Should Rush Limbaugh Be Denied Health Insurance Coverage?

Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh | Source

Sandra Fluke testified before Congress on February 23, 2012 that not having contraception covered on her student health plan at Georgetown University caused her and her fellow students a potentially dangerous financial burden. Georgetown covers contraception under its employees' insurance plans, but not its students.

Right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh caused a media frenzy by responding to Fluke's testimony, characterizing Fluke as a "slut" and a "prostitute". The characterization was made based on Fluke's testimony that the financial burden for her and fellow students could be as much as $1,000/year. Limbaugh's interpretation of Fluke's request was that Fluke was asking that private insurers pay for her and her fellow students to have a lot of sex and that people who have that much sex are sluts and prostitutes.

However, if personal choices are going to be the barometer for what is and isn't covered in insurance plans and we're going to deny coverage to people for certain things based on objectionable, dangerous, or immoral behavior, perhaps it's Rush Limbaugh who should be denied insurance coverage. After all, Limbaugh is overweight, a smoker, and a former prescription drug-addict - all choices that lead to increased risk of medical intervention. In fact, one might argue that Limbaugh's choices raise the insurance premiums on those of us who do not engage in such risky behaviors considerably more than Sandra Fluke's choices.

Rush Limbaugh and his supporters are making this argument:

Insurance coverage should be denied to those who engage in immoral behavior or whose actions put them at increased risk of insurance claims.

This argument is embodied with the following statement, which virtually everyone who supports Limbaugh has made:

I shouldn't have to pay for somebody else to have sex.

Fair enough. In other words, those of us who are opposed to a particular activity should not be made to pay for those who wish to engage in that activity. The way those of us who are opposed to that activity pay for others is through insurance premiums which go up as the coverage widens to include things such as contraception.

Now let's review Rush Limbaugh's lifestyle choices (and by inference, every person on the planet who makes choices similar to Limbaugh):

  1. Has been married four times.
  2. Admitted in 2003 to being addicted to prescription pain-killers.
  3. Had Viagra confiscated on his return from the Dominican Republic in 2006. The prescription was not in his name.
  4. Cigar smoker.
  5. Wine drinker.
  6. Overweight.

Rush Limbaugh comic (CC-BY 2.0)
Rush Limbaugh comic (CC-BY 2.0) | Source

Based on Rush Limbaugh's own arguments, these six behaviors more than form the basis for denial of insurance coverage. Since he's been married four times, he obviously can't keep a commitment and doesn't have much regard for the sanctity of marriage espoused in the Bible. Since he's, at best, a former user of illegal drugs, he's at an increased risk for a variety of health problems and my insurance premiums shouldn't be used to subsidize such behavior whether it's occurring now or in the past. Nobody forced him to use these drugs.

Viagra is frequently covered under many insurance plans. I don't think I should have to pay for Rush Limbaugh, or any old man, to have sex. Cigar smoking increases the liklihood of various forms of cancer, so I shouldn't have to pay for that either. Rush Limbaugh drinks wine and alcohol causes liver damage, so I don't want to pay for him to drink. Finally, Rush Limbaugh is fat, so my insurance premiums are subsidizing his over-eating. This is entirely unfair.

This leaves one of two options, as far as I can tell. Either insurers must deny coverage to people who behave in ways similar to Rush Limbaugh so that the rest of us don't have to subsidize their behavior with our insurance premiums or people must be charged insurance rates according to their behaviors, in which case, insurance companies will need to know virtually everything about a person's life in order to properly charge them for health insurance. As I think virtually everyone on the planet would oppose being scrutinized by insurance companies this way, only the first option makes any sense. Thus, the following people should be ineligible for health insurance:

  1. Fat people
  2. Smokers
  3. Divorced folks
  4. Drinkers
  5. Old men who can't get it up
  6. People with pre-existing conditions contracted as the result of a behavioral choice
  7. Fast drivers (more likely to have an accident)
  8. Rush Limbaugh

There are obviously many other people who will need to be denied health insurance like people who keep squirrels as pets and those who eat disgusting foods like zucchini. Regardless, it should be abundantly clear to any logical human being that Rush Limbaugh, and anybody who behaves like him, should not be allowed to have health insurance.

Should Rush Limbaugh Be Allowed to Have Health Insurance?

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Limbaugh vs. Fluke
Limbaugh vs. Fluke | Source

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Comments 25 comments

Theanti Sklansky 4 years ago from San Clemente, California

1. Too bad crank doesn't know that Rush doesn't have health insurance, he pays cash.

2. Crankalicious apparently doesn't know that the only auto insurance that is mandatory is liability insurance for when you are at fault. It doesn't have anything to do with subsidies.

