Author Topic: Medicare Debate Presents Huge Opportunity for Gutsy Republicans  (Read 374 times)

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Offline DCPatriot

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Medicare Debate Presents Huge Opportunity for Gutsy Republicans
May 26, 2011


RUSH: So I saw Snerdley today, "Are you still ticked off?" 


I said, "What, same thing?" 


He's still ticked off about Medicare.  He said, "Bottom line is, Rush, if we can ever bust up these entitlements, we can end the Democrat Party."  That's true.  You ever bust up the entitlements, you will end the Democrat Party.  There's no question.

There is a story today, "Anxious GOP Vows to Improve Medicare Message After New York Loss -- A day after a crushing defeat in a New York special election, House GOP lawmakers defended their vote to reform Medicare but grumbled that their leaders must do a better job of messaging. 'If we’ll just stay with our argument and do a better job developing it, we’ll be fine,' said Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), one of many Republicans blaming GOP candidate Jane Corwin’s loss on the presence of a Tea Party candidate who siphoned away votes in a three-way race. The defeat of Corwin was a stunning blow in what had been seen as a reliable Republican district won less than a year ago by GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, who was trounced statewide by Democrat Andrew Cuomo.  Democrats credited Kathy Hochul’s victory to a flood of ads targeting Corwin for supporting the GOP budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan."

That's not what happened.  Now, the Democrats would love for you to think that Medicare reform lost, but it didn't.  Dirty tricks won, pure and simple.  Now, you can say that the Republican message was weak and it probably was.  The Republicans are reluctant to say anything, hoping that the less they say the better off they'll be, political correctness and so forth, worried about offending somebody.  But they do have to do some work on the messaging. 

Let's go to some Medicare sound bites here.  This is fascinating.  Bill Clinton last night, this is on ABC's World News Tonight behind the scenes at Pete Peterson' foundation, the 2011 fiscal summit, Peter G. Peterson.  I think he was the Treasury Secretary for Nixon.  I've met Pete Peterson.  His wife is Joan Ganz Cooney of the Children's Workshop, Sesame Street and all that.  I've met him, he's a nice guy, RINO, moderate Republican guy.  But he is a deficit hawk.  He was with Warren Rudman on that effort here to rein in the out of control federal debt.  They put up the billboards with the deficit clock stuff.  They're deficit hawks and the Peter G. Peterson foundation had their 2011 fiscal summit, which means party.  And former President Bill Clinton was there, along with Paul Ryan.  And backstage, off camera, Clinton and Ryan had this exchange about what happened in New York 26.

CLINTON:  I'm glad we won this race in New York, but I hope the Democrats don't use it as an excuse to do nothing. If you ever want to talk about it --

RYAN:  Yeah, I'll give you a call. Great, thanks.

RUSH:  Now, you probably couldn't hear that too well.  Let me tell you what happened there.  They're backstage at the Peter G. Peterson party, disguised as a fundraiser.  Clinton is there, Paul Ryan.  Clinton says, (imitating Clinton) "Hey, you know, I'm glad we won this race in New York, but I hope the Democrats don't use this as excuse to do nothing.  You ever want to talk about it."  And Ryan says, "Yeah, yeah, I'll give you a call.  Great, thanks."  Snerdley also asked, "What's Clinton doing?"  He wants credit.  Don't forget way back he tried to take it on Medicare reform.  He thinks Ryan's going somewhere with it.  This means that Clinton thinks Ryan's going somewhere and when Ryan gets there Clinton wants to be on the train.  So behind the scenes, when they don't know the microphone's live, Clinton says, (imitating Clinton)  "Hey, look, pal, I'm glad my party won that race but I hope the Democrats don't use this as an excuse to do nothing. If you ever want to talk about it."  And Clinton offering his assistance.  Now, let's move forward on camera.  Clinton is aware he's on camera and throws Ryan under the bus.
CLINTON:  I just think his Medicare proposal is, on the merits, wrong.  What in all probability will happen, particularly if they dismantle some of these other cost controls, is that medical costs will continue to go up, and older people will use less, get sicker and die quicker.  Or they will be poorer because they'll have to spend so much of their money on health care.

