Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The single best reason to pass health-care reform

"I'll just tell you this," Rush Limbaugh says. "If this passes and it's five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented -- I am leaving the country. I'll go to Costa Rica."

You hear that, guys? Health-care reform will not only cover 30 million Americans and reduce the deficit, but it'll also get rid of Rush Limbaugh! This is, like, the best bill ever!

Update: It seems that Limbaugh was saying he would leave the country to get medical care. Which is still rather hilarious, as the country he chose has a socialized health-care system.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 9, 2010; 1:04 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Confusion on the Federal Reserve
Next: Modest, far-reaching cost control


Only if he takes that kid-hater and bloated has-been Alec Baldwin with him. He and Sean Penn and a whole raft of actors were supposed to leave after the 2004 election, yet we still suffer their presence.

Posted by: Philly213 | March 9, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

DING DING DING! We have a winner!

Sorry, FDL -- no way you can oppose this now. (I'm actually serious.)

Posted by: AZProgressive | March 9, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Of course Costa Rica has government-funded and managed health care, far more so than the current bills in Congress, proving once again that Rush is an idiot and a blowhard.

Posted by: Mimikatz | March 9, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Hahahaha. Rush Limbaugh has gone Hollywood on them!

Its usually someone from here in my neighborhood in SoCal issuing these idle threats to "leave the country!" if something or other happens.

Posted by: zeppelin003 | March 9, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I thought Limbaugh was more of a fan of the Domenican Repulic, with its underage prostitutes, than Costa Rica.

Posted by: nisleib | March 9, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

It's gonna reduce the deficit?

I can't tell if you believe what you write, or you're just playing with us.

Either way, funny one! Reduce the deficit getting something for nothing... *shaking my head*

Posted by: Mary42 | March 9, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh is far more intelligent than you.

Posted by: truck1 | March 9, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

As long as Costa Rica's fully socialized health system (best in latin america and equal to the US in quality - says the WHO) provides OXY on their drugs available list, Rush will be 'happy'.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | March 9, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

and the FB group is already live.

Posted by: Jenn2 | March 9, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

He can still broadcast from Costa Rica. I heard there aren't any socialists on the moon.

Posted by: staticvars | March 9, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Woops, Limbaugh stepped in it again. Is Limbaugh a liar or just stupid and uninformed? Or both?

Here are some facts:

Costa Rica has universal health care, one of the best health systems in Latin America. The quality of Costa Rica's health care is excellent. Many doctors speak English and have received training in Europe, Canada, or the U.S. There are three large, private hospitals that most expatriates use: CIMA hospital in Escazú, Clinica Biblica in San José, and Clinica Católica in San José-Guadalupe.

Statistics from the World Health Organization frequently place Costa Rica in the top country rankings in the world for long life expectancy, often even ahead of Great Britain and the United States, even though the per-capita income of Costa Ricans is about one-tenth that of the U.S. and the U.K.

If you're a citizen in Costa Rica, you receive health care. No "co-pays", no "deductibles", no endless forms and "claims adjusters". Health care isn't dependent on your job, or your income. If you're a citizen, you receive it.

Any questions, Rush?

By the way, don't let the door hit your big rear on the way out. Good riddance.

Posted by: snesich | March 9, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Also, Rush is careful to say that he'll wait five years before he goes. I guess he's worried that, if he just said that he'll leave if health care passes congress, he'd have to leave the country in three weeks. Even Rush thinks that health care will pass!

Posted by: opinionpieces | March 9, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm planning to visit Costa Rica next year, and certainly don't want to run into Rush, so I guess I'm against the bill now (joke). Seriously, what do you have against Costa Rica (particularly its underaged females)? I hear it's a nice country.

Posted by: beckya57 | March 9, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I missed the five years part, so my trip is safe. I can still support the bill.

Posted by: beckya57 | March 9, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

A notable line in Howard Dean's 2003-2004 stump speech about universal health care went something along the lines of, "Even *Costa Rica* has national health coverage!"

I wonder if Rush really believes his own rhetoric about how the bill is a "takeover of 1/6th of the economy." I would guess that Rush sees himself in Costa Rica paying cash for medical treatment from a private doctor. There would be nothing to stop him from doing the same thing in the US if he considered his private health insurance too tainted by government regulation to count as "the free market."