3. Sandra Fluke is a sockpuppet for the Obama administration and the DNC, and when the heat got turned up she tried to lie her way out of her very clear comments and claim she wasn't talking about herself.

4. Her claim that contraception for 3 years at law school costs an entire summer's salary is nonsense. It can be had for free in any community large enough to house a school that doesn't want to provide it.

5. When she starts here 150k+ a year starting salary after graduating from lawschool she can donate to Planned Parenthood and pay for the losers who refuse to accept personal responsibility for anything.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

"Rush Limbaugh drinks wine and alcohol causes liver damage, so I don't want to pay for him to drink. Finally, Rush Limbaugh is fat, so my insurance premiums are subsidizing his over-eating. This is entirely unfair."

You will correct very soon. When we are coerced into a single-payer system, you will be paying for these things. Today, thankfully, you can opt to buy a policy from a company that doesn't put you in a pool with people who take part in such activities.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

"There is no "no cost" component here. If the insurance companies cover something, they raise premiums across the board to cover it."

Then you should be really mad at BHO. He speechified that empowered women would be getting the stuff for free.


crankalicious profile image

crankalicious 4 years ago from Colorado Author

"owning a Corvette" is an illogical conclusion from the statement I made.

Auto insurance is mandatory. If it weren't, the rates for those who had auto insurance would skyrocket because so many people on the road would be driving without it and nobody would be able to afford it. The same goes for medical insurance. Those who can afford it are paying outrageous rates and it's become unaffordable for many. Making coverage mandatory will drive down rates for everyone and it will drive down medical costs as well because the massive number of people who now don't have coverage will be able to afford preventive care.


crankalicious profile image

crankalicious 4 years ago from Colorado Author

No, that's not the argument. The argument is that one group of people should not have to pay for the choices made by another group of people, but that same group of people subsidize Rush Limbaugh's choices through their insurance premiums. There is no "no cost" component here. If the insurance companies cover something, they raise premiums across the board to cover it.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

"The reasons for health insurance and auto insurance are effectively the same: making coverage mandatory is ultimately better for everyone because it drives down costs and protects society."

So... owning a Corvette should also be mandatory.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 4 years ago from Ohio, USA

"in fact, one might argue that Limbaugh's choices raise the insurance premiums on those of us who do not engage in such risky behaviors considerably more than Sandra Fluke's choices.

Rush Limbaugh and his supporters are making this argument:"

Hardly. The argument is that the government proposes to obligate private insurers to provide specific services for customers, ostensibly at 'no cost.'


crankalicious profile image

crankalicious 4 years ago from Colorado Author

The reasons for health insurance and auto insurance are effectively the same: making coverage mandatory is ultimately better for everyone because it drives down costs and protects society.

My understanding is that if you can't afford health insurance under the new law, the government will provide it.


fjones0052 profile image

fjones0052 4 years ago from Washington State

@sooner28. Thank you for your response. Having read the transcripts of all except the .../butt_ (the link was broken) , his use of words were innapprpriate, but his argument isn't. Evan and Davesworld made some very good points along those lines. I am sorry that you got stuck on the second sentance of my post.

@crankalicious. Auto insurance is not the same thing. If I do not have auto insurance, I can not drive a vehicle legally. The same as with a Driver's License. Whereas under the provisions of the new healthcare bill, I either have to have healthcare insurance or I am fined. In other words, I have to pay someone just to live. You don't have to do that with auto insurance.


Sooner28 4 years ago

@Fjones0052

Well, it appears as though you are not serious about finding Rush's exact words at all. I simply searched his website and found the original transcript where he initially called Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" -http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/02/29/butt_... This took about five to ten minutes.

Then here is him responding to the outrage his comments caused. - http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/03/01/left_...

And finally, here is his "apology." http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/. This exercise in finding out the "true context" of Rush's words was terribly difficult. I had to scan through the different days he talked about the story, and I had to use control F to find the initial use of the words "slut" and "prostitute." Wow that was difficult!


fjones0052 profile image

fjones0052 4 years ago from Washington State

I would like to hear or read Miss Flukes statements. I would also like to hear the full statement, in context, from Mr. Limbaugh. How many people who have commented here and on other sites actually know what was said and how many have commented only through their own bias from what they have read second, or third, hand? I think that if we got less of our exercise jumping whenever the media says jump (either side) we would be better off.