RUSH:  Crying out loud, this is gonna happen anyway.  It's going to happen.  It happens with Obamacare.  Ryan's plan actually does something about this.  But, anyway, here's the point.  I don't want to get sidetracked here.  Off camera, now, we don't know how sincere he's being and I know you have to take into account it's Bill Clinton.  Understand that.  But off camera, "Hey, bud, hey, hey, yeah, I gotta tell you I'm glad we won that election, but you ever want to talk about this, 'cause I'm serious, you know, we gotta do something.  This gotta get fixed, just like we fixed Haiti, whatever else we fixed, gotta get fixed."  So he's offering Ryan, and Ryan says, "Okay."  Now, go public, go public, (imitating Clinton) "I think this thing sucks. It's a horrible proposal, on the merits it's horrible." 

Behind the scenes a different story.  And, see, this is the kind of stuff that just grates on people.  Why couldn't the stuff that goes on off camera actually happen on camera?  Nothing is real.  Nothing is real.  All these people clamoring for everybody to get along and bipartisan.  Well, there it is.  It happened, off camera, when they thought nobody was watching, when Clinton thought nobody was listening.  There was your bipartisanship.  There was your mutual admiration and love society.  Cameras go on, and who was it that turned partisan?  Slick Willie, Der Schlick Meister, William Jefferson Blythe Clinton.  Even at that, though, the same set of remarks at the Pete Peterson party, the foundation, the fiscal summit, Clinton did try to warn the Democrats.

CLINTON: I'm afraid that the Democrats will draw the conclusion that because Congressman Ryan's proposal I think is not the best one, that we shouldn't do anything, and I completely disagree with that.

RUSH:  Yeah, well, I'll tell you something, Mr. President, your party isn't do diddly-squat about anything.  There's no budget.  There's no Medicare proposal.  Your party, they're doing nothing.  The Democrats are doing nothing, and they've been doing nothing for months now.  They don't have a budget.  I don't know to what extent they're paying a price for this with the general public, but they're not doing anything.  They think that the Republicans are gonna tackle entitlement reform and that's gonna kill 'em, and so the Democrat philosophy here, and it's tried and true, when your opponent's committing suicide, get out of the way, let it happen.  And that's what they think is happening here.  Which is why I on this program yesterday demanded that somebody stand up in the face of the aftermath of New York 26 and all this other stuff, somebody defend Ryan's budget and the proposal on Medicare.  Somebody stand up.  It's a great opportunity for leadership.  Still with ABC's World News Tonight, their senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl talked to Paul Ryan in the car as they're driving around.
KARL:  What do you say to these, maybe weak-kneed Republicans --

RYAN:  This is not the time to go wobbly. They are going to run the attack ads at us regardless. This is a time for leaders to be leaders.

KARL:  Did you just cost the Republicans --

RYAN:  I don't think so.

KARL:  -- control of the House?

RYAN:  I think we were elected in this last election to take a stand on fixing this country's fiscal problems. To go after spending, to solve this debt crisis, to stop spending money we don't have.

RUSH:  What is this cost the Republicans the House?  What kinda question, what kinda thinking is that?  The election's 18 months away.  It's going to be just the opposite.  The question is, did you just cost the Democrats the Senate?  Because there's clearly going to be a perception here there's a party doing something and a party doing nothing, standing in the way.  So they continued here.  They had this exchange after what you just heard.

KARL:  What if this destroys your political career?

RYAN:  I don't care about that.

KARL:  You're seen as a, you know, rising star, potential presidential candidate --

RYAN:  This is not the time to be worried about political careers.

KARL:  What if you lose your House seat?

RYAN:  Sincerely I will be fine if I lose my House seat 'cause you know what?  I will know I did what I thought was right to save this country.

RUSH:  Now they're burrying Ryan.  Okay, now not only are the Republicans gonna lose the House, Ryan is gonna lose his seat.  He's never gonna get another job again.  He's stabbing himself in the heart.  This is the end of Paul Ryan's career.  You ever gonna be able to get a job?  What are you gonna do?  Do you have enough savings to get through the rest of your life?  This is what the media thinks and what the Democrat Party hopes.  This is what they were going to try to effect.  Last night on Fox Special Report during the All-Star panel, Bret Baier said, "The Ryan plan came up in the Senate tonight, it was voted down 57-40 Republicans voting against Scott Ryan, Susan Collins, Rand Paul, Olympia Snowe, Lisa Murkowski, obviously this was just meant to put everybody on the record.  The Obama budget went down 97-nothing."

