Rush Limbaugh says he was treated to the best health care the world has to offer-Now the real story

Lessons of a weekend of free health care
The two-hour drive is done, but Hannah and Jack Hurst leave the Honda's engine running.

Hannah's prayers have brought them here. Now there's little to do but turn up the car's heat, get some sleep and wait for morning _ and a set of glass and metal doors to open.

Still, Hannah doesn't complain. The 26-year-old mother of three has waited "pretty much as long as I can remember" to escape the pain throbbing through her jaws. Jack lost his road construction job a year ago and health insurance is out of the question. If the answer to Hannah's misery lies behind those doors, what's 10 hours more?

Out in the dark, the Hursts have plenty of company. Even before 10 p.m. on this Friday in late fall, nearly 50 cars ring the lot. By 6 a.m. Saturday, more than 400 men and women stand tightlipped and bleary-eyed under the Big Dipper.

By day's end, as long as they keep tempers in check and sleep from their eyes, they will win the privilege of care from a dentist or a doctor.

In a country convulsed over health care, the scene is alarming. But it is always the same, Stan Brock says. For 17 years, Brock has piloted a nonprofit called Remote Area Medical, offering free health care to the uninsured, the underinsured and the desperate.

Brock has seen so many crowds like the one outside Union County High School he chides himself for losing track of whether this is RAM's 578th expedition or its 587th. Yet in every crowd, there are hundreds of Hannah Hursts, each a unique testament to the nation's ragged pursuit of health care answers.

No votes yet

four short legislative bills would help alot . The 2000 page Senate bill adds 100 s of new regulations , complexites , mandates, committees, over 100 new boards . There is no flow or unity in it

What we're getting is a corporate controlled health care system. A system controlled by both parties against us. Too much muck muck not enough cost containment or competition. Just more of the same.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

dont know if this is real or not, but sure would be nice at this point

Gimme a break.....

The link is broken Wolfie, so I can't see the whole story. Construction worker dad lost his job a year ago, but mom has had the pain for as long as she can remember. Health insurance is out of the question? Why? I was laid off in late 2005, just after our first child was born. COBRA was too expensive, but we found insurance thru Blue Cross. Catastrophic ($5000 deductible) for us, well baby care for him, and prescription for all. Less than $300/month. We had to cut some niceities out while I was out of work, but health insurance was a priority.

It's all about priorities. Does she smoke? Watch cable TV? Text on their cell phones from the parking lot? We've been conditioned to think we can have it all, even when times are tough. There probably was an inexpensive way for this woman to have her teeth taken care of without living in pain for as long as she could remember. But it might have meant sacrifice on her part. Sacrifice she wasn't willing to make.

Long story short, she wasn't denied access to health care when she decided that it was important enough. It wasn't as nice as Rush Limbaugh got, to be certain. But she wasn't out on the street, being told no either.

"...I can't see the whole story. Construction worker dad lost his job a year ago, but mom has had the pain for as long as she can remember. Health insurance is out of the question? Why?"

If mom had the pain "for as long as she can remember," that's a "pre-existing condition," and unless she had continuous coverage, new insurance won't cover it. If they're in the individual market, she's probably un-insurable.

"There probably was an inexpensive way for this woman to have her teeth taken care of without living in pain for as long as she could remember. But it might have meant sacrifice on her part. Sacrifice she wasn't willing to make."

This is classic Randian-conservative thinking. If a person can't afford basics like food or health care, it must be because of some moral failing on that person's part. You see, if she was a better person, she could have addressed the problems with her teeth, or been able to afford dental care. This is simply the Market-God punishing another sinner. What a comforting fable!

"COBRA was too expensive"

WHAT??? Cobra? Too expensive?? You should have just cut out some of the niceties--like clothing for the little one. Maybe just eat some bread everyday. Maybe instead of breathing in all that O2, you should cut back to some O1. How about walk to work. Oh that's right, you were laid off!! Well, you should have gotten a better education. Maybe go get a loan, and go be a Wall St trader. You know, MAKE SOMETHING of yourself. What a loser!


Pink Slip

COBRA doesn't work since the core problem remains: Health insurance is too expensive. COBRA merely allows you to pay the ENTIRE insurance premium. For the Toledo area, the average premium paid by a company for one employee's coverage is $500/mo.

Employer-provided health insurance has hidden the real problem for years. We should get rid of the tax breaks that companies rely on, for it. Once we do that, it should dry up and blow away, leaving Americans facing the truth of the matter. Once done, the huge number of suddenly uninsured will clamor for lower costs, and their cash will enforce that.

