay for the coverage of the elderly who might not be able to afford health insurance.

The young were supposed to be the backbone of this. And so Cruz’s bill eliminated — and I think not just Cruz’s bill. I think the McConnell bill eliminated the personal mandate and the employer mandate. Both are crucial. The employer mandate is what led to more and more people being reclassified as part-time workers so that they would have less than a 30-hour workweek, which meant their companies did not have to cover them.

And that’s what a lot of businesses, large and small, did, was convert enough people to part time. The threshold number was 50 employees. If you had 50 employees, then that was the rule. They had to work 30 hours or more to get coverage. If they were part time, didn’t have to cover them. Apparently both of those mandates are gone.

The third mandate is the Title I mandate, the Obama essential health benefits. And these were the mandates Obama put in that required people to buy items in their insurance policy they would never use, like elderly people mandated to buy maternity coverage. That’s just one example. They weren’t able to remove the Title I amendments because of legislative reasons, and they didn’t have the number of votes to win on a straight legislative vote.

They couldn’t do it with budget reconciliation because of the construction of Obamacare. They would have to get rid of the mandates first before they get rid of the individual characteristics of the essential health benefits. But the Cruz amendment did succeed in providing a provision that will allow insurance companies to offer plans to consumers that do not meet all of those Obama essential health benefit requirements. And Cruz he said he couldn’t support anything that didn’t do that because it’s the essential health benefits that kill this. It’s the essential health benefits that keep premiums high. It’s the essential health benefits that make no sense.

The Obama mandates that everybody have a certain kind of insurance when they need it or not. Cruz’s idea was to come up with a plan that would allow people to buy what they want! Pure and simple! Like anything else you go buy. If you want a TV, buy the features you want, a phone, buy the features you want. Health care, buy the features you want, buy the policies you want. We have not been allowed to do that since Obamacare.

Now, apparently there’s been enough movement in that direction that Cruz can now say he supports the bill. But so far details have not yet been forthcoming. The last paragraph here at TheHill.com story says: “Moderates and many health experts, however, worry that amendment would spike premiums for the sick people remaining in the Obamacare plans, when healthy people move to the cheaper, less generous options.”

See, right there’s the rub. I maintain that under socialism you can always find a justification for doing something stupid. You can always find a justification for not doing what’s right, if socialism is what governs you.

Now, listen to this. Moderates — read “liberals” — and many health experts — what health experts? Who are we talking about here? They’re not named. — worry that the amendment, which would allow people to ignore certain elements of the Obama essential health benefits, would cause premiums for the elderly to rise because they are going to remain in the Obamacare plan.

It’s not stated here why they will. When healthy people move to the cheaper — See, healthy people, the initial conceit and the initial flaw — I mean, in the world of common sense, the initial flaw — and there were many with Obamacare — was that the people who do not need insurance were gonna be forced to buy it so that the elderly would have it. What’s wrong with that? Who in the world buys what they don’t need? And why in the world force people to buy what they don’t need and don’t want?

This has always been the problem. The healthiest people among us have always been the targets of this. The people who, if left to their own devices, wouldn’t even have health insurance in their twenties, thirties, maybe catastrophic, but they wouldn’t have all this. They wouldn’t have maternity insurance. They wouldn’t have all this garbage in there. A, they wouldn’t have the money for it. They would shop around. They would find what they thought they were most likely to have happen to ’em and insure ’em against that. Obamacare said, “No, no, no, no. You’re young. You have to buy it all.”

It makes no sense whatsoever. It didn’t have a chance of working, which, by the way, was the design. I just saw a story, here’s another example for you. You know Tesla. Everybody who doesn’t know what’s going on loves Teslas. They love ’em. And you know why they love ’em? Well, one is that Elon Musk has this unassailable public image, visionary, smartest man in the world, savior of the planet, visionary, sees things that you and I will never see in our lifetime. My little tech blogies, they just love the guy.

Well, a little known fact is that Tesla is the most subsidized company on earth, or close to it, to the tune of 4 to 5 billion dollars. Well, of course people can afford to buy Teslas if over half the cost of one is subsidized. Well, guess what? Australia has decided not to subsidize the purchase of Teslas. You know how many they’ve sold in Australia? Zero. Actual zero have been sold because they’re not subsidized. Why should they be? Why should Teslas be subsidized and not Corvettes? “Well, Mr. Limbaugh, obviously we need to subsidize these products that are going to save the planet from deathly climate change.” And we’ve got a story on that, by the way.

Algore’s out with another series of just ungodly, stupid analogies and comparisons. That’s coming up. Same thing with health care here. We’re talking about subsidizing people who can’t afford it, and because of the cost, that’s most people who need subsidies for this stuff. The minute you hear subsidies, I don’t care what, if it’s health care, buying cars, the minute you hear subsidies, you have to understand, whatever’s going on here, it isn’t market forces.

Whatever’s happening here, this is a defined program that is targeting sales not based on consumer interest or consumer desire, but based on what a bunch of central planners think people ought to be doing and have. And it’s the same thing here with health care. It has never made any sense when the left runs it, because their purpose is not what they state. It’s not insuring everybody, and it’s not health care for everybody.

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RUSH: CNN has their story on Ted Cruz’s amendment being adopted in part, Republican health care bill. Their headline: “New Republican Health Care Bill Could Allow Cheaper Plans With Fewer Benefits.” Yeah, that’s kind of the way it would work for people that want to buy them! Absolutely right. This is supposed to be bad, see. It’s supposed to be a cut.

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