KRAUTHAMMER:  The entire party essentially has endorsed the Ryan plan, and you are stuck with it.  There's no running away.  People are now writing, you know, the boomlet for Ryan to be a candidate is over.  I would say exactly the opposite.  You now own this.  Get the one man who can explain it, argue it, and actually change minds on this.  You need leadership on this.  Otherwise the Republicans are gonna sink on this.

RUSH:  Yeah, Krauthammer is basically saying what I said yesterday.  Somebody better step up now 'cause they do own it.  The minute this thing came out everybody under the sun embraced it on the Republican side, the Ryan Medicare reform plan.  Now, there are some people stripping themselves away because they're becoming afraid, but it's such a great opportunity.  It's such a great opportunity out there for leadership.  A career is waiting to be made here on this.  Courage, leadership, passion, belief, somebody surely has it.

RUSH: Hudson, New York? Joe, I'm glad you called, sir. Welcome to the EIB Network. How are you?

CALLER: Hi, Rush. (reading rapidly) I've heard you talk a couple of days now about New York 26 and I think it's just crazy to say T-tea Party voters were stupid and duped who really the entire race was fought on this Medicare plan, and this Medicare plan -- p-people like their Medicare. They don't want to go back to a voucher system where they have to deal with insurance companies again and getting letters in the mail saying, "We're not gonna cover this and we're not gonna cover that." It's just putting another middleman in (crosstalk).

RUSH: Well, but they're not... They're not gonna have to. See, that's the point. The Ryan plan doesn't change one thing for current Medicare recipients.

CALLER: Yeah, I was just gonna -- just gonna mention that. Current Medicare recipients. So somehow they stop loving their kids and wish the insurance industry on their kids when they turn 65 years old?


CALLER: I mean, that's just crazy.

RUSH: Well, you can say it's crazy but there isn't gonna be Medicare for anybody if we don't fix this because it can't go on this way. It's unsustainable, and there are some responsible people trying to fix it and in the process they are exempting current recipients. They're exempting them 'cause they're already in the game playing by the rules established for them, but we have to change the rules.

CALLER: (interrupting)

RUSH: We can't go on with the current rules; we have to change them. We have to start someplace. We're starting in enough time to give future recipients enough time to plan and realize: "The program as you've known it isn't going to exist as you know it now. It's still gonna be there but you have to pay a little bit for it yourself, too. You might have to pay a little bit for your own health care."

CALLER: So you fix it by adding a middleman where (pause) CEOs get hundred million-dollar salaries and fly around in corporate sets and have corporate yachts and all that? That's how you fix health care in this country? That's just nuts. I mean, it's crazy to everybody. That fight was fought in New York 26. New York 26 wasn't lost because Tea Partiers are stupid. New York 26 was lost because Medicare (sputtering)... Medi... Vouchers --

RUSH: Wait a second.

CALLER: -- in Medicare is a bad plan.

RUSH: Wait, wait just a second now. You have so many non sequiturs here. I don't care how many CEOs are paid a hundred million dollars (I don't know too many who are) who fly around in corporate jets. I don't know what that has to do with anything. Has absolutely nothing, other than it's a key to your mind. It tells us that you have deep-seated resentments and that you are biased ideologically toward any kind of a solution here. I mean, you're not even open-minded about this. What in the world does all this silly class envy stuff have to do with it? I get it! Oh, the CEO who's paid a hundred million, and has the corporate jet is never going to have to be punished 'cause he'll be able to get his health care however he wants it? Is that it?

Still, it's a non-sequitur. We're talking about, in terms of the general population, ten people. You don't make policy based on what happens to ten people, good or bad, pro or con. But don't tell me that New York 26 was totally about Medicare substance. It was also about a phony Tea Party candidate. Now, this is what I mean. You guys can sit there and you can tell yourselves lies all day long. If you want to live a lie and if you want to live falsehoods and if you want to immerse yourself because it's safe and secure in your little cocoon -- if you want to tell yourself these things -- you go right ahead. But you are telling us also we can't count on you to fix anything that's wrong. All you want to do is take, take, take, take, take -- and then after you've taken, taken, taken, what you next want to do is punish, punish, punish, punish whoever it is you hate or are envious of or are jealous of.

But regardless, you are worthless in terms of solving the problem.

RUSH: Now, I want to also go back to the first caller we had today on Medicare. He was calling about the New York 26 election, and he was telling me I was wrong, that the election was totally about Medicare, and the people of New York 26, they're tired of hundred million-dollar a year CEOs flying around in their jets having health care and, blah, blah, blah.  The disconnect here is amazing, and it's worth, I think, trying to persuade people even who are in lockstep misinformation about this.  We've even got Republicans saying it was the wrong time to tackle this.  Everybody's running for the tall grass on this at the first sign of trouble.

