Trump Calls Out GOP Senators and Sells the Replacement Plan
Jul 19, 2017
RUSH: President Trump gave a little speech before the luncheon that he had with GOP senators up at the White House, and this is so long overdue. Well, let me just stick with the facts here. Trump, in giving his speech to these Republicans at the White House lunch, laid out the horrors of Obamacare. You know, everybody talks about how it’s imploding and everybody talks about how it’s disintegrating and how premiums are rising and insurance companies are pulling out exchanges and the exchanges are dwindling away.
But nobody details the actual horrors of this. So Trump’s decided to do it. He detailed what’s wrong with Obamacare. He then told these senators that they’re close. He said they shouldn’t leave town until they get this right. Repeal and replace. He said Obamacare is crashing the middle class and it is crushing the country, and any senator who is against even starting debate is saying they are for Obamacare. He took some time to also trash the Democrats who are obstructing things who have no ideas. This is piece de resistance.
Because this doesn’t happen is why I have evolved my theory that Republicans don’t really want this to be repealed and don’t really want Trump to win, and that is they never sell the plan. Does anybody know what these plans really contained? You don’t, because the people behind them didn’t even sell them. The lack of confidence here has been stunning. Trump says, “You people in the Republican Party need to get better at marketing your ideas and what you believe,” and he pointed out some things that the repeal and replace bill would have done.
It would repeal the individual mandate. It would repeal two of the three different kinds of mandates there are. It would permit the sale of insurance across state lines. Premiums. Trump told these Republican senators that premiums will come down 60 to 70%. He said, “Nobody mentions that. Nobody talks about that,” and he said, “The reason it’s gonna happen is because of more competition. If you permit the insurance companies to sell across state lines,” which they really don’t want to do. The insurance companies…
Snerdley couldn’t believe it when I pointed this out yesterday. They’ve been one of the major obstacles to this. They love it! Everybody in monopolies, they love guaranteed markets with no competition. Trump reminded these people the bill that was up for grabs here would expand coverage, would expand options, would have protected preexisting conditions and would have allowed pretax-dollars to pay for insurance premiums. A bunch of senators applauded Trump’s speech. Now, he can chastise them all day long for not doing the marketing. But some of the blame goes to him on that too.
RUSH: No, no, here’s what I mean. I think there’s an interesting parallel. You know, one of my oft-stated beliefs of one of the problems the Republican Congress encountered in 1995, they were elected for the first time, Republicans running the House for the first time in 40 years in the 1994 campaign. And in 1995 they assume office, and they made a fatal mistake. They assumed by virtue of them winning the House, that the country had overnight transitioned to majority conservative.
And so they stopped teaching, and they stopped explaining why they were doing what they were doing. Which allowed the Democrats to savage them when they were balancing the budget. “Oh, you’re doing it on the backs of the children. You’re doing it on the backs of the poor. You’re starving our children. You’re starving our elderly.” And the Republicans, “No, no, no, no, we’re just balancing the budget. This is fiscal responsibility.” They stopped teaching.
In this Obama debate I think something similar has happened. Trump gave a speech today before lunch with senators in which he detailed some of the things wrong with Obamacare beyond what are in the news. “Well, the exchanges are failing, and the premiums are rising.” He detailed some of the horrors here that cannot go on. And then he extolled the virtues of the replacement plan, which nobody in the in the Senate has done.
Why not? Well, there could be many reasons, but I think one of the many is that Republicans just assume that Obamacare’s bad and has to go. There’s no reason to tell anybody why it’s bad because everybody knows. They just assume it. And because everybody knows how bad it is, they leave it to people to assume that the replacement’s gonna be better. I think it’s a communications problem. They have stopped, or they have not begun, to explain the virtues of their replacement at the same time they explain what’s wrong with Obamacare.
Everybody knows Obamacare isn’t working. Tell ’em why. But there’s been too great an assumption, particularly on the part of Republican voters, “Well, they all know it stinks, they voted against it. They voted for us to get rid of it. They know how bad it is.” Never hurts to give details. But then when it comes to the replacement, if you’ve got this great replacement bill, sell it. Sing its praises. Point out its virtues. Get people behind it.
There are two ways you can do this. You can get people behind the replacement by telling people what’s in it that they want to support, or you can say, “This Obamacare is so bad, we need you calling Washington and telling these senators that they’d better not –” You know, focus on the positive. If there’s virtue in the replacement bill sing its praise.
Well, Trump did in his speech today. Nobody else is. They’re all acting embarrassed of it. They’re all acting like it’s insufficient. They’re all acting like they don’t really believe in it. It’s the craziest thing, given how they have campaigned so consistently on getting rid of it.
