The Obamacare Death Panels Have Arrived
November 04, 2013
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RUSH: Haven't we been told, ladies and gentlemen, for years that Obamacare is literally a matter of life and death? It was. And yet it wasn't important enough to even test the website, not even once. It wasn't important enough to make sure they got it right. Isn't that peculiar?
I mentioned Rahm Emanuel's brother, Ezekiel Emanuel. He was on Fox News Sunday yesterday. He said the individual insurance market is going away. Meaning, it's okay that Obamacare has made it impossible for insurance companies to continue to provide coverage for individuals, 'cause they're drying up anyway. But that's not true. They're just now in their old CYA mode. "It's all drying up anyway. The fact that you can't find insurance, that's not a big deal. It was part of the plan." But think about what he's saying.
Obamacare was supposed to get people who don't have insurance to sign up for it. That, in fact, is why the evil insurance companies all bought into it, 'cause they saw a mandate out there that 30 million people who didn't have insurance were gonna have to go get it, and pay for it. Somebody was gonna pay for it. That's how the insurance companies got roped in. Obama promised 'em, "I'm gonna make sure the uninsured get insured, they're gonna pay for it," and it's become a federal mandate. So the evil insurance companies signed on to it, and that's what Obamacare was largely supposed to do, insure the uninsured.
Well, if you don't have insurance right now, what that means is in more cases than not that you don't have an employer plan. And what that means is, you have to get an individual plan. So what is Obamacare doing? It's destroying the only kind of plans people without insurance ever get. And nobody seems to be noticing except the people who are being canceled and then can't find a replacement because it's too expensive.
Now, all of this is by design, but it's a disaster, and they're trying to blame all of this, they're trying to slough all of this off on the insurance companies. So let me just set it up here again, so there's no mistake about this. Zeke Emanuel on Fox News says, "Individual insurance market's going away," as if that's okay. It's okay, because Obamacare's made it impossible for insurance companies to continue to provide coverage for individuals, drying up anyway. But that isn't happening. That's the only option people have when they don't have insurance via their employer. And there are 90 million Americans that are not working.
Ninety million that are not working, and over there is the individual mandate that requires them to get insurance. However, over there is a little piece of the law that says the IRS can't collect money unless you have a refund coming. So there really isn't a mandate, but they don't want anybody to know that. So the bottom line is, folks, if you don't have insurance, it means you don't have an employer plan. If you're without insurance right now, that's what it means. So the only option you have is an individual plan, and that's what people are encountering.
All of these horrors stories of peoples going up and deductibles going up, out of pocket going up. Those are individuals trying to follow the law, and they are finding that they can't afford it, because Obamacare is destroying the individual insurance market, not the evil insurance companies. They simply are complying with the law as well. An example. Wall Street Journal by Edie Littlefield Sundby. "You Also Can't Keep Your Doctor." And this tells the story. And, by the way, do you know what this story is? This is the story that Sarah Palin told us all those months ago about death panels, and people laughed. People started insulting her, laughing at her, impugning her. People started saying, "There she goes again. This absolute lunatic broad doesn't know what she's talking about." And she nailed it.
If this isn't a quasi-death panel, I don't know what is. This article is a gut punch to Obamacare. "I had great cancer doctors and health insurance. My plan was cancelled. Now I worry how long I'll live," by Edie Littlefield Sundby. "Everyone now is clamoring about Affordable Care Act winners and losers. I am one of the losers.
"My grievance is not political; all my energies are directed to enjoying life and staying alive, and I have no time for politics. For almost seven years I have fought and survived stage-4 gallbladder cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 2% after diagnosis. I am a determined fighter and extremely lucky. But this luck may have just run out: My affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.
"My choice is to get coverage through the government health exchange and lose access to my cancer doctors, or pay much more for insurance outside the exchange (the quotes average 40% to 50% more) for the privilege of starting over with an unfamiliar insurance company and impaired benefits. Countless hours --" and this, by the way, this describes so many people. "Countless hours searching for non-exchange plans have uncovered nothing that compares well with my existing coverage. But the greatest source of frustration is Covered California, the state's Affordable Care Act health-insurance exchange and, by some reports, one of the best such exchanges in the country. After four weeks of researching plans on the website, talking directly to government exchange counselors, insurance companies and medical providers, my insurance broker and I are as confused as ever. Time is running out and we still don't have a clue how to best proceed."
She says that her grievance isn't political. It is. She just doesn't know it. That's another story, though, and I will leave it aside for the moment.
"Two things have been essential in my fight to survive stage-4 cancer. The first are doctors and health teams in California and Texas: at the medical center of the University of California, San Diego, and its Moores Cancer Center; Stanford University's Cancer Institute; and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The second element essential to my fight is a United Healthcare PPO (preferred provider organization) health-insurance policy.