For example, the guy calls, "Nobody's happy with Medicare."  That's not true.  Everybody is not unhappy with Medicare.  Medicare is not the answer, folks.  Medicare is not the answer to our health care problems, and more Medicare is a recipe for disaster.  We've told you countless times on this program that Medicare rejects more procedures than private insurance companies, remember that?  We went through the numbers.  It's striking.  The number of procedures the government rejects dwarfs the number of procedures that private insurance companies say "no" to.  If something isn't done about Medicare, all future generations won't exist.  The Medicare chief actuary, the government bureaucrat in charge of it says it's doomed.

So what are you liberals supporting when you support Medicare?  What are you supporting here?  You're supporting something that your own people say is doomed. You're supporting something that is far more punitive than private insurance is.  You have this love affair with it because it comes from government, but it is bloated, it's ineffective, it's inefficient, and it doesn't work.  And you ought to be thankful that there are responsible people trying to fix it.  They're trying to fix it for the people.  They're trying to fix it for the country.

Now, who is it that robbed half a trillion dollars from Medicare?  Who is it that in his own health care bill took $500 billion out of Medicare in order to get his total price tag in under a trillion dollars?  It was your guy.  It was Barack Obama, mmm, mmm, mmm.  It's there, $500 billion dollars gone.  Ryan didn't do that.  Paul Ryan doesn't rape Medicare to the tune of $500 billion; your guy did.  Senior citizens, current senior citizens enrolled in Medicare are unaffected by the Ryan plan.  Not one person 55 years of age or older currently enrolled in any kind of a Medicare plan is affected by it.  Ryan's voucher program, the block grant to the states, that is for the next generation of recipients, this voucher, we call that a huge federal subsidy that helps individuals buy their health coverage, much like Congress.

This system that we're talking about is basically what Congress has and federal bureaucrats have.  Now, the liberals used to call these Cadillac plans.  Now they say these are horrible plans simply because they're politicizing everything.  But Paul Ryan hasn't done one thing to take Medicare away from anybody.  Barack Obama has.  The Democrats have.  The Democrat Party is in the process of destroying Medicare.  Paul Ryan is coming along, trying to save it, restructure it so it's worth something.  Now, if we abandon Medicare, Medicare reform, if we abandon it, then what?  We leave it as it is, falling apart?  Denying more procedures than private sector insurance companies deny?

If we abandon Medicare reform, if we abandon the Ryan plan, there won't be anybody to protect seniors from Obamacare.  There won't be anybody to protect seniors from the death panels.  There will be nobody to protect future generations.  The program is going bust.  If we abandon reform, the Democrats, by their desire to do nothing, are destroying Medicare with Obamacare, rather than reforming it.  Obamacare is not fixing anything.  It doesn't reform anything.  It simply destroys it, by design, so that nobody has a choice going anywhere but a federal exchange for health insurance and coverage.  And if we abandon Medicare reform, we're stuck with what's doomed.  And I, by the way, say this non-ideologically.  I say this in a total nonpartisan sense.

I'm looking at a program going bust that can't be sustained as is.  Here's somebody obviously very courageous who wants to fix it.  Is there gonna be a political benefit if he fixes it?  Sure.  But what's wrong with that?  Nobody else is trying to do anything except make hay out of false predictions about it.  I don't know what CEOs that make a hundred million dollars have to do with it.  I don't know what CEOs flying around in corporate jets have to do with it.  It has nothing to do with it.  These are just closed-minded people who cannot be depended on in any way for anything other than the plundering of the program.  If nothing changes, nothing changes, and if nothing changes we're up the creek without a paddle, pure and simple.

RUSH: Venice, Florida. Hey, Ron, I'm glad you called, sir. You're next on the Rush Limbaugh program. Hi.

CALLER: Well, how you doing, Rush? I tell you, I've been listening to you for 20 years.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: I'm pretty much in agreement with you all the time, about 99.9% of the time, but this time I have a little difference. I got a little bit of a political background, and I think that it was the wrong time for Paul Ryan to come out with his budget and his proposal --

RUSH: What is your political background?

