Throughout the health care debate, Rush Limbaugh has gradually rolled out his health care plan. The provisions of the plan include being rich, eating applesauce if you can't afford dentures, and not breaking your wrist.
Limbaugh's health care plan: "If you don't have any teeth, so what? What's applesauce for?" In February 25 comments, Limbaugh stated:
LIMBAUGH: You know I'm getting so many people -- this Louise Slaughter comment on the dentures? I'm getting so many people -- this is big, I mean, that gets a one-time mention for a laugh, but there are people out there that think this is huge because it's so stupid. I mean, for example, well, what's wrong with using a dead person's teeth? Aren't the Democrats big into recycling? Save the planet? And so what? So if you don't have any teeth, so what? What's applesauce for? Isn't that why they make applesauce?
Limbaugh mocked story of transplant patient on Medicare who will have to pay own bills after three years. On February 26, referring to a story Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) recounted at President Obama's health care summit, Limbaugh stated:
LIMBAUGH: This patient was about to receive a transplanted organ -- Clyburn didn't specify what it was -- and the horror -- he's gonna get a -- he's gonna get a totally paid-for transplant. The horror is that he was going to have to start paying his post-op bills in three years.
If this is the worst we can say about American medicine, are we really in that bad a shape after all?
I have a different observation on this. I mean, look at where we are with this. This guy is -- he about had an emotional breakdown 'cause he was told he's gotta start paying his own medical bills after three years. He gets a free transplant; he gets a free after-care for three years and then he's on his own, and he's mad and thinks he's getting screwed.
Limbaugh: "I don't believe anybody in this country is dying because of a lack of health insurance." In September 2009, Limbaugh stated:
LIMBAUGH: I don't believe anybody in this country is dying because of a lack of health insurance, but that's what Obama's saying -- and Obama's the grand poobah. So Elijah Cummings goes out there and reports it, repeats it, and so forth and so on, and this is how these things become monstrous. Then the drive-bys pick it up, and, before you know it, 45,000 people a year -- 45,000 people a year are dying, dying, dying because -- and the Democrat Party is obsessed with death.
Life? No. Abortion, euthanasia -- liberty? No. Slavery, subordination to government, pursuit of happiness -- not possible. I've yet to meet a happy liberal. They're angry, deranged lunatics. They don't want to enjoy life.
In fact, according to the American Journal of Public Health, "[l]ack of health insurance leads to 45,000 excess deaths annually."
Limbaugh said his health care in Hawaii cost less than half the "average SUV" of the "average American family." On January 6, Limbaugh had the following exchange with a caller about health care and his treatment in Hawaii:
LIMBAUGH: It did not cost anywhere near $40,000.
LIMBAUGH: It cost less. Not -- it didn't even cost half what the average SUV owned by the average American family is.
LIMBAUGH: Now, you say that the average working man couldn't come up with a payment plan, couldn't afford this --
LIMBAUGH: -- because of the American lifestyle. You gotta have your mortgage, you gotta have a car, you gotta have this, that, and the other. And then you say -- then you say that this is why liberals are for health care, because they're compassionate. What you're saying is, you want me and other citizens to pay for your health care that you don't want to have to pay for. Who do you think is going to pay for it if you don't?
CALLER: But you're paying for it anyway by the people who are not insured anyway. The premiums that you're paying or if you had a traditional health --
LIMBAUGH: I don't -- I don't pay premiums. I purposely opt out of the health insurance system on --because of my own proclivities. I just don't want to be involved in a bureaucracy. I have no desire to have a government bureaucrat in the state or an insurance company bureaucrat deciding, getting in the way between my [sic] and my doctor. Now I know I'm very lucky in this, but it's something I've worked for.
CALLER: Yeah. But there's only --
LIMBAUGH: And then we could get to -- now it used to be that way for everybody in this country.
CALLER: But the system --
LIMBAUGH: It used to be until liberals got involved in this. When I was kid, went to the doctor, they sent a bill -- hospital sent a bill. Medicare, Medicaid come into play. All this -- the government creating HMOs -- thank you, Ted Kennedy -- prices start to skyrocket. There's no reason this had to happen. And there's no reason we can't go back to the way it was.
Limbaugh: "I'm providing leadership" by choosing to be "one of the 47 million uninsured." In January 7 comments on his treatment in Hawaii, Limbaugh stated:
LIMBAUGH: I'm one of the 47 million uninsured, and I'm -- look at me in one way, I'm providing leadership. I'm advocating a system get reformed so that people can afford it; that there be a relationship between the patient and the provider and the hospital without some middleman or two where people could actually afford it just as they're able to afford other services throughout our economy. The -- but you hear here that -- he's a multimillionaire -- only Limbaugh could afford that. That's such a misrepresentation of the truth.
I'll just tell you: If you can afford a car, you can afford what I did in the hospital. If you can afford a pretty expansive media room, you can afford what I spent in the hospital, and with all the tests and everything else. I just -- if you can afford an SUV, you could have gone to the hospital three or four times for what I had. It's just a matter of choice. It's just a matter of what you want to budget for and pay for. But, Rush, we gotta have a car to get to work, and we gotta have a house, and so on. Yeah, but everybody says they gotta have health care, too. But people don't prioritize it the way they do other things.
Limbaugh told caller who can't afford $6,000 to treat broken wrist: "Well, you shouldn't have broken your wrist." In August 2009, Limbaugh had the following exchange with a caller:
CALLER: If we pay for our health care ourselves, would it bring costs down?
LIMBAUGH: Yeah, it would, if -- with other -- yeah, if you get some other players out of the game, yeah -- of course.
CALLER: What do you mean by "other players"? I'm sorry.
LIMBAUGH: Government -- get the government out of it. Get the government -- their stupid regulations. Get the government out of Medicare. You -- look it, the only way that cost or price ratios make sense is based on the consumer's ability to pay. There has to be a direct relationship between the customer and the business at the surface.
CALLER: OK. I just broke my wrist and it's costing me $6,000. I can't afford that.
LIMBAUGH: Well, you shouldn't have broken your wrist.
CALLER: That's true.
LIMBAUGH: You know why it costs $6,000? Because you, technically, aren't paying for it. An insurance policy's paying for it, backed up by some government insurance policy, or what have you.
Limbaugh: "[T]here's no federal dog health care plan out there, and it's working just fine." Talking about a friend's puppy in June 2009, Limbaugh stated:
LIMBAUGH: The private sector is providing dog owners every option they want for their dogs to be cared for in a great way. And if you just want to park the dog in a kennel you can do that, too. If you want to go high end, you can do that. But it's all private sector. Now it's cheaper than human care, don't misunderstand. But you know how people are with their animals.
Limbaugh later said:
LIMBAUGH: Why go through this, all this list of options that a dog owner has for its health, for its well-being, and they're all in the private sector and there's no federal dog health care plan out there, and it's working just fine. And it's based on the dog owner's ability to pay. There's no insurance involved; some of them don't even take credit cards -- but it works.