This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," March 27, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
PAUL GIGOT, FOX HOST: This week on the "Journal Editorial Report," the president signs his health care overhaul into law. But Republicans say it's far from over. Is repeal and replace a viable strategy? Our panel breaks down the legal, economic and political fallout from Obama-care's first week.
Plus, a chilly reception for Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House as a standoff over Jewish settlement continues. Is the United States trying to topple a friendly government?
Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.
President Obama signed his health care overhaul into law this week, but if you thought that was the end of the debate, think again. Republicans are promising to repeal and replace the measure. States are mounting legal challenges to its constitutionality. And companies are already warning employees about higher health care costs.
Here to discuss all of the fallout, political, legal, and economic, Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor, Dan Henninger; senior editorial page writer, Joe Rago; and Washington columnist, Kim Strassel.
All right, Joe, The president signed it. Now this very big epic law is something we have to live it. What should we look for first? Let's deal with the economics and what's going to happen to the health care industry first.
JOE RAGO, SENIOR EDITORIAL PAGE WRITER: I think all of these taxes in the bill are going to start getting built into corporate planning and balance sheets.
GIGOT: A lot of these happen right away.
RAGO: Right away, within the next two years or so. So you had Verizon coming out this week and warning its employees that health costs are probably going to go up because of the change in the tax treatment of retiree drug benefits. You've got John Deere out there saying the same thing.
GIGOT: The write-off of $150 million against earnings, not in the future, but this year, that goes to the bottom line.
Caterpillar $100 million in write-offs. And this is because of a tax benefit they had for putting retirees — keeping retiree drug benefits suddenly vanished.
RAGO: That's right and, you know, this is just sort of one corner of this giant sprawling bill. So, I think you're going to see that across.
GIGOT: Dan, we were told if you liked your health care plan, you could keep it. It looks like that health care plan, even at Fortune 500 companies, are going to be changing right away.
DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR: Well, it looks like the truth is, you can try to keep it if you can.
Look, it's nearly a trillion dollar bill, and the big question all along was, how do you pay for it. They've enacted a wide array of taxes to pay for it. Taxes mean somebody is going to pay those taxes and a lot of them are the companies of the sort that Joe has been describing. It imposes a significant cost on them and, when that happens, you lay people off. There's going to be some unemployment all around the country.
GIGOT: Kim, do you think that — are there going to be actual layoffs? Are companies going to end up dumping some of their employee health care benefits on to the taxpayer over time?
KIM STRASSEL, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST: Well, look, there's no question. Look at the examples you just mentioned of Caterpillar and John Deere. What this is, those companies were getting a subsidy from the government to keep retirees on their plan —