CALLER: Well, I've been involved in the Republican Party for about 20 years. I was a campaign manager for a candidate running for Congress in the evil Alan Grayson's district up by Orlando and everything.

RUSH: All right.

CALLER: But Daniel Webster (unintelligible) primary and went on to get the seat and everything, and --

RUSH: Okay. All right. So Ryan came out with his budget proposal at the wrong time?

CALLER: Yeah. Well, what has happened here is that people are confused, they're being lied to. They're talking more about what's wrong with Ryan proposal compared to what we've already got that's involved that needs to be repealed like Obamacare. The focus has been taken away from what they are doing, the bad side is doing, compared to what we can do on the right side. It's like playing football. You're a football fan. We have given -- (phone drops out)

RUSH: Did we lose him? We lost the connection. Okay. I guess the thrust of what he's saying is we shoulda stayed focused on repealing Obamacare rather than drop that ball and come up with a Medicare reform plan that just confuses people, that puts us on the defensive and so forth. Well, okay, I can understand the thinking, you know, stick with repealing Obamacare. But there's no need to go on defense. By the way, if not now, when? And if not us, who? I refuse to go on defense 'cause I don't think I have anything to be defensive about. I don't think there's anything to be defensive about.

See, I think the recipe for going on defense, the left knows (or suspects) that they can somehow make us accept their premise. I don't accept their premise on anything. I don't accept the premise that starts off the discussion about Ryan and his Medicare plan that's gonna destroy people. I already got my premise. My premise is liberalism is destructive to this country. Liberalism is destroying the private sector. That's my premise, and I go from that. And I look for evidence of it every time a liberal opens his mouth and whether he's attacking me or Paul Ryan or anybody else, I just refuse to go on defense. Now, again, gotta be fair, being on the radio and acquiring and holding an audience is not the same thing as being a politician and getting votes.

I can survive here. I can even thrive being hated. A politician can't. I mean there's just no other way around that. But doesn't say that you have to be hated in order to be right or be controversial. Now, I think you can do both. I think you could reform Medicare and still stay dedicated to repealing Obamacare, but you've gotta do it. If you're gonna start walking down the path you have to stay down the path. One thing a lot of people feared was that all the repeal talk from the Republicans was just that, that they'd go through the motions for a few months and try to make it appear to us that they were serious about it, score some points for doing it, and then drop it. Now, the Medicare reform, remember, there isn't a budget. The Democrats haven't proposed a budget. The program is doomed. Something has to happen to fix it, now. That's a reality.

RUSH: Okay, the Ryan Medicare proposal.  The budget in general.  Medicare is the budget deficit.  If you're gonna talk about the budget, and if you're gonna talk about reducing the deficit, then you cannot not talk about Medicare.  Medicare is the budget deficit.  Ah, some other things thrown in there, but largely, Medicare, Medicaid, they are the budget deficit.  Now, how can you talk about the budget deficit, trying to do anything about it and not talk about Medicare?  What was the message of the 2010 election?  We have to do something about spending.  We have to do something about the deficit.  Medicare is the deficit.  The 2010 election was about that.

Now, way back in February Obama said the rising cost of Medicare and Medicaid's creating huge problems for the nation's finances, must be dealt with in a serious way.  That's what Obama said.  It's not a matter of you go first or I go first.  That's what Obama said yesterday.  Not a matter of you go first or I go first.  It's about getting in that boat at the same time so it doesn't tip over.  Well, Ryan took him at his word.  And now we see what happens when you take Obama at his word.  Ryan woulda done it on his own anyway, he's a responsible guy.

Even Clinton knows.  We got this story from Jonathan Karl at ABC:  "Clinton Worries Democrats Won't Fix Medicare."  Clinton is worried.  Somebody is going to fix it, he knows that, and whoever fixes it is gonna be sitting pretty politically for a long time.  Clinton wants that to be the Democrats.  He wants the Democrats to have a role in it.  This is yesterday at the Peter G. Peterson foundation fiscal summit.

CLINTON:  I'm afraid that the Democrats will draw the conclusion that because Congressman Ryan's proposal I think is not the best one, that we shouldn't do anything, and I completely disagree with that.

