Limbaugh: Who Cares If It's A Tax or a Penalty -- It's a Bad Law and We're Stuck With It

By Susan Jones | July 5, 2012 | 6:13 AM EDT

An early draft of the 2,000-plus-page health care bill. (AP Photo)

( - "What the heck does it matter" if Obamacare's individual mandate is called a tax or a penalty, Rush Limbaugh asked on his July 3 radio program. "You're wasting your time talking about whether it's a tax or a penalty," he insisted. "It's still Obamacare."

And unless conservatives and Republicans focus on the actual legislation -- "expose the law" -- they're going to lose in November, Limbaugh warned.

But the July 5 headlines included this from the Associated Press: "Romney calls Obama's health care requirement a tax."

In Limbaugh's words: "You can say it's a tax, but that's minuscule compared to what we need to be saying about it. Just as before the Supreme Court ruled, nothing has changed in terms of what this legislation is.  The court didn't change a thing.  It's still Obamacare.  It's still going to force everybody into inferior health care services at a higher price.  It still undermines the Constitution.  It is long lines.  It is red tape.  It's delays in care.  It's denials of coverage. Less cutting-edge drugs. Less money for investment into innovation.  It depletes Medicare.  It forces young people to pay into another entitlement they will rarely use.

"The key to this is explaining to people why this law is so bad from a health care perspective.  That's what this is about.  The people of this country are going to have to be told what this bill is, what survives, the substance of it.  And just as before the court ruled, as I say, folks, it's destroying the greatest health care system in the world."

Limbaugh said the Supreme Court ruling leaves Americans not only with Obamacare, but also with a "damaged Constitution."

"The brilliance of the United States Constitution is its timelessness," he said. "It applies to the human condition until eternity, because it is a document devoted to maintaining, proclaiming, and maintaining the freedom and liberty of the individual.  It's the greatest document of liberty and freedom ever written by human beings, and it is a target.  And it has just been dealt a very severe blow.  And to sit here and argue over whether what remains because of the Supreme Court ruling is a tax or a penalty is to lose the argument in November..."

Limbaugh said the Republican leadership is "clueless" in how to respond: "I think, folks, this is why Republicans and conservatives make no progress in pushing back massive government...They refuse to accept the reality of what's going on.  And so they try to dress it up.  They look for silver linings.  We're so used to defeat that we try to find a morsel somewhere in the defeat that will make us feel somewhat comfortable and secure, in the midst of huge defeat.  What we need to do -- and what everybody in that town needs to do -- is get fired up and furious even, and push back and find ways to win and beat this thing back into submission.

"I don't care what John Roberts said, I don't care what Romney's guy says, and I don't care what the argument ends up determining whether it's a tax or a penalty.  What are we gonna end up with?  We're gonna end up with massive transfers of wealth from individuals to the government.  Individual patients, doctors, hospitals, nurses, drug companies, it will smother innovation, which is the key to our medical system.  It'll turn our health care system into a federal DMV-like program. 

"All around us is evidence the government cannot administer anything, much less something this monstrous and big.  Despite that, people want to put all their faith and all of their hope in the notion that the government, populated now by a bunch of people who've never spent a day in the real world, in the private sector.  They know better. They have all the answers. They're the ones who can fix what's wrong, while we're in the midst of watching and living with them breaking everything, we want to say they're the ones to fix it?  It's insane."