Rush Slams Republicans, Irresponsible Corporations Over Drug Plan

Rush Limbaugh is 76% the man he used to be. Al Franken did him a world of good by publishing Rush Limbaugh is A Big Fat Liar. Since Al had him on the lying part, the only way Rush could counter the title was to lose weight. It's to his credit that he did - he's gained years onto his life, and he's got Al Franken to thank for the strong motivation to do so.

Something else seems to have changed about Rush: he's more open about his commitment to his core memes. They take precedent even over groups that Rush has always supported lockstep. Consider this recent transcript from his site:

76% of Seniors have Prescription Drug Coverage

...76% of seasoned citizens today already have [b]some form of prescription drug coverage[/b]. Did you know that? No, you didn't. And why didn't you? Because it's being suppressed. Well, it has leaked out. I ran into it on National Review Online. 76% of American seniors already have some form of prescription drug coverage. All this you've heard about this being a pressing entitlement, it's either dog food or medicine, or it's starvation or medicine, have you heard this? It's BS.
Rush refers to Deroy Murdock's August 19 article, Great Society II?, for this statistic. Regretably, Deroy offers no support of the statistic, so there it stands. However, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare has a PDF position paper on prescription drug coverage, which states, (a)pproximately 30 percent of seniors currently have no outpatient prescription drug coverage, and those with coverage are at risk of losing it. Since neither Rush nor Deroy make the distinction of outpatient coverage, this must be where the 76% figure comes from. If a person is in the hospital and the insurance pays for aspirin, they've got prescription drug coverage according to Rush.

No mention is made of the serious limits, copayments, or deductibles present in most plans.

How important is this meme to Rush? He actually implicates the Republicans in this "pandering" to seniors, not as long and loud as the Democrats, mind you, but it's there. Why is this being done? says Rush: Votes. We're creating an entitlement. Both parties are guilty of this- I hate to say it - for the express purpose of convincing the largest voting bloc in this country, American seasoned citizens, that they care about them. Has Rush missed the memo? Republicans control the Congress. They must work with the Democrats because they don't have a 2/3rd majority, but it's the Republicans in charge who bear the major responsiblity for this proposed legislation, and Rush tacitly acknowledges this in his rush to defeat it.

Rush goes on to knock the companies that are threatening to dump their retirees into the federal system.
(C)orporations have many retirees that they are still funding on their health care programs. Part of those programs include prescription drugs. These companies are going to tell these retirees, hey, we've enjoyed having you, you were great, but now that Medicare is handling this, we're not going to fund this anymore, and that's going to drive people that are very happy with their retired health care programs right into Medicare, against their wishes. But Ford Motor Company, for example, will save $50 million a year by shuffling people out of their health program and onto this Medicare entitlement. So, you know, there's an equal amount of, I don't want to say blame, but responsibility for who's driving this.
Why doesn't he want to say Blame? Isn't that what Responsibility means? If something good happens, the person with responsibility gets the credit, and if something bad, the blame. Corporations with no sense of responsiblity to their former employees are seeking the bottom line, and helping craft a re-election bill for Republicans. The only surprising thing is that Rush is the one passing on the information!

A group Rush doesn't knock are the pharmecuetical companies. Come on, Rush! These guys must be salivating over the huge federal teat that's teeming with tax dollars for their stockholders. But the pharms escape Rush's newfound moderation. Maybe that's because the 30% of seniors with no outpatient coverage pay substantially more for outpatient prescription drugs as do individuals with coverage (from the NCTPSSM position paper). Does Rush have any ties to the pharmecuetical companies that I don't know about?

Then there's also President Bush. Rush won't say it, but Deroy jumps right in: To prevent Bush from using this surgical-strength legislation to convert compassionate conservatism into Great Society II, pro-market congressmen should pull the plug on this measure and start anew. Whoa! "To prevent Bush?" No wonder Bush needs $200 million to get re-elected, if the National Review is hammering him for trying to get votes! They've got Rush Limbaugh laying down rails for a backtrack on Bush, because if this passes, it has Bush written all over it. It's the epitome of big government, and this is something that isn't on Rush's agenda. Bush is reaching for a centerpiece of his 2004 campaign, and Rush is getting as close as he can today to condemning the move, using language fit for a progressive pundit!

As much as he can stomach of it. That was ear surgery he had last year, right?