RUSH: We welcome to our program Dr. Arthur Laffer, ladies and gentlemen, who has prepared a research paper on the Obama health care plan. I’ve admired your work, Dr. Laffer, ever since I first heard of you back in the late seventies, early eighties. It’s great to have you here.
LAFFER: Well, thank you very much, Rush. It’s a pleasure.
RUSH: By the way, I want to share something with you. You may not know this, but you are partially responsible for Obama becoming a community organizer, from chapter 7, page 54 of his book, Dreams from My Father: ‘There wasn’t much detail to the idea of community organizer. I didn’t know anybody making a living that way. When classmates in college asked me just what it was that a community organizer did, I couldn’t answer them directly instead I’d pronounce on the need for change, change in the White House where Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds.’
RUSH: You were a minion doing dirty deeds.
LAFFER: A minion? Minion, minion! Oh, my gosh!
LAFFER: I don’t know if you remember, Rush, but I was on your show in studio in Sacramento, California, many, many years ago.
RUSH: Oh, that’s right. You know, you’re exactly right.
LAFFER: You impressed me enormously then as well as today.
RUSH: Well, I thank you very much for that. It’s mutual, then. I have a summary here of your findings. Let me just run through a couple bullet points and then you can take it and expand on this. ‘The current proposals being discussed in Washington, House and Senate, would raise the total federal government expenditures by 5.6% more than otherwise, adding $285.6 billion to the deficit in 2019, would increase national health care spenders by an additional 8.9%. After all this, it would still leave 30 million Americans uninsured.’ Fill in the blanks here for us.
LAFFER: Well, you know, it’s a fairly straightforward thing. Without going through the specific numbers — although I’d be more than happy to do that — you know, whenever you separate people from the purchases they make… If you walked into a store and weren’t told what anything cost and you could pick out whatever you wanted free, you’re going to be squanders, you’re going to buy things that are way too expensive that you don’t want. I mean, one of the ways controlling costs is making people responsible for their own money, for their own expenditures and that is exactly what this program does not do. It makes the separation between the patient and the doctor and health services further and further removed, and takes away all control of costs. And, frankly, as P.J. O’Rourke put it, he said, ‘If you think health care is expensive now, just wait ’til you see how much it costs when it’s free,’ and that’s exactly what we’re doing here.
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