RUSH:  You have Der Schlick Meister worried that the Democrats are just gonna sit it out.  And he's right, they have been sitting it out.  They've sat out everything to do with the budget.  They are not involved in it at all.  Totally on the sidelines. (interruption) What do you do to fix Medicare if you don't do what Ryan's doing?  Oh, well, now, that -- (laughing) jeez, I know what I would do, but what I would do is not practical.  I'd make Medicare free to everybody earning a hundred million dollars and has a jet, and then I'd cut those people's tax rate to 10%.  It's clear what we have to do when you see that 12 cents of every dollar spent on health care is spent by the patient or consumer, there's your problem.  Before any of this is gonna get substantively fixed, there has to be a responsible relationship between the cost and the ability to pay it by the patient, by the consumer.  That's what Ryan wants to do.  That's where Ryan is headed with all this.
John in Rockford, Illinois, great to have you on the EIB Network.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hey, Rush.

RUSH:  Hey.

CALLER:  When we talk about Ryan's proposal, is Social Security and Medicare two in the same in this discussion?

RUSH:  No, he's talking Medicare exclusively.

CALLER:  Has it ever come across anyone to make that clear?  Because I think I was kind of confused when I tried to explain that to my daughter this morning, as to what everybody was talking about politically.  So Social Security will not be touched, and then a person such as myself that's in his early fifties will basically have to take out some sort of, kind of like a 401(k) if I had to simplify the process.

RUSH:  As I understand it, the Ryan plan is set up this way.  For people 55 and older who are getting Medicare benefits, nothing happens, nothing changes.

CALLER:  Right.  I'm 51 so I'm selfishly concerned about --

RUSH:  You are going to face a different phase-in rate than somebody 25 or 30.  There are different phase-in rates, but ultimately what happens is that Medicare payments, Medicare revenues will be block-granted to the states.  The states will be in charge of administering them.  The federal government will subsidize the purchase of premiums.  It's going to end up costing patients a little more than it does now but in plenty of time for people to adjust to it and get used to it.  This is not a change that's going to happen overnight.  It will involve the whole principle of vouchers.  The block grant back to the states is essentially a voucher system.  Let's just take a number.  I'm gonna pick a number out of the blue that may have no relation to fact.  Let's say that the amount of Medicare spent on you every year is ten grand.

CALLER:  Okay.

RUSH:  They're gonna give you a portion of that ten grand via block grant, you're gonna have access to it and you're gonna go shop and you're gonna get health care as you need it, as you want it, for whatever price you can pay.  And whatever is left over after a certain period of time is yours.  It's kind of an expansion on the health savings accounts concept.  But there's got to be some relationship to what services cost and the patient's ability to pay.  If that doesn't happen, then it's never gonna get really fixed or totally reformed.  But it's a slow phase-in.  One of the arguments even among people who are for the Ryan plan is that it takes ten to 15 years to fully implement, and he does that on purpose precisely to prevent a panic, which the Democrats are trying to make happen anyway.  But the bottom line is if we don't do anything, then it's broken forever. If we don't do anything, it's finished. 

I'll run through it again.  If we abandon Medicare reform, then what?  There will be no one to protect seniors from Obamacare.  They are going to be subject to death panels. There will be nobody to protect future generations.  There will be no effort here to get costs under control in any way, shape, manner, or form.  It's an utter disaster.  So it's a sound proposal.  It makes a lot of sense, and it's very patient the way it's implemented.  And we've got time.  In point of fact, reality, some people grow impatient at the lack of speed it takes to implement a positive change on anything.  But as long as we're moving in the direction, the attitudinal effect that will have on people, investors as well, will be profoundly positive.  As long as we're moving in the right direction.  Right now we're just floundering.  We're rolling the dice.  The Medicare actuary says the program's doomed.  It cannot continue, whether you're 51 or 41 or 31, it can't continue as is.  It won't be there at all for you in any way, shape, manner, or form. 

But here again we find ourselves asking the question here at the EIB Network, why are we panicked over Ryan's plan to reform it?  It's just the same plan that Congress already has.  All it is, is the congressional health plan with a smorgasbord of options and services that you will end up paying a little bit more for than you're paying today, but you're paying for it in ways that you don't know with taxes and other things.  But what we ought to be panicked over is Obamacare.  That is the far more radical change to everybody's health care system, than Ryan's. 

Everybody's got their focus in the wrong area here.  It is Obamacare where everybody ought to be panicked, not Ryan's plan to reform Medicare.  Ryan's plan is to save it.  Obama's plan destroys it.  Obama's plan destroys practically everything, collapse the system.  Everything falls apart.  Obama and the Democrats are there to put it back together in charge of everything.  That's their long-term objective.  So if you want to get panicked over something, okay, you're 51, you got Medicare coming up, and here comes a guy talking about changing it.  Fine, put your trust in it, put your faith in it.  Do not trust the guy who wants to totally reorient and change all of health care.  He's gonna destroy it.  If you feel like being panicked, if you're happily panicked, if you're comfortable being in a panic mode, be panicked over Obamacare, not Ryan.

