On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh called people who support healthcare reform mentally disturbed. Citing a poll, where 51% of people supported government intervention in healthcare, Limbaugh said, “51% of the people in this poll are absolutely mentally disturbed.” According to Rush it is crazy to support healthcare reform.
Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:
Limbaugh said, “Just 37% believe the quality of care they receive will be better under Obama’s plan as compared to 53% who said their care would be superior if the status quo was maintained. One bright spot in the numbers for Obama, a slim majority, 51%, said the government intervention is necessary to control costs and expand coverage, so that’s 51% of the people in this poll who are absolutely mentally disturbed.”
He added a dose of fear mongering, “It is plain common sense to understand that government does not control costs, government does not expand coverage. People are going to die prematurely with the government in charge of all this.”
If the government doesn’t control costs and expand coverage, then how does Limbaugh explain Medicare, which is government run, and does a better job at managing costs than the private sector? Let’s turn this question around, if the private sector is the answer, then why are fewer people covered, while costs continue to increase by double digits?
Limbaugh’s “common sense” doesn’t stand up to closer inspection. If it is crazy to want millions of people to be able to see a doctor, then yes, I guess I am crazy. If it is mentally disturbed to want a healthcare system where people aren’t bankrupted by illness then I am guilty as charged. If it is mentally disturbed to desire a system that places patient care ahead of corporate profits, then call the men in the white coats.
My definition of mentally disturbed involves someone who is rich, isolated, and guided by ideology that they are incapable of caring about the fact that millions of their fellow citizens are suffering every day. The truly mentally disturbed are the people like Rush Limbaugh and congressional Republicans who are looking to deny people medical care in order to push their agenda.