"Since March 2007 United Healthcare has paid $1.2 million to help keep me alive, and it has never once questioned any treatment or procedure recommended by my medical team. The company pays a fair price to the doctors and hospitals, on time, and is responsive to the emergency treatment requirements of late-stage cancer. Its caring people in the claims office have been readily available to talk to me and my providers. But in January, United Healthcare sent me a letter announcing that they were pulling out of the individual California market. The company suggested I look to Covered California starting in October."
What were we just talking about? Ezekiel Emanuel on Fox yesterday said (paraphrasing), "Well, individual market, no big deal, drying up, insurance companies." It is drying up, and it's leaving people like Edie Sundby with nothing.
"The company suggested I look to Covered California starting in October. You would think it would be simple to find a health-exchange plan that allows me, living in San Diego, to continue to see my primary oncologist at Stanford University and my primary care doctors at the University of California, San Diego. Not so. UCSD has agreed to accept only one Covered California plan -- a very restrictive Anthem EPO Plan. EPO stands for exclusive provider organization, which means the plan has a small network of doctors and facilities and no out-of-network coverage."
We talked about this last week. You go to the Cleveland Clinic, and if one doctor there is out-of-network, meaning not covered by Obamacare, you could end up going bankrupt. And this is what Edie Littlefield Sundby found out. "Anthem EPO, exclusive provider organization, which means the plan has a small network of doctors and facilities and no out-of-network coverage." So the doctors and everybody that she was using to treat her stage-4 gallbladder cancer are not in this network. She doesn't get to keep her plan. She doesn't get to keep her doctors.
She says, "So if I go with a health-exchange plan, I must choose between Stanford and UCSD. Stanford has kept me alive -- but UCSD has provided emergency and local treatment support during wretched periods of this disease, and it is where my primary-care doctors are. Before the Affordable Care Act, health-insurance policies could not be sold across state lines; now policies sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges may not be offered across county lines."
Did you know that? Before Obamacare, "health-insurance policies could not be sold across state lines; now policies sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges may not be offered across county lines." Well, Stanford and San Diego are not in the same county in California. Then she writes, "What happened to the president's promise, 'You can keep your health plan'? Or to the promise that 'You can keep your doctor'? Thanks to the law, I have been forced to give up a world-class health plan. The exchange would force me to give up a world-class physician. For a cancer patient, medical coverage is a matter of life and death. Take away people's ability to control their medical-coverage choices and they may die. I guess that's a highly effective way to control medical costs. Perhaps that's the point."
Hello, Sarah Palin!
Hello, death panels!
And may I make one more point here, folks? Yes, I can, because this is my show. I want to take you back (I don't need the audio, Cookie) to that ABC primetime special. A woman stood up -- I've never forgotten this, and I never will -- and asked the president of the United States if her 93-year-old mother could get a pacemaker because of her will to live, her spirit. Obama said, "Nah, we can't calculate spirit and will to live into these kinds of decisions.
"At some point we're all gonna have to realize that maybe the answer is give them a pain pill and forgo any more surgery and just ease them for the rest of their lives." And that's what Edie Sundby is facing. She may as well have been told that. She can't keep her doctor, a specialized oncologist. She's faced stage-four gallbladder cancer, and can't keep her insurance, all because of Obamacare.
The private insurance market policy that she has is gone. It's not permitted anymore. She's gotta go through an exchange, and the exchange can't help her. Whatever replaces what she's got is far more expensive than she can afford. It's not coordinated. She doesn't get to keep her doctor. There's another similar story to this from Seattle that I've got backing this one up. It sounds like Edie Littlefield Sundby wants to live.
It sounds to me like she has no desire to give up.
But Obama once told a woman asking about her mother getting a pacemaker operation, "Well, no. We can't factor those kinds of things into our medical decisions -- will to live, the spirit. No, we got to maybe just give 'em a pill." So Ted Cruz: Validated, right on the money. Sarah Palin: Validated, right on the money. Barack Obama: Discredited like no president in my lifetime, including Nixon. This is huge, folks. This is absolutely huge. Do you realize all of these people reelected Obama on the basis of these two promises?
That's how much they meant to them.
RUSH: The companion story to Edie Sundby in the Wall Street Journal is in the Seattle Times. "Canceled Health Insurance Plans Add to Angst at Change," and it's about a guy named Bill Fullner, who's reached his breaking point, and here's the pull quote. "'This whole experience has converted a lifelong Democrat into a foot soldier for the Republican Party,' Fullner said." This guy has had it. He bought it. He bought Obama's promise. A lot of people did. A lot of people did.