Then again, he did say that if McCain won the Republican nomination that it would be "the end of our way of life" in the United States.

Posted by: constans | March 9, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"Of course Costa Rica has government-funded and managed health care, far more so than the current bills in Congress"

I kind of feel bad for Costa Rica now that they'll have to pay for Rush's food, drug, and sex addictions. They'll have to raise taxes there just to support him.

Posted by: slag | March 9, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

There is just no way around it. Health care is a market failure, and every universal system, even those in poor countries, functions better for their citizens than the US model. For an escape from socialism, Rush can try:

- Mexico
- Turkey
- Peru
- China
- Mongolia
- Khazakstan
- All of Africa save South Africa
- Belarus

It's quite an auspicious list. I'd probably pick Turkey for some good coffee, though Mexico is closer.

Posted by: Scientician | March 9, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Also, looking at this map:

Rush picked the only central American country with UHC. Good job Rush. Why is it a nice place to visit? Could the answer be "functional social safety net"?

Who knew that tourists like to avoid places with abject poverty left to fester unaided.

Posted by: Scientician | March 9, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Costa Rica also has no military and is one of the greenest - ie, environmentally friendly - countries on the planet. They also have a nationalized banking system and power grid. Sounds like a socialist hellhole, Rush. Sure you don't want to rethink your decision?

Posted by: shamey73 | March 9, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

See by any standard right winger ideological metric, Costa rica ought to be one of the worst countries of central america, instead it is one of the best.


Posted by: Scientician | March 9, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Geez, he rails against socialism but couldn't take ten seconds to google "costa rica healthcare system?"

Rush should move to a place free from socialsm, government regulation, and taxation. Where free markets reign unhindered. I suggest Somalia.

Posted by: leftcoaster | March 9, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Rush named Costa Rica because it is a country well known for attracting retirees looking for low cost/low tax places where they can "live like a king!" on a modest retirement nest egg. Basically, if you want a retirement where you can feel as though your modest wealth provides you with a life akin to what you think running a baronal manor would be like, while also being relatively clean and modern, Costa Rica seems like an attractive option.

Of course it's a nice livable country by American standards because it has good infrastructure, national health coverage, and is dedicated to sustainable development.

Posted by: constans | March 9, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

You think he'll be alive in 5 years?

Like Cheney, isn't there heart trouble involved? And surely the prescription meds will take their toll, even if he's stopped abusing?

He's paying with his health for his (put on or not) high-stress confrontational lifestyle, I'd say. Plus, as far as I know, there's no chilren or family there keeping him young, right?

Posted by: Mary42 | March 9, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

hahahahahahaha.....a win-win!!!!!
and just think how many of his faithful he might take along with him!!!!!! all of the tea baggers need to start preparing and becoming bi-lingual! hahahahahahahahaha...
what magical irony!

do you think costa rica will let him in...or will they ban him, as michael savage is banned from england?

Posted by: jkaren | March 9, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

this is so perfect and funny, i cant stop laughing:-)

Posted by: jkaren | March 9, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

If we in America can't solve these pressing problems - health care, the environment, education, and the long-term deficit - then we don't need to think about leaving for a Third World country.

We will become a Third World country.

Posted by: t_seltzer | March 9, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Hear for yourself -- in Howard Dean’s own words -- how he wants Socialism in America:

Posted by: CommieBlaster | March 9, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Rush in Costa Rica??? NO!!! My native country Costa Rica should not be trending with the name Rush Limbaugh next to it!

Posted by: mbutkus1 | March 9, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

King Rotundo of the Ditto-heads should move to Somalia. Very low rates of taxation. Close to zero public services. Close to zero legal authority too so when it comes to King Rotundo's tastes in pills and perversions, he can pretty much indulge, indulge without any fear of criminal prosecution.

In the case of Costa Rica you have some of the lowest military spending in the world (per capita); not to mention a socialistic variety of universal health care.

Yet, King Rotundo wants to move there if the U.S. moves tentatively in that direction with respect to health care?

I thought he was opposed to state spending on health care.

What. An. Idiot.

Posted by: JPRS | March 9, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh says. "If this passes and it's five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented -- I am leaving the country. I'll go to Costa Rica."

