Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: We’re going to go back to Tuesday on this program where I said this.

RUSH ARCHIVE: To a lot of people public option means free. Public option is associated with government, and people think what they get from the government is free, the kind of people we’re talking about. Oh, yeah, your food stamps come in, you didn’t pay for them, ‘Yeah, government gave them to me. Obama’s stash.’ The poor people in Detroit, ‘Obama giving me the money, Obama, from reserve funds, or from his stash.’ So you can find people like that and say, ‘You support the public option?’ ‘Is it free?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Fine, count me in.’ And then some reputable polling organization puts the news out there.

RUSH: Now, as you know the State-Controlled Media has been gunning for Joe Lieberman ever since he said he’d join the filibustering against Dingy Harry’s public option state opt-out, and he’s on Fox News Channel’s newsroom yesterday. Jane Skinner, Mrs. Roger Goodell, by the way, talked to Senator Joe Lieberman, and she said to him, ‘Senator, supporters of this government-run health insurance say that your economic argument really makes no sense because the public option, they say, would actually lower costs because it would exert pressure on private insurance out there.’

LIEBERMAN: I don’t agree. Premiums will go up. When people hear ‘public option’ I think they think it’s for free. It’s not for free. Somebody’s going to have to pay for it, and you can bet it’s going to be the taxpayers and the people who pay health insurance premiums now.

RUSH: Bingo. Bingo. I finally figured out this public option. There are enough people in this country who think it means free, and then they hear people come along, ‘Yeah, we’re going to raise taxes on the rich, millionaires out there, gonna raise their taxes, they’re going to be the ones paying for it.’ But, you know, the question here, ‘Some people say that the public option would lower costs because it would exert pressure on private insurance.’ This is the myth that there’s no competition in the private insurance market. There’s 1,700 companies in this country selling health insurance, but there are so many regulations from state to state that a lot of companies cannot put together policy options that they would like to sell because there are state regulations against it. In addition, if you live in Alabama you cannot buy a policy from anywhere but Alabama, and ditto if you live in Missouri, you have to buy insurance from a company in Missouri.

So the theory is that here comes the government, here comes Obama, and Obama will be the 1,701st, or one, company. So we’re going to add to 1,700 insurance companies by one and that’s going to be the government, and that is going to exert all kinds of competitive pressure. The competitive pressure has already been monkeyed with because of all the state regulations governing the insurance agency, what they can and can’t sell, to whom they can and cannot sell it, for how much they can and cannot charge. I mean it’s already so overregulated, to call it a free market is a little bit of an exaggeration as it is. But the idea that the government’s going to come in and be a competitor and lower costs in private insurance? Folks, when you have a company offering health insurance that does not have to make a profit, competing against companies that do have to make a profit to stay in business, what’s the result? The companies that have to make a profit go out of business. You know why? Because the company that doesn’t have to make a profit can charge as little as it wants — at first.

If your company provides health coverage for you and let’s say the plan that the company provides for you covers your family for a bunch of services and let’s say it costs the company $7,500 a year to give you your health benefits package. Okay, here comes Obamacare, public option, available for $500 a person, same plan, same coverage. Now, in the private sector, there are regulations to prevent private companies from competing that way. Companies cannot give away the product, they cannot charge below costs and so forth for very long before people come in and say wait a minute, it’s unfair business practice. But the government’s under no such regulation. So if the Obama public option let’s say is $2,000 versus the private coverage you already have at $7,500, what’s going to happen? Your company is going to off-load you to the public option. It’s going to be much cheaper to buy insurance for employees at $2,000 from the government than $7,500 from a company. Even charging $7,500 is only making a profit of two-to-three percent every year.

So the whole idea that there is competition, or the government’s going to spark competition, it’s another one of those assertions that gets me very close to the string of profanity. The government can run deficits. You can’t. Credit card companies do not punish the government for borrowing too much or not paying back the minimum balance. Credit card companies do not penalize the government for paying off the balance on time. Government can run deficits, they can print money. There is no way that a company that can print money and doesn’t have to worry about making a profit will do anything but destroy its so-called competitors. This is the plan. This is the objective. And that’s how small business people and others are going to end up putting you on the public option.

Obama’s out there saying if you like your plan, if you like what you’re paying for it, nobody is going to make you change it. Technically nobody may make you change it, but if it’s something that costs you $7,500, same thing you can get for $2,000, what are you going to do? Now, by the way, that $2,000, because that’s going to be priced way below what the actual service you get for it is, it’s going to be priced extraordinarily low, it’s not realistic. At some point that $2,000 is going to rise to even higher than what it was at $7,500 when your employer was getting insurance. It has to. It’s the government involved here. James Clyburn, last night, MSNBC, question: ‘What is the tax side of this bill going to look like when Pelosi unveils it tomorrow?’

CLYBURN: We will be looking at couples who make more than a million dollars a year and individuals that make more than $500,000 a year, about one-and-a-half percent, I forgot exactly what the percentage is, there will be a small increase in their income taxes which will then take them back a ways, but not as far back as they were before Bush gave them the tax cut. They’ll still be benefiting from part of the Bush tax cuts but not as much.

RUSH: So there you have it. There’s the new tax increase on the rich, one-and-a-half percent surcharge on individuals at $500 grand a year or couples at $1 million a year.

Arlington, Texas, Kim, thank you for waiting. You’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you today?

RUSH: Fine. Thanks very much.

CALLER: Well, I think you got it totally right. I think that what they’re doing is they’re just going to price everybody out of it by calling it a new name in this new bill from the Congress. They’re making it sound so good by calling it something besides price forging, you know, with the health industry. And, you know, just like they’re changing the name from the ‘public option’ to the ‘consumer option,’ they’re making it sound so good by putting a pretty label on it and they’re making it sound so good but they’re basically going to price out all of the private insurers by making it sound so good, and the health industry, you know, Secretary Sebelius, she’s basically going to be that gatekeeper that basically is going to be the regulator for all the private insurers and make sure that all the private insurers end up going out of business —

RUSH: Eventually. Eventually. This is not going to happen overnight. In the first place, none of this — except the tax increases — none of this is going to get implemented for four years. Tax increases will happen immediately. The increased costs, like on medical devices, which include tampons, by the way — (interruption) yes, it does! You don’t remember me announcing this? You must have been on your honeymoon or something. Tampons are considered a medical device. Condoms are considered a medical device and there’s going to be taxes on these things. And they’ll go into effect as soon as this debacle is passed, but the actual health care practice of spending will not happen for three or four years. Now, the thing about forcing people to buy insurance, that’s another thing here that we need to talk about because that’s in the bill, too, forcing you to buy insurance and if you don’t you pay a fine. Now, again, public option, cheaper than private insurance. Where you gonna go to buy it? In fact, what if they price the fine so low that it makes more sense to pay the fine and not get insurance than to go out and buy a policy even from the public option? It’s such a nightmare. It is such a nightmare.

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