Insurance, like credit, drives up costs. GET RID OF IT.

COBRA is too expensive?

But wait! COBRA was a Democrat idea. Authored by Ted Kennedy.

"During his Senate career, Ted Kennedy authored more than 2,500 bills, hundreds of which became law. One of his accomplishments was the bipartisan co-sponsorship of the COBRA act, which allows employees to keep their health insurance after losing their jobs. Regardless of your political orientation, it’s tough to dispute that Ted Kennedy improved the lives of working Americans. For that, we salute him."

Now Democrats want this inept body of Congress to do the same to everything related to Healthcare?

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

"But wait! COBRA was a Democrat idea. Authored by Ted Kennedy."

...and signed into law by your hero Ronald Reagan. But wait!! Oh my gosh!!

Just imagine what Ronaldus Magnus could have done with a solid majority in the House and a veto-proof majority in the Senate.... 2010 will start the swing, and with a solid conservative in 2012 it can be done!

"veto-proof majority in the Senate" takes 67 votes in the Senate to have a veto-proof majority.

Pink Slip

I don't know, would it have looked anything like the Bush Administration while Republicans controlled Congress? Weren't that president and Congress "solid conservatives?" What exactly did they do to address our health care woes?

Deregulation, tax cuts and military buildups won't fix health care, and those seem to be the only implements in the conservative toolbelt.

I have yet to see an idea the Dems have proposed that would fix healthcare yet they seem inclinded to spend billions on it.

Everything they've proposed will ONLY lay the tracks for eventual single payer.


Ah, I learned a lot from that short period.... I didn't need Cadillac health care, I needed something that provided the basics. COBRA was more than my family needed. In fact, if my employer (the same one who laid me off) offered a plan that allowed me to keep more of what I earned in exchange for a higher deductible, I'd go for it. But thanks for chiming in. I'll go back to watching my HDTV out here in the suburbs now, since my employer realized that they couldn't do it without me, and asked me to come back at higher pay. It's nice to have skills and options, rather than a seniority number and a payscale based on the lowest productivity.

Burbs--that's great to hear that the fluffer business is back on it's feet (so to speak).

Pink Slip

Limbaugh’s Union-Hospital, Employer-Mandate, Standardized-Plan Dream For The American Health System

I don’t think Rush Limbaugh realized at the time what a colossal blunder his “I don’t think there’s one thing wrong with the American health care system” comment would turn out to be. And it all comes down to the fact that he was vacationing in Hawaii, which really doesn’t have a health care system with the same features as the American health care system. For one, they have a strong employer mandate that has led to the lowest premium prices in the country:

Hawaii’s health care system is distinct from the rest of the country, in that they passed a version of health reform decades ago, in 1974. The Hawaii Pre-Paid Health Care Act includes a requirement for employers to provide health coverage to their workers. As you may know, a similar requirement on large employers is a key part of the reform now pending in Congress.

And the employer requirement seems, by and large, to have succeeded. It has increased coverage–just under 8 percent of the state’s population is uninsured, second only to Massachusetts–and access to care. At the same time, Hawaii still has some of the lowest health care costs in the nation, despite its high cost of living and without an apparent decrease in quality–as Limbaugh himself discovered.

fact, Hawaii’s system goes FURTHER than the efforts in the House and Senate to mandate employer responsibility, without complicated Rube Goldberg contraptions that lead to things like the “free rider” problem in the Senate bill. This has not killed jobs on the island and has led to far lower costs.

Hawaii also forces its employers to choose one of a few standardized insurance packages, which feature low co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses.

Hawaii is effectively tied with North Dakota for having the lowest average employer provided insurance premiums and has the lowest employee contribution toward premiums in the country. This is a very impressive accomplishment for a variety of reasons. First, Hawaii basically has the highest cost of living in America. Almost everything except health care costs dramatically more in Hawaii, compared with the mainland. Second, because of the “Prepaid Health Care Act,” the average quality of the employer-provided insurance in Hawaii is substantially greater than the rest of the country. Finally, Hawaii is the state with the second lowest level of uninsured people. None of the other ten states with the lowest level of uninsured are also in the top ten for lowest average single coverage employer health insurance premiums. Based on all metrics (cost, cost growth rate, quality, coverage, life expectancy, etc.), Hawaii has probably the best health care system in the country.

The real world evidence from this country and others points to some clear solutions. Mandating only a few (or one) precisely defined, high-quality, low-cost-sharing benefits packages would help keep costs down. It reduces administrative overhead, helps prevent insurance companies from gaming the system, allows true apple-to-apple comparison shopping, and encourages people to seek early treatment (the more cost-effective kind). Providing everyone with actual high-quality, affordable health insurance is not just morally the right thing to do, but also makes strong financial sense.


