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Fat Cat Limbaugh: Only Those Who Can Afford The Ritz Should Have Excellent Health Insurance

Reported by Ellen - July 24, 2009 -

Rush Limbaugh was a guest for half of last night’s On The Record (7/23/09) where he offered some breathtaking hatemongering about President Obama, the media, universal health care and more. But fat cat Limbaugh, while continually bragging about his patriotism, proved that he’s seriously out of touch with most Americans. First he made a racially questionable comment about Obama: "Let's face it, President Obama's black. And I think he's got a chip on his shoulder." Limbaugh also repeatedly insisted that there’s no health care crisis because anyone can get treated in an emergency room. He said cavalierly, “And they make arrangements with the hospital to pay it off over time and if they don’t, the car repossessers head out and take the car, what have you.” Limbaugh also said, “Health care’s got to be priced the same way a hotel room is, or a car is. You want to stay at the Ritz? You pay for it. You want to stay at a Motel 6? You pay for it… We don’t have insurance for hotels…We have it for health care because the government’s been paying it, or insurance company’s been paying it for 50 years – people have now assumed it’s their right to have it because they’re Americans.” With video.

Limbaugh started the interview by immediately race-baiting over President Obama’s press conference the night before. “I think Obama is largely misunderstood by a lot of people… We’re finding out this guy has a chip on his shoulder. He’s angry at this country. He’s not proud of it… Let’s face it, President Obama’s black. And I think he’s got a chip on his shoulder. I think there are elements of this country he doesn’t like and he never has liked and he’s using the power of the presidency to remake the country.”

Meanwhile, speaking of angry, having a chip on his shoulder and not liking elements of this country, Limbaugh couldn’t seem to complain enough about Obama, Democrats, the economy, the media, etc.

“This is very difficult for me to say,” Limbaugh said without looking the least bit pained, “Because it’s drastic but… President Obama and the Democrats are destroying the U.S. economy. They are purposely doing it, I believe.” A few segments later, Limbaugh had a vastly different perspective. A year from now “We could be ticking back up,” he predicted.

Limbaugh, who reportedly earns $50 million a year, seemed more concerned by the remote possibility that he might lose some of his own benefits and showed almost no concern for those less fortunate. To boost his position, our great patriot turned to baseless fear-mongering about the Democrats’ proposed health plan. “They can deny people coverage based on their lifestyles. They can dictate what you eat, what you don’t eat… (Obama) wants it to be the prerogative of his party to determine who gets born and who doesn’t, who has end-of-life problems that are dealt with and not.”

Limbaugh also baselessly accused Obama of deliberately fostering joblessness so that people will lose their health insurance, want a public option and allow themselves to be controlled by Obama. “If, which is true, that health insurance is not portable when you lose your job, what’s the best thing you can do for yourself? Create unemployment. The more people unemployed, the more people losing their health insurance… So all of this destruction is taking place – redistribution of wealth.”

Never mind all the people who lost their jobs and their health insurance before Obama took office. And never mind all the people who have insurance but have serious illnesses excluded from coverage. Limbaugh either didn't know they exist or else refused to acknowledge them. Or maybe it's just no big deal to him, like having your car repossessed.

Just about the only good thing Limbaugh did have to say about this country was in regard to our current health care system. But even that was said as a way of attacking President Obama. “Does he not understand this is the best health care system in the world? …Nobody leaves this country for health care… Everybody in the world comes here.”

Limbaugh is completely wrong about that. According to the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, in Washington, D.C., about 600,000 Americans will travel abroad for surgery this year. That’s about 25% of all medical tourists.

Limbaugh continued, “Health care, other than catastrophic… Health care’s got to be priced the same way a hotel room is, or a car is. You want to stay at the Ritz? You pay for it. You want to stay at a Motel 6? You pay for it. We don’t have insurance for hotels. We don’t have insurance for airplane travel. We have it for health care because the government’s been paying it, or (an) insurance company’s been paying it for 50 years – people have now assumed it’s their right to have it because they’re Americans.”

And yet, Mr. Government-Health-Care-Equals-Evil-Domination Limbaugh went on to offer a prescription for health care reform that suggested just that. In addition to health savings accounts, Limbaugh said, “But a first thing – catastrophic insurance is what the government ought to provide.” Wait a minute! Catastrophic insurance should be provided by the government? Doesn’t that mean the government could make the same kinds of decisions about end-of-life issues he was complaining about, who gets born or not, under Obama’s plan? Somehow that point went right past Van Susteren and she made no comment.

Limbaugh continued, “The ordinary, everyday doctor visits, check ups and so forth – pay for it yourself or go buy your own policy that you can afford that covers what you want covered.” Limbaugh didn’t seem to have a clue that “everyday doctor visits” often amount to hundreds of dollars, especially if there are tests or medications involved. Maybe that’s nothing to a guy like him. But to a large segment of America, that’s a big deal. Someone already struggling to pay a mortgage and a car payment (and maybe some previous medical bills) might well put off seeing a doctor until their condition became more serious.

Really on a roll now, Limbaugh said, “I think there is a myth in this country about all the people that don’t get medical treatment. I think that’s part of the sales pitch here. I’ve talked to a number of doctors, surgeons, ER, the intensive care patient comes in – they get treated whether they can pay or not and they’re sent a bill if they don’t have insurance.” He added casually, “And they make arrangements with the hospital to pay it off over time and if they don’t, the car repossessers head out and take the car, what have you.”

I can just imagine how casual Big Boy would be if it were his car getting repossessed because he lost his job and his health insurance or if for some reason his health insurance denied coverage of even a portion of his hospital treatment.

Limbaugh said, “You walk into the emergency room, by law, you have to get treated. People get health care in this country, whether they have health insurance or not. We have the best health care system in the world.”

Sure, if you can afford it. The American Medical Association, a group that probably has a little bit more knowledge and insight into the situation than Limbaugh, says about the 46 million uninsured Americans, “They live sicker and die younger.”

Limbaugh claimed that “only” 12 million people are too poor to get health insurance. He conveniently left out those who are either rejected for coverage or who have conditions not covered.

“We don’t need an overhaul,” Limbaugh said, as though the government-provided catastrophic coverage he had just suggested were no big deal. “We don’t need to start making giant fixes based on assumptions that there’s a whole bunch of people gettin’ sick and not being treated. It’s not the case.”

And as if all that were not enough BS, Limbaugh claimed that Ted Kennedy would not have been treated for his brain cancer under Obama’s plan because a) he would be in a government plan and b) that the government would have decided it cost too much. “Obama has said as much” in his ABC special, Limbaugh falsely asserted and further alleged that under Obama’s plan, Kennedy would have been given a pain pill and nothing more. You can read the entire transcript of Obama’s ABC special on health care. Nowhere does Obama suggest that terminal diseases should not be treated. In fact, he specifically stated, "End-of-life care... I don't want bureaucracies making those decisions. But understand that those decisions are already being made in one way or another. If they're not being made under Medicare and Medicaid, they're being made by private insurers. We don't always make those decisions explicitly. We often make those decisions by just letting people run out of money or making the deductibles too high or the out-of-pocket expenses so onerous that they just can't afford the care… We're not going to solve every single one of these very difficult decisions at end of life, and ultimately that's going to be between physicians and patients."

In the next segment, Limbaugh said, “I love this country… I am in awe.”

Sure he is. It shows every time he opens his mouth.

You can view the entire interview, broken into four segments, here, here, here, and here.