On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh proclaimed that he too is one of America’s 47 million uninsured, and that he is providing leadership by demonstrating how cheap healthcare really is. Limbaugh said, “ If you can afford a pretty expansive media room, you can afford what I spent in the hospital.”
Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:
Limbaugh said, “I realize I’m on a tough challenge here, and probably going to lose it because we’ve had 50 years to establish a mindset which basically has most people believing that healthcare should not cost anything or it should cost very little, and when somebody comes along like me, and accepts responsibility for paying for it, look I am 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 their be a relationship the patient, the provider, and the hospital, without some middle man or two, where people could actually afford it just as they’re able to afford other services throughout our economy.”
Limbaugh made the argument that healthcare is actually cheap, “You hear here that multimillionaire, only Limbaugh could afford it, 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. If you can afford an SUV, could have gone to the hospital 3 or 4 times for what I, it’s just a matter of choice, what you want to budget for and pay for, Rush we got to have a car to get to work, and we got to have a house, yeah but everybody says they got to have healthcare too. The people don’t prioritize it the way they do other things.”
Rush Limbaugh is so out of touch with reality that he believes that people who don’t have health insurance are spending their money instead on things like a pretty nice media room, or a car. The vast majority of the uninsured don’t have the money to spend on a car or a media room. Not everybody has tens of thousands of dollars laying around like Rush does.
While Limbaugh may technically be one of the 47 million people in the United States who do not have health insurance, he is the exception, not the norm. Limbaugh can afford to be uninsured because he has the money to pay for healthcare out of pocket. The healthcare system would seem affordable to anyone who makes the kind of money that Limbaugh does.
Rush Limbaugh is not the typical American, and he in no way represents the struggles that the uninsured go through every day. It isn’t a matter of priorities and budgeting when a person with a preexisting condition can’t get affordable coverage.
It isn’t a choice when a person can’t afford their insurance premiums. Limbaugh doesn’t get the fact that people aren’t choosing between health insurance and media rooms. The choice is between food and medication. The choice is health care bills and your home. His kind of “leadership” is the last thing that uninsured Americans should want or need.