Rush Limbaugh: "Pre-Existing Condition Coverage Is Not Insurance; It's Welfare"

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Yes, he really said that. He really, truly did, and it's a BFD. digby writes:

Although it sounds ridiculous, Rush is in the process of making his followers believe that the pre-existing condition provision in the health care reforms is something bad and shameful. The reason he's doing this, of course, is because this is the most popular piece of the bill and the one on which the rest of it hinges. If they can divide people on that, the repeal of the plan will be much easier.

Absolutely 100% on the money. The rest of the Affordable Care Act, along with any other proposal for reform like single payer or a public option hinges on one single provision: No exclusion for pre-existing conditions. So the Corpulent One knows that the only way to marshall support for complete repeal is to erode support for covering people with pre-existing conditions.

It drives me crazy now just as it did during the whole debate that there wasn't more focus on effective dates. Waiting until January 1, 2014 for the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions was risky and opens a window for a long, sustained attack. Whether they had passed Medicare for All, a robust public option as part of the overall bill, none of that, or all of that, the heart of the debate is over people who have pre-existing conditions, which are defined by insurers and have been broadened more and more over time. This is only one of many salvos which will be thrown over and over and over again.

digby, again:

People thought it was insane for Rush to say that he wanted the president to fail. But he held the line and made the GOP come crawling for even suggesting that he was wrong. And the party just became more and more radical. They don't see health care reform as sacred and they will feel absolutely no remorse about destroying it.

Here's what concerns me, no matter what side of the Medicare-for-All/SinglePayer/Public Option debate you are on: If they succeed at repealing the requirement to cover people with pre-existing conditions, there will be no possibility of modifying, adding, expanding, or creating a better health care program for this nation. It will all be privatized and Medicare will become a memory we had of our grandparents' day instead of our own.

This is a line they cannot cross.

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