Posted by: topchefn | March 9, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

It is embarrassing to have to point this out, but of the five-hundred and thirty-five members of the House and Senate, only one man (Bernie Sanders of Vermont) has had the the sense to point out what should be a no-brainer: We need to make drastic cuts in military spending. Or, in terms that even your average right wing extremist will be able to understand:

We piss away far too much of our national treasure on things that go BOOM!

Surely England can afford to insure all of its citizens. In 2009 they did not spend (as we did) 651 billion on its military. This year their projected budget is not (as ours is) 680 billion. Think about that for a minute: That amounts to almost a trillion-and-a-half dollars every two years! For that kind of cash not only would we be able to easily afford medical insurance for every man, woman and child in this dysfunctional nation, we could start investing in our badly neglected infrastructure. And that would translate into jobs - lots and lots of them.

The phony and self-righteous "Christian" politicians that pollute the halls of Congress are never going to take seriously the words of Jesus when He said, "Blessed are the peacemakers." Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen any time soon. That being the case, I have a modest proposal. Let's cut military spending in half. If current trends continue, in 2011 we're looking at 700 billion in military expenditures alone. Why can't we trim it down to a "mere" 350 billion? Is that such an extreme proposal? Why do we spend more on weapons of death than we do on the life of our own country? What the hell is the matter with us?

Tom Degan

Posted by: tomdeganfrontiernetnet | March 9, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

he was going to move there anyway as they allow Baboon Heart transplants and you can buy Oxycontine at Rite-Aide without a scrip.

Posted by: Geopolitics101 | March 9, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

What makes him think Costa Rica would take him?

Posted by: rashomon | March 9, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Tom, I mostly agree, but cutting military spending isn't a solution to our budgetary problems. Military spending is projected to increase at fairly modest levels over then next couple decades while healthcare spending is going to bankrupt us.

Now, we spend a ridiculous amount of money on the military that's completely unnecessary. We should totally make cuts there, but we shouldn't think that that solves our fiscal problems.

Posted by: MosBen | March 9, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

This is the first sensible argument you have made for Obamacare. I could almost be tempted.

Posted by: FatTriplet3 | March 9, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how soon President Obama can sign this bill into power? I wonder if they can speed up the implementation dates?

Posted by: ATLGuy | March 9, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oh. China just announced what? A new program, the first that can be called "socialized medicine." Why? Because the Chinese are among the world's best savers, since their medical expenses are NOT guaranteed. Ironic, huh? When it was a third-world country, it really didn't have 'socialized medicine." But now that they've gotten a serious industrial capacity courtesy of the capitalists, they're putting in a serious health care plan so that their people will have more disposable income with which to build up an internal market.

Of course, they just crammed it down the people's throats, right?

Posted by: jimhass | March 9, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

That fat M.F.S.O.B.shows his face down here and I'll hurt him. ....and easily get away with it.

Posted by: blammo2525 | March 9, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

To FORCE any citizen to buy insurance OR ELSE, is by definition "involuntary servitude" (SLAVERY)

And is FORBIDDEN by the US Constitution.

This corrupt government may need to be toppled in order to restore the Constitution.

As for Rush Windbag, well I would help pay for his move!

Posted by: uncommonsense4 | March 9, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Once again not enough oxygen getting to Rush's pea-brain on that statement. Mouthpieces like him are what clouds the reality of many -- but not all of us have just fallen off the turnip truck.

Posted by: BGHunt21 | March 9, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: dcunning1 | March 9, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The dishonesty of Mr. Klein's post is that in the very next sentence, Mr. Limbaugh says, "..for medical care, not to live."

Ezra knows this. It was his decision to mislead his readers by omission for his perceived political gain.[

It's simply dishonest.

Posted by: WrongfulDeath | March 9, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to introduce "Mouth Rushmore" to the "Googler."

"Costa Rica's Government-Run Health Care System

With a government-sponsored network of more than 30 hospitals and more than 250 clinics throughout the country, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) has primary responsibility for providing low-cost health care services to the Costa Rican populace. Although sometimes overburdened, this system has worked well for Costa Ricans for the past 60 or so years. Open not just to Costa Rican residents, the CCSS provides affordable medical service to any foreign resident or visitor. Foreigners living in Costa Rica can join the CCSS by paying a small monthly fee--based on income--or they can buy health insurance from the state monopoly Instituto de Seguro Nacional (INS), valid with over 200 affiliated doctors, hospitals, labs, and pharmacies in the private sector.