Limbaugh stayed at Queen’s Medical Center, where nursing staff are represented by the Hawaii Nurses’ Association (read: a labor union). The nurses at Queen’s are protected by their contract, which adheres to the ANA’s safe-staffing principles guaranteeing appropriate staffing levels for any patient care unit.

In fact, Hawaii has one of the greatest percentages of organized workers of any state and also had the highest percentage of organized RNs. All private-sector acute care hospital RNs are organized, with just two known exceptions. We’re guessing this might have something to do with why Limbaugh found the Hawaii hospital staff’s work so “confidence-inspiring.”

When Limbaugh was released from Queen’s Medical Center, he cheerily noted, “The treatment I received here was the best that the world has to offer.”

Whether he realized it or not, Limbaugh was praising the care he received from union nurses in one of the country’s most progressive health care systems. On behalf of the labor movement and health reform advocates everywhere, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT, Rush!

many conservatives have no problem with state healthcare reform.

Hell I have absolutely no problem with the Mass reform at all. I just don't want a national system which is what the Dems are clearly trying to eventually push.


Imagine putting these people in charge of your health records. Imagine the HIPAA violations. Imagine the cluster #$%^ it would be.

Hell, how can they protect YOU when they can't even protect the President FROM THREE WHITE HOUSE PARTY CRASHERS.

"WASHINGTON - The third gatecrasher at November's White House state dinner turns out to be a local event planner who got in with members of the Indian delegation, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

The third person who got into the party for India's prime minister without being on the guest list was Carlos Allen, who runs an event facility called Hush Galleria in the nation's capital, according to this U.S. official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the incident and spoke anonymously."

Put these people in charge of 'No Fly Lists'? Put these people in charge of your private health records? Put these people in charge of your healthcare decisions?


Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

"Imagine putting these people in charge of your health records. Imagine the HIPAA violations. Imagine the cluster #$%^ it would be. Hell, how can they protect YOU when they can't even protect the President FROM THREE WHITE HOUSE PARTY CRASHERS."

I wasn't aware that the plan was to put the Secret Service in charge of keeping health records.

Since we still seem to be having a national freakout over some loser who got on a plane with a bomb in his underwear, which was apparently worthy of a presidential address, it might be a good idea to put the actual danger posed by terrorist attacks in some numerical perspective.

If you count the Ft. Hoot shooting as a terrorist attack, which even the likes of Pantload doesn’t, 16 people have died in the United States as result of terrorism in 2009. The other three deaths include the Little Rock military recruiting office shooting (1), the Holocaust Museum shooting (1), and Dr. George Tiller’s assassination (1), the last two coming at the hands of right-wing extremists.

On the other hand, 45,000 Americans died because they didn’t have health insurance and 600 died from salmonella poisoning.

Clearly, providing health care to all Americans is beyond our capabilities, so when do we launch the $700 billion-a-year War on Salmonella?

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

I think you make a great point wolfman. The domestic dangers imposed by foreign terrorists to American is infinitesimal. And it's laughable the amount of money & lives we waste to battle this very small danger. Consider all of the domestic issues we could address with the money & effort given to this bogus "War On Terror!" (education, healthcare, infrastructure, jobs, giving money back to tax payers, etc.)

Pink Slip

Had the bomber been successful he would have taken 270 lives. He was about 1 centimeter from that goal.

One centimeter for 270 lives.

Lives taken not because they didn't want to pay for healthcare or get an education for a job that would include it as a benefit. But one centimeter.

One centimeter for 270 lives.

Not due to bacteria or a disease or mentally disturbed person. but one centimeter.

I bet had he gotten that one centimeter many from Toledo would have lost someone they knew. Would those loved ones be whiners then?

Makes you wonder if tomorrow will you be saved or lost due to one centimeter.

To me much of the healthcare debate is a parallel to the terrorism debate. Some will do what it takes to be ok. Some just do what it takes to get by. Some can't do what it takes Some just won't.


Sorry, but your "one centimeter" doesn't match up well with the 45,000 ACTUAL deaths that occur every year due to lack of health insurance.

Pink Slip

Did anyone actually read the whole article that wolfman linked?

I did - had a link to the same story the other day.  It also ran in several other news outlets as an AP wire story.

Here's some excerpts from the entire article, not just the sad story clipped here about Hannah Hurst:


Daniel Drake’s blood pressure came in at an eye-popping 200/120. He chalks it up to an energy drink and leaves happy when a pill brings it down enough to get his tooth fixed. But Dr. Alan Weder, a Michigan researcher volunteering for the weekend, shakes his head.