My opinion is pay for all, or pay for nothing. If we go with Pay for All, That we had better be prepared to do that. Only we can stop class warfare. If you are so worried about the price of healthcare, get rid of the insurance companies and any government run department who sets prices. If we have to pay for our own, medicine will have to adjust or go out of business. Maybe we have become a country of victims and want to be enslaved to the government. Have we reached 1984?


Evan G Rogers profile image

Evan G Rogers 4 years ago from Dublin, Ohio

Nothing should ever be mandatory. It's tyranny to demand such things.


crankalicious profile image

crankalicious 4 years ago from Colorado Author

Thanks for all the comments. I think the debate is interesting. And kudos to Evan for wading into unfriendly waters. While I disagree, I appreciate the respectful debate. That being said, how about car insurance? Should it be mandatory or not?


Evan G Rogers profile image

Evan G Rogers 4 years ago from Dublin, Ohio

@momo If you agree that paying for other people's X,Y or Z is wrong, then the only logical demand to be made is "quit forcing me to buy things I don't want to, Government". It is NOT logical to argue that we should pay for X, or that we should not pay for Y, but only that we say that we should not be forced to pay for anything.


Sooner28 4 years ago

Great hub. I appreciate you highlighting the absurdity of his argument.


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 4 years ago from California, USA

Dear Crankalicious,

I love this article! You certainly made valid points! Think I should email Rush the link...


repubparentssuck 4 years ago

The day a new Tea Party admits they were married several times, had abortions, used birth control but now want to tell everyone else what to do, I will shut up. Until then, shut the f up.


crankalicious profile image

crankalicious 4 years ago from Colorado Author

Evan,

Like car insurance, right?


Evan G Rogers profile image

Evan G Rogers 4 years ago from Dublin, Ohio

Indeed: You shouldn't have to pay for anything you don't want to.

Whereas: everyone must own insurance, and

Whereas: every insurance company must provide X

Therefore: Everyone must pay for X.

This is tyranny.


MomofmanyBoys 4 years ago

Evan- I don't want to pay for everyone's Viagra, but according to my issuarnce plan I have to. If I'm going to pay for that I think it only right for them all to pay for my birth control. If they plan on using that viagra, it's not going to be with me unless I'm using birth control!


wonderful1 profile image

wonderful1 4 years ago from Southern California

Great points, and thanks for that. Agreed with all except denying health care to divorcees (hey, it wasn't MY choice to get divorced-- not fair!), and I happen to love zucchini, so shoot me. But all kidding aside, the guy's obviously an out-dated bag of wind and I'd love to call him out on his "vices." By the way, what would it cost to pay for prenatal care, childbirth and childcare expenses if he's so put off by birth control costs?


Davesworld profile image

Davesworld 4 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

Who gets to decide? First you prohibit smokers from insurance, but how much are you allowed to smoke before you can be denied? A cigar an hour, a cigar a day, a cigar a week, a cigar a month? How do you determine what the limit is.

Next you should go after drinkers, after all acloholi8sm is a health issue. How many drinks a day, a week, a month is the limit? Who decides?

Then over-eating. Obesity is supposedly the nations number one health problem. How much over weight can I be and still get insurance?

Who decides? From where does the wisdom derive that allows whoever the decider is be the decider? Does getting elected automatically make you wise? Does being appointed to some government job instantaneously confer great wisdom upon you? Does the act of being hired by HHS make you wise?


peoplepower73 profile image

peoplepower73 4 years ago from Placentia California

There are no bigger prostitutes than right wing talk show hosts. They prostitute themselves by getting mega-bucks from people like Rupert Murdoch to promote the right wing agenda. Rush Limbaugh is the biggest prostitute of them all.


Evan G Rogers profile image

Evan G Rogers 4 years ago from Dublin, Ohio

You misunderstood Limbaugh's argument. He's mad because we have to pay for her birth control.

Recent arguments in DC have been whether the federal government should have to force insurance companies to make birth control covered. If the government forces insurance companies to cover birth control, then everyone is forced to pay for everyone's birth control, even if they don't want to.

In addition to this, ObamaCare makes it illegal to NOT own health insurance.

You are defending tyranny by twisting the argument.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

Sandra Fluke is intelligent and proactive regarding her sexuality. Rush Limbaugh is a hypocrite who espouses so called traditional "morality" while espouses something else entirely. Who is the slut? Bingo, it is Rush, Rush, Rush, Male Slut and Demogague of the Century! Doesn't he remind one of a demogague who espoused similar views of women in Germany in 1933? Do the math!

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