Costa Rica's Private Health Care System

Many of the country's highly trained physicians and some dentists work in the mornings for the CCSS and operate their own offices and clinics in the afternoons and evenings. While private health care in Costa Rica is more expensive than that offered by the same doctors and surgeons through the CCSS, the price is still far below that of the average office visit in the U.S. For example, a private office visit to almost any medical specialist costs around $40. Continued treatments for diagnosed problems will vary, but will almost always be considerably less than comparable treatment in the United States. Dental work, too, is provided at a much lower cost than in the U.S.--prompting a phenomenon known as “health tourism.”

Two well-known private hospitals, Clinica Biblica and Clinica Catolica, where many CCSS doctors practice in the afternoons and evenings, offer first-class, ultra-modern services. Affiliated with U.S. hospitals, these two private providers have costs somewhat higher than the public providers but still considerably below anything found in the U.S."

Posted by: jade_7243 | March 9, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Quick question: What in heaven's name did Costa Rica ever do to even have to consider the possibility of Rush Limbaugh floating his toxic waste into any of its ports? His vow to leave the U.S. if health care passes automatically gets my vote. Yes! Pass health care. But don't hurt Costa Rica. It never hurt us. A more fitting destination for Limbaugh would be the great Garbage Patch of the Pacific.

Posted by: fenarkleman | March 9, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse


Answer: Probably because a lot of prescription drugs in Costa Rica can be purchased over the counter without the need of a doctor's prescription.

Not 100 percent sure if this is the overriding reason, but it's one plausible explanation that fits within Limbaugh's public profile.

Posted by: JPRS | March 9, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

It is truly embarrassing that the Washington Post, which used to be a good newspaper, actually purports that this column is part of its Business news section.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | March 9, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if Cheney and Palin would join him, the Obama/Reid health care bill might be a little more acceptable. Not really.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | March 10, 2010 2:51 AM | Report abuse

Rush Limbaugh will leave the country if health care reform is passed. How patriotic.

This is the best reason yet I've heard for passing serious health care reform. I have the perfect place for el Rushbo to relocate to: Somalia! The place would be perfect for him - no government, lots and lots of guns, no taxes - an NO health care!

An America without Rush Limbaugh....Adios, Rush! It's been real - Sort of.

Tom Degan
Goshen NY

Posted by: tomdeganfrontiernetnet | March 10, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

I live in Costa Rica and we HAVE government run healthcare! The government monopoly also run telecommunications (telephone, internet and cell phones)...though supposedly this is changing....the set prices that gas stations, etc. can charge. Hell, there is so much socialism in Costa Rica that it would make Fidel Castro blush...but least the taxes are low....the Costa Rican government doesn't worry about the debt ceiling...they just devalue the currency!

Posted by: WPL22 | March 10, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Ever here of expat coverage? Many insurance agents specialize in expat coverage or simply coverage for those who travel internationally. Socialized medicine has many issues. You may have to wait months or even years for certain procedures, i.e. cataract surgery, joint replacement, etc. This is the drawback with any socialized medicine. That is why many people have these supplementary policies in those countries that have socialized medicine (ie. HR3200).

With the passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement, the restriction to buy only from INS or CCSS will change, and the market will open. The insurance industry are hedging there bets, and their shareholders are quite pleased with their decision to do so.

These other policies I mention above are perfectly legal to purchase and many have payment arrangements already in place with PRIVATE hospitals in Costa Rica.

Posted by: dotnetninja | March 10, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Why would CR let him in? He's a confessed drug addict and is accused of sexual tourism in the Dominican Republic?

Posted by: thebobbob | March 10, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

What country would want a fat bloated lying cowardly scum suckin' sack of shet like Limbaugh??

Posted by: VietVet68 | March 10, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes Rush, move to a country that already HAS a Public Option and a government run private health care buy-in.

If it wasn't so sad it would be funny.

Posted by: trident420 | March 11, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company