RUSH:  Dick Cheney says, "I worship the ground Paul Ryan walks on."  He doesn't want Ryan to run for president.  He likes the House budget committee too much.  "'I worship the ground the Paul Ryan walks on,' Cheney said Wednesday during a rare public appearance, the Houston Chronicle reported. 'I hope he doesn’t run for president because that would ruin a good man who has a lot of work to do.'"  "I worship the ground Paul Ryan walks on."  No, I mean it.  The Democrats don't want to fix Medicare.  They don't want to reform it.  They don't want to fix Medicaid. 

Very simple reason:  They want single payer.  Obama has said it.  We aired the Obama sound bites throughout the 2008 campaign.  All the things he said talking to his union friends at SEIU, on public radio in Chicago, throughout, you know, 2002, 2004, 2007, he made it plain.  I think in a sound bite we had of him speaking to the Service Employees International Union, he said, (paraphrasing) "Look, we all know we want to get --" and, by the way, this is when he's honest.  These are his buds.  These are the guys that spend all the money electing him.  He goes in there, he doesn't BS them.  He says, (paraphrasing) "We all want single payer. We're not gonna be able to do it overnight. It's gonna take five to ten years to get this done, maybe 15," because they know the American people don't want single payer. They're gonna have to force it as ultimately the only option.  And part of making Medicare and health care a single payer program, government-run, is that's gotta be the only place people can go. 

Private insurance has to fail. Private coverage has to fail.  Previous other reforms have to not work to the point that people throw their hands up, "Gosh, I guess the government has to run it 'cause that's the last option."  That's the plan. That's the game plan.  So don't look for the Democrats to offer a competing reform proposal.  They don't want it to be fixed.  In fact, as far as most Democrats are concerned the sooner it goes bust the better.  Because they know people are gonna demand treatment.  They know people are gonna demand being able to go to doctor.  They know it.  And they can't wait to be the ones in people's minds who make it possible as agents of your friendly government.  "Boy, those people at insurance company X, they really mistreated you, didn't they?  Yeah, remember that Republican guy that tried to fix the plan?  Yeah, that really worked out, didn't it?  But we're here for you."  That's what they want, after everything's collapsed. 

They want to break the health care system.  That's what Obamacare is all about, break our health care system so badly that only they can fix it in their own way.  And, by the way, it won't be a fix.  It will end up being as bad as it's ever been as a single payer government-run program, but that's what they want. 

Ed, you're next in Omaha.  Great to have you on the EIB Network.  Hello.

CALLER:  I'd like to say hello to my mother Kelly.  Second, I cannot believe how selfish older Americans are being at this point in time.  They know what they want and have absolutely no concern whatsoever for future generations that are --

RUSH:  Why do you say that?

CALLER:  Well, all I hear from these older voters is "Don't take my Medicare away," and first of all, they don't get it, it's not being taken away, but they don't care if it goes bankrupt.  What about me, who's a 42-year-old male?  I have a two-year-old daughter. What kind of health care is gonna be available for my family in the future if you're not willing to sacrifice a little bit right now?

RUSH:  Let me ask you a question, then.

CALLER:  Yes, sir.

RUSH:  Do you believe the majority of stories we get about the elderly in this country, that they are, for the most part, just a couple steps away from poverty?

CALLER:  You know what, no, I don't believe that, and I hate to say this, but if they are a step away from poverty, that is their responsibility, because they did not save for their future.  It is not my responsibility that you spent all of your money and did not save for your future.

RUSH:  The reason I ask is because -- and I can't find it.  I left it on the desk.  It was from an earlier program I didn't get to.  I left it here in the stack.  But we had a temporary engineer here who went on a Betty Crocker kick and threw everything in here in the trash.  He was a nice guy, I'm talking about Dale, he was just trying to do the right thing.  But it was a story that took aim at this myth that the elderly are all a bunch of poverty stricken people. (interruption) Now, don't look at me.  I'm just teasing in there.  Dale's a great guy, but he did throw away my show prep.  What am I supposed to do? (interruption) What do you mean, you didn't know it?  You're the one that told him the procedures here.  Anyway, I don't need the story.  I can recount it from my memory. 

