Monday, August 31, 2009

Rush Limbaugh: Dems Demonize the "Middle Man" in health care

Abbreviated Edited transcript (ash and trash removed)

Here's Rebecca in Canton, Michigan, as we go to the phones on Open Line Friday. Thank you for waiting, Rebecca. Hello.

CALLER: Oh. Well, it will be a great day. I wanted to respectfully take you to task for the response that you gave to Christine on Wednesday.

RUSH: Now I'm beginning to think that everything you said before now just wasn't true.

CALLER: No, it is very true. But she brought up a very good point. She brought up a very good point that I haven't heard you or anybody else addressing.

RUSH: I don't think that's possible, but I'll listen.

CALLER: (laughs) It was a short point before she got, you know, petty. But, anyway, the bottom line is that health care in this country is prohibitively expensive, and there are reasons for that, and unless we start talking about the underlying reasons for the problem, we'll never fix them. And you, Rush, are usually a really great educator on free market economics but I haven't heard you educating much here on one of the most significant reasons that health care in our country is so expensive.

RUSH: This is surreal. I do it all the time. This is like Christine telling me, when she spoke five words for every one word I spoke, that she couldn't get a word in. You're telling me I don't...? How many times on this show just last week have we talked about the relationship to price when the customer deals directly with the provider of the service or the manufacturer of the product? Without --
CALLER: But at the same time --

RUSH: Health savings accounts. Getting the price down. The whole point of conservative health care reform is oriented precisely around that point, and the only reason the costs are so prohibitively high right now is because most people don't think they're paying for it. Insurance is, government is, in Christine's case she thinks her neighbors ought to pay for it. That is what was so bothersome about her call.

Rightardia comment: These accounts have been around for along time and allow you to cut your taxable income by the amount you put into the account. it also means you have to negotiate the cost of a doctor's visit and most doctor's offices don't maintain a schedule of fees. These accounts would be woefully inadequate for a serious illness or a hospitalization. You also lose all of the money left in the account at the end of the year.

CALLER: Yes. Yes. I agree. But I hear you praising the insurance companies that are in our country right now, and they are contributing to the high cost of the health care because --


CALLER: -- it cripples the free market economy.

RUSH: No, no, no.

CALLER: Yes, it does!

RUSH: No, you don't hear me praising insurance companies, you hear me defending private sector free market capitalism from an attack by a leftist radical president.

CALLER: Oh, that I definitely agree with. I am in no way in favor of the government taking it upon themselves to wipe out one-sixth of our economy.

RUSH: (sigh)

CALLER: However I do think that we as a people need to stop buying routine medical care and employers need to stop providing health benefits to their employees because all these middlemen have crippled the free market as it applies to health care.

RUSH: No. The middleman that's screwed this all up is the government, not the insurance companies. The insurance companies can't sell policies like you just described. Something else I have long advocated. When you gotta go for a checkup, pay for it! When you gotta go get a $20 bottle of blood pressure medicine, pay for it. If you gotta have an insurance policy for that, pay for that, too! But whatever, pay for it and keep the really catastrophic events reserved for major insurance policies, because with an insurance policy you're just trying to mitigate as much risk as you can. But nobody has the right to good health. Nobody has the right to good health. We live under so many misconceptions in this whole thing. Health care is a "right." Government or employers should provide it. There would be a revolt if the employers of this country just decided, "You know, we're just not going to go private anymore," and that will be the case when Obama gets his public option. They will off-load it and then you're going to only have one place to go to have any health insurance, and that's the government -- and that's the plan, and that's not going to do anything for prices. Rebecca, thanks much for the call, appreciate it.

Rightardia comment: The Limbaugh solution is bogus. Let me describe what happened to an associate of my wife who is in her early sixties and works as a medical receptionist.

She had one of these health accounts and was paying $400 a month into it. She also had 'medical insurance' through her employer which was costing her another $400 a month. She slipped and hurt her back.

Her emergency room treatment and subsequent doctor's visits wiped out her health savings account in two months. When she called the insurance company, she found her employer had changed her 'health insurance' and that she had a $10,000 deductible catastrophic coverage account.

This meant she would have to spend another $5200 of her own money before the medical insurance would pay a dime. Of course, she would have to continue to pay the insurance company $400 every month to maintain her policy.

By the end of the year it will cost her the $10,000 deductible plus another another $4800 a year to maintain the policy to benefit from this plan.

Is this the best the GOP can come up? This is not 'insurance' the average American can afford . Rush Limbaugh is selling the ditto heads the standard insurance company blather that all Americans need is health care accounts and catastrophic coverage. Imagine what such an approach to health care would cost a family of four.

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