“If that’s the way he’s walking around, his risk of having a heart attack or a stroke in the next five years is probably 20 to 30 percent,” Weder says. “And that’s for want of 30 cents in medicine.”

Comprehensive insurance could resolve the patient cost dilemma, Weder says. But the problems go beyond that.

Weder notices many patients who say they can’t afford basic prescriptions — now carried by discounters for as little as $4 a month — have cigarettes in their shirt pockets that cost more than the pills.

When Kevin D’Angelo, a dentist from upstate New York who’s volunteered at more than 20 RAM expeditions, asks patients what they drink, the most common answer is Mountain Dew, often five or six cans a day. The only way to get teeth as bad as some he sees, D’Angelo says, is almost never to have brushed at all.

Limbaugh admits addiction to pain medication Limbaugh:
Limbaugh: "I am addicted to prescription pain medication."
Rush Limbaugh admits his addiction to painkillers
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(CNN) -- Rush Limbaugh announced on his radio program Friday that he is addicted to pain medication and that he is checking himself into a treatment center immediately.

"You know I have always tried to be honest with you and open about my life," the conservative commentator said in a statement on his nationally syndicated radio show.

"I need to tell you today that part of what you have heard and read is correct. I am addicted to prescription pain medication."

Law enforcement sources said last week that Limbaugh's name had come up during an investigation into a black market drug ring in Palm Beach County, Florida. The sources said that authorities were looking into the illegal sale of the prescription drugs OxyContin and hydrocodone.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Just to throw out some info you prob are unaware of regarding Oxycontin.

We even have a billboard in Toledo south of Jackman and Laskey (on Jackman) proclaiming "Oxycontin sucks" and promoting alternative treatment.

The manufacturers of Oxycontin were fined 634.5 million dollars. The FDA found that the manufacturer "trained its sales force to represent to health care providers that OxyContin did not cause euphoria and was less addictive than immediate-release opiates; and allowed health care providers to entertain the erroneous belief that OxyContin was less addictive than morphine."

It's dangerous stuff with no warning back then about its powerful addiction.

SEVEN year old story about Rush which doesn't even prove any point(?)

First I want to say that we should never forget that the government is an entity that can run itself at a loss and raise taxes BY ENACTING TAXATION LEGISLATION. That is NOT fair competition between a public option and the private sector. And I believe it's TOTALLY RIDICULOUS that the Congress plans to thrust a system on the American public while reserving a "special" system for themselves!! Do you REALLY think they have our best interests at heart??

YES, our healthcare system needs reform, but seriously, do you want it run by the same people who run the BMV, DHS, USPC, Social Security, ETC think it's 'bad' now---you'll get what you ask for if it passes. We get some cobbled together ObamaCare Confusion. I WANT CONGRESS CADILLAC PLAN!

We don't throw out the best system in the world to "try and 'cover' everyone, when it won't even cover everyone and won't even start until 2015!!! We will lose many freedoms including our privacy to our medical records.

I suggest:
1. Portability. Insurance companies can compete across state lines and if your job changes or you move you can keep your current ins. Right now you can only buy from the state you live in and they ususally only have about 2 ins companies. NO competetion for your buck. The Great State of Texas has done this and they went from 2 to 17 insurance companies and premimiums dropped 70%---THEY WANT YOUR BUSINESS....ITS CALLED COMPETITION PEOPLE.
2. Litigation Reform: Many unnecessary tests ordered because of fear of litigation...put a cap on awards and make the "victim" pay attorney fees. MS and TX passed legal reforms and insurance premimiums have dropped as much as 30%.
There are so many free govt (Tax payer supported) programs out there already...look at my post on SCHIP program!!! It is well recognized that govt run programs are FILLED with WASTE AND think healthcare is expensive now....and WE ALL will pay.....even the ones on the taxpayers dole.

As a sidenot,e a friend from Scotland came to visit here. Told us last year he had gone to the ER there after awakening with a semi-paralyzed right side. Shuffled into ER dragging his left leg "It appears you have had a stroke." They gave him some pills and an appt in SIX WEEKS!!!! Guess thats cost cutting. Maybe they thought he would die before his next appt.
We all willcover illegal aliens also...but that's another post.

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.-Ben Franklin

The point is to refute Sarah's post. Rich or poor we have a certain percentage of the population that abuse their health. Some smoke some drink pop, some are overweight, and some abuse drugs. Oxycontin abuse destroys the body in many ways causing many health problems which is dumped on the health care system.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

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