RUSH: Here’s Barry in Folsom, California. Great to have you with us. How you doing?
CALLER: Great. Thanks for taking my call, Rush.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: Hey, listen, I just wanted to make a comment about what the Democrats are saying on health care. They’ve been running around for a long time now saying they’d love to work with Republicans if only they would work on Obamacare instead of repealing it. From my point of view, that’s exactly what the Republicans have been doing. They’ve been nibbling around the edges of Obamacare. So, I mean, the Democrats are just flat-out lying, right? As usual. And the Republicans, they’re not repealing Obamacare. They’re just nibbling around a few financial things around the edges.
RUSH: That’s right.
CALLER: They’re doing nothing to eliminate the control aspect, the Big Government aspect.
RUSH: That’s what I’ve been saying: They don’t want to or they’re afraid to. Remember, everybody in that town sees the world through the eyes of the left. What that means is if you’re Republican, you see the media criticism of you. You see how you’re gonna be savaged by the Washington Post and New York Times if you repeal Obamacare. Or maybe you just don’t want to do because you think it’s an entitlement and the voters are gonna get mad at you. Who knows? But it’s exactly as you say. The desire to do it just doesn’t seem to be there.
CALLER: Well, and the evil part is that the Democrats are getting away (with, of course, the support of the media) with saying they want to help. But they don’t want to help. Because that’s exactly… They want to help on exactly what the Republicans are doing: They’re working on Obamacare.
RUSH: But look. Look what happened yesterday, Barry, when Trump said, “You know what? I’m just gonna let it implode. To hell with this! I’m just gonna let it implode. I’m not gonna own this.” What did the Democrats do then, Barry?
CALLER: Gosh, I don’t remember.
RUSH: Well, I’ll tell you what they did. They started saying, “You can’t let it fail! You can’t do that! That’s gonna hurt people! You can’t… You can’t do something that’s gonna hurt people!” I said, “Wait a minute! You are admitting that your stupid, beloved Obamacare is hurting people and it’s gonna be Trump doing it if he let’s it go on?” I think it flushed ’em out brilliantly! They’ve been sitting there like you say trying to say, “There’s nothing wrong with Obamacare! Republicans are trashing it,” ’cause everybody knows it’s imploding. It’s designed to. So when Trump says, “Yeah, I’m just gonna let it implode,” the Democrats were flushed. You can’t do that! You… You… (sputtering).” Your instincts are right on the money, Barry.
RUSH: So, as I just said, the president gave a speech before lunch with the senators. He even called a couple of them out. He called out Senator Heller who was sitting right next to him. He said, “You do want to be a senator next time, don’t you?” He was chastising them for voting “no” on this. He said, “A ‘no’ vote is the same thing as supporting Obamacare. That’s not what you told your constituents you were gonna do. You told them for seven years you were gonna repeal it.” He laid into ’em, and then he extolled its virtues.
I’m gonna tell you, there was a congressional staffer… Shortly after the president made the speech, I got a note from a person I know on Capitol Hill saying, “Where was this? Where has this been all this time?” Meaning: “Where has the president been selling this repeal? Where has the president been extolling its virtues?” The congressional staffer said to me, “He’s left it all to us. You know, it’s us left hanging out to dry. Where’s he saying how great this is? Where is he doing anything other than telling us to vote for it?” Well, today he showed up and did that.
You know, it brought to mind… Do you remember the Iraq war in George W. Bush’s first term? Do you realize he spent a year and a half selling that war? He spent a year and a half. He traveled this country, making luncheon and dinnertime speeches to live audiences, economic clubs — the Economic Club of Detroit, for example, and Chicago. He went everywhere. Do you remember the way the Democrats sold Obamacare? They were out there every day, and they were telling people, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” and, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”
They were lying through their teeth. Remember in selling Obamacare, Barack Obama even had a prime time town hall in the White House carried by ABC? That was the infamous event where a daughter asked Obama if her 103-year-old mother would be “allowed” to get a pacemaker. Obama said, “Probably not. Probably not.” The woman said, “My mother is perfectly healthy. She has will to live! But her heart is failing; she needs a pacemaker. Will your health care plan cover that?” He said (summarized), “Probably not.” (impression) “You know, it’s sad thing, but that’s approaching the age where some people have died already, and your mother is soon gonna.
“I think what we could do in situation like that is just give ’em a pill and make ’em comfortable.” He really said that! But the point is they were out selling it every day. There hasn’t been anybody on the Republican side selling what they’re doing. This has been my point in the last hour. They were relying on what they thought was sufficient public awareness that equaled opposition to Obamacare. I don’t think… Just like the Republican Congress in 1995 apparently didn’t think they needed to continue to sell what they were doing because the election results meant people had become conservative and understood.
