Rush Limbaugh Talks Obamacare With VP Pence: “This Is The Moment, Now Is the Time”

RUSH: A bonus on the program today. We welcome back the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence. I’m so flattered you can carve some time out for us today, Mr. Vice President. I know you’ve gotta be swamped.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: (chuckles)

RUSH: Welcome back to the program.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Rush Limbaugh, the honor is all mine. Thanks for having me back on.

RUSH: You bet. I guess the first place to start here — and there’s so many places. I could ask you about the meeting with Putin and so forth. But really, I think, in the forefront of people’s minds right now is health care and the status of the bill in the Senate. And, you know, the overriding question: “How in the world can it be this hard when it seemed easy when Obama was in the White House?” All of these repeal bills were voted on — with the knowledge that he would veto them, of course. But where does this stand now? Is this…? If this doesn’t get done, this has consequences I don’t even want to contemplate.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, look, it has to get done, Rush. Obama is putting a tremendous burden on working families, on small businesses, on the American economy. Every single promise that President Obama made to get Obamacare passed has been broken. You remember them. You’ve covered them better than anybody else. “If you like your insurance, you can keep it.” You know, that wasn’t true. You know, “If you like your doctor, you can keep ’em.” That wasn’t true. That if they adopted Obamacare, the cost of health insurance would go down. We’ve seen the cost of health insurance rise in every state across the country, in some cases 200% and more.

Families are hurting; Congress must act. The House of Representatives has done its job. And in the coming days, the president and I are absolutely determined to roll our sleeves up and work with the men and women in the Republican majority in the Senate, and pass legislation that will repeal and replace Obamacare — and set our nation’s health care back on a pathway built on respect for the doctor-patient relationship, free-market values, and the belief that states are the laboratories of innovation and reform and allow our states to reform Medicaid in ways that will best meet the needs of our most vulnerable.

RUSH: So where are the obstacles? I know you don’t want to name names.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: (chuckles)

RUSH: It would be helpful if you did, but I know you won’t. But what are the obstacles? We’ve got 52 votes plus yours if necessary, if it comes down to that. But I hearken back: The way you just laid it out, what is so complicated? How could anybody disagree with what you just said?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I think it’s always in the details. And, look, you know, there’s that old says, Rush, “You know, if you like sausage, you don’t go where they make it,” right? (chuckling) If you like lawmaking, don’t go where they make it in Washington, D.C. It’s tough. I mean, Obamacare is literally imploding before our eyes. I mean, you have large areas of the country where people are down to only one choice in insurance. In some cases, people have no choice in health insurance as a direct result of the collapsing failure of Obamacare. And so the challenges have to do with the complexity of this disastrous policy launch, and the best way for us to turn this national policy back in the direction of freedom. But it all begins with elements of this bill. Remember, while this legislation doesn’t do everything that we ultimately want to do… The president’s committed to ultimately allowing Americans to buy health insurance across state lines, the way they buy life insurance, the way they buy car insurance.

RUSH: Nobody’s talking about that. That’s a great point because nobody is talking about it.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

RUSH: That’s so far down the road, it’s not even in the Cruz amendment.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Right. We have to do it, but the reality is the budget rules that we’re using to pass this bill with just 51 votes don’t allow us to make that kind of a substantive change in the law, but the president’s absolutely committed to it. But in this legislation, Rush, we accomplished enormous things. Remember seven years ago when you were covering day in and day out when Obamacare became law, to me the most onerous aspect of Obamacare — the most onerous to you and millions of your listeners — was the federal government for the first time ordered the American people to buy health insurance whether they want it or need it or not.

That’s not a policy built on the American principle of freedom, that a government mandates every American buy it, saying, “You have to buy health insurance or you have to pay a tax penalty to the government.” That goes away in the bill that’s before the United States Senate and the one that already passed the House. The mandate goes away. The tax increases go away. Medicaid goes back to the states for the purposes of reform. Health savings accounts are greatly expanded so that people can become consumers in their own health care choices.

But to your question: What’s standing in the way is just obviously every member of Congress has their own opinion, and this administration — as we did with the House of Representatives — is determined to work with each member to address their needs. But we are very close, Rush. If I had one message (chuckles) for your tens of millions of listeners around America, it is: “This is the moment; now is the time.”

If you’re one of those Americans who wants to see Obamacare repealed and replaced, we literally are days or maybe just weeks away from being able to accomplish that historic objective. But it’s gonna take every American within the sound of my voice who wants to see us start over on health care reform built on freedom and federalism and state-based reform to let their voice be heard. Let their elected officials know where they stand. And the president and I and our whole team are gonna continue to work with the Senate, and I think we’re gonna get it done.

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