RUSH: Dallas and Louis. Louis, thank you for calling. Great to have you here with us.
CALLER: Hi, nice to meet you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I guess my comment is, I voted for Obama, and I actually thought that we were going to, you know, take this government into moving forward. And I’m just watching, I’m watching a power grab, not watching any of these problems that, you know, I voted for him to solve some of these issues, and I just don’t see anything, I don’t see anything, I’m disappointed.
RUSH: What did you expect to see solved, what did you think that he was going to take this government into, moving forward?
CALLER: I think that basically helping, you know, the people get what they need. Health care is an example. I believe that everybody should be able to get health care, but to nationalize the health care, he had planned earlier to fix Medicaid and Medicare, the product that the government already has, and to nationalize our health care is just one of the problems that I see coming.
RUSH: You didn’t know that that’s what he was talking about during the campaign, nationalizing health care, Medicare —
CALLER: There were some issues where he said nationalize our health care, but he made it seem, here’s a product, here’s Medicaid, here’s Medicaid, let’s fix it. I truly believe that everybody should be able to have health care, and if the government can provide it, well, you know, that’s great, but, you know, as I’m watching —
RUSH: Well, there’s a problem with that, and that is that government can’t provide it. Government has promised to end poverty since 1964. Government has promised to end racism, sexism, and bigotry. Government’s promised to do a lot of things, and it fails at practically everything it does, except war. Now, let me ask you, since you have this mind-set and you’re a little bit dubious now about what you thought was going to happen versus what is happening. I think one of the things that the Obama campaign, in selling national health care — and I’m sure you’ll recall this — I mean everybody on the Democrat side complained about the 42 to 48 million Americans who didn’t have health insurance. That was said to be unfair for a country this prosperous and this rich, that 42 million Americans were uninsured. We have to do something about that. So a lot of people think, okay, Obama’s going to come along and make sure everybody has health insurance. Now, the thing to consider, let’s pretend that he was able to do that. Now, 20 million of these people, at least, don’t want it. They’re young, they don’t want to buy it yet because they’re healthy, they don’t think they need to have it, they’ve got other expenses they’d rather spend their money on. But let’s just assume for a moment that everybody was insured. The real question here, does health insurance guarantee medical coverage?
CALLER: No, I don’t think it does. And that’s why, Rush, that’s why I think that government health care should be as competitive, you should be able to choose from your health insurance. And, you know, if you can’t afford to have insurance and, you know, God forbid something happened to you, you should be able to go to the hospital, you should be able to go and get treatment and I think the government should be able to provide an alternative, an alternate product that’s affordable and —
RUSH: Has this ever been done anywhere in the world?
CALLER: I come from El Salvador, I have dual citizenship, and in El Salvador, the health care does work, and let me tell you why. El Salvador’s health care, doctors, if you have a practice in El Salvador and you’re a doctor, practicing doctor, you must provide the government with a certain amount of hours, at the end of the week, you must provide five, four hours of your time during the week to go to the hospital and be able to get the health care.
RUSH: Why did you leave El Salvador, then?
CALLER: Well, originally I’m from Houston, but via dual citizenship, I went back to El Salvador in ’92 back in the Clinton days to start my own company, and, you know, basically I went out there and we provided, we did donations, we exported medical supplies, is what we did out there.
RUSH: Why did you want to get paid for them?
CALLER: Why did I want to get paid?
RUSH: Yeah, you want doctors to work for nothing, why did you want to get paid for your medical supplies?
CALLER: Well, I donated a few medical supplies —
RUSH: Yeah, but not all, not all. Here’s what’s happening in America right now. You’ve given me a lot of premises that I could fairly well attack, government should do this, government should do that, when there’s no evidence government ever does anything like that on that big a scope well and right. What’s happening is the government’s already dictating to doctors, and that’s why fewer and fewer people are becoming doctors. More and more doctors are opting out of Medicare. When you hear Obama say that he intends to squeeze more out of doctors and insurance companies, what he means is he’s going to reduce their payments. Well, now, as much as it costs and as much time as you have to invest to become a doctor, it’s going to be pointless for anybody who’s any good at it to want to go into the field. If the government is going to be the sole determiner of what you earn, rather than the market, and if the government’s going to determine what you can and can’t charge and how many patients you can and can’t see, which is already starting to happen, then more and more doctors are going to pull out of Medicare and Medicaid. They already are. So far, the government can’t stop them from doing that. But that may come down the road. When you have this kind of centralized planning over something as massive as this, it will never, ever work. The American people are not entitled to government sponsored health care. It is nowhere in the Constitution, just like they’re not entitled to cars, and they’re not entitled to hotel rooms.
RUSH: Two things about health care. First, the question: ‘If everybody had health insurance, does it mean everybody would get medical coverage?’ It does not, and this is an important point overlooked. The Democrats love to run around and talk about 42, 43 or whatever it is, million people insured. ‘That’s right, Mr. Limbaugh, and if everybody had government-sponsored health insurance, then everybody would get medical coverage when they need it.’ No, they wouldn’t. Here is something that’s gotten lost in the drive to institute universal health insurance. Health insurance does not automatically lead to health care. More and more doctors are dropping out of one insurance plan or another, especially government plans. And with that happening, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to see a doctor no matter what coverage you have.
‘[T]he Medicare Payment Advisory Commission reported in 2008,’ last year, ‘that 28% of Medicare beneficiaries looking for a primary care physician had trouble finding one…’ That’s primary care! We’re not even talking emergency here! Twenty-eight percent of Medicare beneficiaries had trouble finding a doctor. ‘The reasons are clear: A 2008 survey by the Texas Medical Association, for example, found that only 38% of primary-care doctors in Texas took new Medicare patients. The statistics are similar in New York state,’ and in other states. ‘More and more of my fellow doctors are turning away Medicare patients because of the diminished reimbursements and the growing delay in payments.’ This is, by the way, an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by a guy named Dr. Marc Siegel, who is an internist, associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center. He’s also a Fox News contributor. ‘More and more … doctors are turning away Medicare patients because of the diminished reimbursements and the growing delay in payments. I’ve had several new Medicare patients come to my office in the last few months with multiple diseases and long lists of medications simply because their longtime provider — who they liked — abruptly stopped taking Medicare. One of the top mammographers in New York City works in my office building, but she no longer accepts Medicare and charges patients more than $300 cash for each procedure. I continue to send my elderly women patients downstairs for the test because she is so good, but no one is happy about paying.’ Well, somebody pays. Whether you do or not, somebody always pays. I know it sounds awfully good, like in El Salvador, where they make the doctors work five additional hours.
They make the doctors work five additional hours, and that’s considered proper? Government telling people how much they have to work? And, by the way, those are unpaid additional hours. This is so, so out of whack. But at least this young guy, he’s disgruntled because Obama’s not making this happen. He thought there was going to be everybody with insurance and national health care, and it isn’t happening. He thinks that’s important. To him, everybody ought to have health coverage. The dirty little secret is — we’ve mentioned this I don’t know how many damn times, every time this discussion comes up — if you have an emergency, federal law requires an emergency room treat you. Nobody in this country misses emergency medical care if they want access to it. Nobody misses it.