In this case, “You know Obamacare’s failing. Yes, Obamacare’s bad. Nobody likes Obamacare; we’re gonna repeal it. All right, we’re gonna repeal and replace it,” and so forth. It was just the assumption that Republican voters, at a minimum, didn’t need any details because they already knew. Let’s go to the audio sound bites and I’ll share what I’m talking about here. We have four bites from President Trump this afternoon at the White House during lunch with Republican senators. Here’s the first…
THE PRESIDENT: I have pen in hand. You never had that before. You know, for seven years you had an easy route. “We’ll repeal, we’ll replace, and he’s never gonna sign it.” But I’m signing it. So it’s a little bit different. But I’m ready to act. For seven years, you promised the American people that you would repeal Obamacare. People are hurting. Inaction is not an option. And, frankly, I don’t think we should leave town unless we have a health insurance plan, unless we can give our people great health care.
RUSH: Well, there you have it. You know, I saw some commentators today writing, “Trump’s an oaf! Trump didn’t even try to sell ’em. Trump didn’t even work with ’em. Trump didn’t even offer leadership. Trump didn’t do diddly-squat. Trump’s the problem! We hate Trump.” It was a Never-Trumper column. Well, here’s Trump taking it to ’em. “You promised for seven years! I wasn’t here; you were. You promised for seven years. You knew that the guy here wasn’t gonna sign it; so you were free. Well, I’ve got a pen. My pen is in hand. I’m gonna sign it. Where is it?”
Would you say, Mr. Snerdley, that this is leadership? (interruption) Yeah. It is intimidation? Is it manipulation? What is it? “Look, you were here for seven years, and you knew that what you did wasn’t gonna get signed ’cause the guy sitting where I am, wasn’t gonna sign it. But you promised for seven years. Well, I’m here, and I have pen in hand. You’ve never had that before. I’m ready to sign it. Where are you?” He called them out. Like (ahem) it was suggested yesterday. Ahem! Right here, of course. We have four of these. Here’s the next one…
THE PRESIDENT: Any senator who votes against starting debate is really telling America that that you’re fine with Obamacare. But being fine with Obamacare isn’t an option for another reason. Because it’s gone, it’s failed, not gonna be around. We pay hundreds of millions of dollars a month in subsidies that the courts don’t even want us to pay, and when those payments stop, it stops immediately. It doesn’t take two years, three years, one year. It stops immediately.
RUSH: It sounds like he knows what he’s talking about, to me. So many of the Never-Trumper critics write, “He doesn’t know it! He doesn’t even know what the bill is. He doesn’t know what Obamacare is. He doesn’t know what the replacement bill is, he doesn’t know what the repeal bill is, he doesn’t even know what it is, ’cause he doesn’t care. He’s a big image guy, and he doesn’t take the time to learn the details. He doesn’t know a thing.” This is what the Never Trumpers, even on our side, have been writing.
Here’s Trump saying, “You know, this thing is hanging by a thread. If it weren’t for the subsidies, it’s already gone. Well, they’re gonna end at some point. It’s over! Whether we do anything or not, it’s over! It stops immediately.” This is very clever when he said, “Any senators who votes against starting debate…” Remember in the Senate, the first vote is about nothing more than officially beginning debate. It’s not about up or down on the final issue. The first vote’s not a final vote on it, and these guys have not even voted to begin debate on it. These next two are the bites that you could say Trump began the sales procedure.
THE PRESIDENT: It repeals the individual mandate. How big is that? Will substantially lower premiums. Your premiums will be down 60 and 70%. Nobody talks about it. But your premiums are going to. We’re gonna have the cross-state lines knocked out and you’ll have insurance companies bidding. There’s gonna be tremendous competition. So your premiums will be substantially lower. Repeals burdensome taxes. Big! Will restore choices. The bill also provides for expanded coverage options. So you’re gonna have tremendously expanded coverage and options. Will stabilize insurance markets. Will provide better coverage for low-income Americans. Will improve medical outcomes for low-income Americans. Puts Medicaid on a sustainable path, which it’s not on right now. Levels the playing field for states when it comes to federal dollars. Reforms major entitlements — now a principal driver of the $20 trillion debt that we have — and will redirect authority from Washington, D.C., to the states — which I’ve already said — where they can innovate and develop the best practices.
RUSH: Now, that’s still a bone of contention. You know, when this is reported on by the Drive-By Media, they purposely complicate things. That has the effect of causing you to stop reading. At some point in every story, you lose the ability to understand or comprehend what they’re talking about. One of the… (sigh) One of the bugaboos here is that in Obamacare there has been this thing called the Medicaid expansion. Some states have benefited tremendously from Medicare expansion by receiving beaucoup bucks from the federal government.
