Limbaugh's accidental support for health reform

The radio host used his hospitalization to argue against Democrats' plans, but there's a flaw in his logic

By Alex Koppelman
Published January 4, 2010 9:30PM (EST)

Even a brief hospitalization for chest pains isn't the kind of thing that stops Rush Limbaugh from being, well, Rush Limbaugh. Once he was released, the conservative talker told reporters, "Based on what happened to me here, I don't think there is one thing wrong with the American healthcare system. It is working just fine, just dandy."

Well, yeah -- there's nothing wrong with the system for people like Limbaugh, who either get coverage from an employer or can easily afford to pay for even the costliest of individual plans. Limbaugh is very clearly not the kind of person reform is intended to aid, and he presumably knows that, but a little thing like that hasn't ever stopped him before.

That aside, though, there was something really notable in Limbaugh's comments: As a few liberals -- including some who work for the Service Employees International Union, a consevative bogeyman -- are now gleefully pointing out, Hawaii's healthcare system is different from the one in the continental U.S. In fact, it's much more liberal, and some elements are actually pretty similar to provisions in Democrats' reform bills. Plus, as the SEIU noted, the state's medical workers are heavily unionized.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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