The story was about where is it written that every old person is on the brink of destruction economically?  And I thought it's a fascinating story.  A lot of people think that the elderly are all in poverty, or just a step or two away from it.  But who is it that young people are moving back in with?  Their moms and dads.  And some of these people moving back in are 35 and 40.  How old are their moms and dads?  Sixty and 70 try, so if they're 60 and 70 and if they can afford their worthless offspring moving back in with them, just how poverty stricken are they?  So this story tried to blow that myth up, that every elderly person in this country is bankrupt or soon to be, and it's not the case, and that is a good point, it actually is. 

RUSH: Donna in Munster, Indiana.  I'm glad you waited.  Great to have you on the EIB Network.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hi.  Good to talk to you.

RUSH:  Thank you.

CALLER:  The Republican Party has a communication problem, I believe.  They need to better understand Ryan's Medicare plan so they can communicate it to the public.

RUSH:  Tell 'em what it is.

CALLER:  Well, they also need to compare the difference between Ryan's plan and Obamacare, which is a step toward universal health care.

RUSH:  Tell 'em what it is.

CALLER:  What the plan is?

RUSH:  Yeah, what is Ryan's Medicare plan?

CALLER:  Well, one thing, he does not plan to change the Medicare coverage that the seniors already have.

RUSH:  Age 55 and up.

CALLER:  At this time, right.

RUSH:  That's right.  You think most Republicans don't know that?

CALLER:  I think they're confused about it.

RUSH:  You mean elected Republicans or Republican voters? 

CALLER:  I think some of the candidates that's been talking. One of the Republicans, Jane Corwin, I saw the interview when she's at a town hall meeting, and one of the gals asked about the Republican plan, and she said, "Well, I want to save the Medicare program."  Well, what does she mean by that?  She didn't explain it.  I think the seniors may be forgetting about the large Medicare cut being made in Obamacare.

RUSH:  Wait a minute.  You have the Republican candidate in a town hall forum saying, "No, no, no, I want to save Medicare," when asked about the Ryan plan?

CALLER:  Right.

RUSH:  Well, kiss it good-bye.

CALLER:  That was her answer.

RUSH:  Yeah. 

CALLER:  I was just appalled by that, and I thought, well, you know, there's your opportunity to explain the difference between the two.

RUSH:  She may not know.

CALLER:  Yeah.

RUSH:  If her knowledge source for this is what's in the media, she doesn't know, because the media is the one saying that if you're a senior citizen you'll die because of the Ryan plan.

CALLER:  Right.  And then there video. If anyone wants to throw granny off the cliff in a wheelchair, it's Obamacare, and those that don't believe it are fools.  'Cause this is just the way it is.

RUSH:  Yeah, I've seen the ad.  You know, I kind of admire it.  It's funny.  Well, don't misunderstand me on this.  Of course the ad infuriates me in one way, but I love humor that pushes the envelope, and creativity.  The point is, I look at that and say, "How many people actually believe it?" but I guess I'm wrong.  There's a lot of people that do take that ad for real.  This is what the Republicans want to do.  So when you illustrate it that way, I don't understand anybody believing that.  Who in the world would actually want to push their grandmother over a cliff in a wheelchair?  There's only one instance, who would actually want to do it. (interruption)  Okay, wait a minute.  You're saying check the e-mail in ten minutes?  (laughing)  I don't know. 

The ad is so campy.  There's no terror in the ad.  There's no real horror in the ad. (interruption) Oh, come on, are you telling me that a seasoned citizen watching that ad can sit there and relate, "Yeah, yeah, that's what they want to do to me."  Actually throw you, roll you over the cliff?  Yeah, but that stopped working a long time.  The ol' kick you outta your house and make you eat dog food.  Republicans have been getting the seasoned citizen vote for a long, long time and all those cliches stopped working back in the nineties on Social Security specifically.  Donna, thanks much for the call.  I'm sitting here wondering how much trouble am I in now when I say I admire the ad.  I think I've only seen it, what, three or four times, and here's granny shouting and flailing away, "No, stop!" and they actually do it.  The dummy actually goes over the cliff.  You actually see it.  I think, "Well, who could possibly believe that?"

"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family".    ...Mother Teresa

"It's not the mountain before you, but the pebble in your shoe"      ....or something like that

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