Those states’ governors don’t want that to end because in the end it’s always about the money. Now, some of these states have what many people claim is an outsized opioid addiction problem, that an exceptionally large percentage of the residents of these states have lost themselves in opioid addiction, and the state needs the Medicare expansion money for rehab and treatment centers, fatalities, and techniques and so forth.
And it is said that the repeal and replace of Obamacare will eliminate the Medicare expansion for some of these states, and so senators from these states — in solidarity with their governors — have not wanted to support repealing Obamacare because it will result in the end of Medicare expansion in certain of these states. So that has been one of the obstacles here, and the president addressed that in those comments just heard. Here’s the fourth and final sound bite from the president’s speech. Remember, the audience here is 52 Republican senators.
THE PRESIDENT: You listen to Schumer, and before he even knew what the plan said — he didn’t see it — most of the people in this room never saw it. And he was saying death, everyone’s going to die, death, death, death. That’s the only thing they’re good at. This isn’t just a good plan. This is far better than Obamacare and more generous than Obamacare. They don’t talk about Obamacare anymore because they can’t because it’s failed. They know it. So they’re selling their plan, and we never sell our plan. If we’re weak on anything, it’s on letting people know how good it was. We should repeal and replace, and we shouldn’t leave town until this is complete, until this bill is on my desk, and until we all go over to the Oval Office, I’ll sign it and we can celebrate for the American people.
RUSH: Now, you might be saying, “Wait a minute here. He was just yesterday saying that he was just gonna flat-out repeal it and let everybody suffer the consequences as they happened.” He addressed that today. He said that’s not optimum. What we ought to do is repeal it and replace it. That’s why he began to extol the virtues, some of the virtues in the replacement bill that nobody knew about because nobody was touting them, because — who knows why. Maybe they never expected it to actually succeed. Maybe they didn’t believe it. Who knows. We’ve covered the bases on the potential reasons why there hasn’t been a lot of impetus behind this. But that’s the president just mere hours, minutes ago.
And again his audience was 52 — I think they were all there. Maybe one or two no-shows. (interruption) Who didn’t? Oh, Richard Burr, the senator from North Carolina. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding? Are you trying to tweak me with that comment? Is that right? I was just informed that North Carolina Senator Richard Burr refused to attend the health care lunch today with Trump because he is running the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into Trump collusion with Russia, and he didn’t want to be Comeyed!
He didn’t want to run the risk that Trump was gonna yank hum behind the curtain or something and fire him from the committee, or whatever. He said he didn’t want to put himself in position to be compromised or in conflict because of the Russian collusion investigation. Richard Burr, North Carolina. What would we do without him?
RUSH: There was also another audience for Trump’s speech today, not just the 51 senators who were there, and that’s Trump’s base. And the media’s gonna be really ticked off. They’re trying to separate Trump from his base. They’ll never be able to do that; only Trump can.
Did you know also that McConnell, for all of you, “Where’s Trump been?” My congressional staffer said, “Where’s this been? Where’s this been? How come Trump didn’t –” McConnell, did you know McConnell asked Trump to stay out of it? You’re not aware of that? McConnell asked Trump to stay out of this debate, stay out of this process, let him handle the Senate, McConnell. “Let me handle it.” Who knows why.
You know, it could be that McConnell might think that everybody hates Trump. McConnell might think that Trump is a bull in a china shop, is gonna walk in there and just insult everybody and tell ’em to go to hell or whatever. “So you just leave this to me.” I encounter that myself sometimes. I know how that goes. It’s why I’m able to ascertain a possible reason for it, misguided, totally wrong though it might be.
You gotta hear this bite. This is Trump squeezing Senator Dean Heller from Nevada. Now, he’s a “no” vote. Heller’s office has been threatened by mobsters and rioters out in Nevada over his vote, and some people said, “Well, kind of understand this. I mean, the guy’s office, they threatened to blow it up and any number of things.” Here’s what Trump said to him today.
THE PRESIDENT: You didn’t go out there. This was the one we were worried about. You weren’t there. But you’re gonna be. You’re gonna be. (laughter) Look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he, okay? And I think the people of your state, which I know very well, I think they’re gonna appreciate what you hopefully will do.
RUSH: If you look at these states, like even Maine, you know, Trump lost Maine by just 2.9%, but he won Alaska. You know, Lisa Murkowski, “I’m not voting. I didn’t come here to hurt people.” And that’s what the female Senator from West Virginia said, “I didn’t come here to hurt people.” Trump won both of those states big, big! And the senators from those states are voting against him on this. That’s not politics-as-usual.