Obama administration scrambles to implement ObamaCare

Published Thursday, August 01, 2013 / The Five

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," August 1, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: ObamaCare exchanges will open for business two months from today and the administration is scrambling, even though the bill was signed into law over 40 months ago. Furthermore, nobody seems to want any part of this bill, including people in his own administration and political allies on Capitol Hill.

Today, the head of the IRS, the agency dedicated to much of the oversight of the massive law, said he doesn't want to participate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are your employees trying to exempt themselves from the very law that you are attached to enforce?

DANNY WERFL, ACTING IRS COMMISSIONER: I don't want to speak for the NTEU.

And I would -- can speak for myself. I prefer to stay with the current policy that I'm pleased with rather than going through a change if I don't need to go through that change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: All righty.

And over at the White House, Jay Carney was asked about staffers on Capitol Hill who don't want to have to live under ObamaCare and they're trying to get out of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think this is something that I would refer you to Congress on. We are clearly about the business of implementing the law that Congress wrote and passed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: That's a rough one. Even his own people don't want it, like, ew, ObamaCare, like it's cooties, Bob. Even you say to yourself.

BECKEL: Well, yes, I got something to say here for a second -- these people have the best health care coverage in America, people in administration, on Capitol Hill, they give themselves everything. Of course they don't want to go to something that actually we don't have to pay $100,000 for each one of these bums.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Yes. But you know what, they're not the only people that feel this way. Look at the unions. The health -- you know what the health bill is? You ever go to the gas station late at night and that rotating machine of hot dogs and there's always that one hot dog, that's the health care bill. Everybody looks at the hot doll and they go, I'm not eating that hot dog.

BECKEL: You'll take it, though, don't you?

GUTFELD: Well, I do take it, but for other reasons. It's disgusting. The health care is hated by everybody and nobody wants to admit it.

Can I also just point out one other thing about the IRS? Obama nominated John Koskinen, yes, whatever, as the new head of the IRS. He is an expert in turning this institution around because it's in need of reform. Why would you need reform if it was a phony scandal?

So, apparently, it's not a phony scandal. In fact, calling the IRS a phony scandal is like calling Ariel Castro a misunderstood boyfriend.

GUILFOYLE: You're jumping blocks now. There you go.

GUTFELD: What do you mean?

GUILFOYLE: I think I liked you better when you were dirty looking, with the shave thing yesterday.

GUTFELD: Alright I'll shut up.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: I liked his points.

GUILFOYLE: No, the points were good but I liked the scruff.

BOLLING: So, here is the deal. The union got -- helped get ObamaCare pushed through. The Democrats on the Hill helped get ObamaCare pushed through. Now, they don't want to be part of it because if they keep the health care that president Obama said, you keep your own health care, you can keep your own doctor, if they keep it, they're going to get taxed to the bejesus. Some of these Cadillac plans, these union members are going to have to come up with $100,000 worth of taxable income and they don't want it.

GUILFOYLE: And what are they going to do, Bolling?

BOLLING: They say we don't want it.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

BOLLING: But the point is, this was all political payback. This was President Obama saying, listen, I really need this. You have to get this thing through and he did. Now, they are asking for waivers.

The staffers, this is a joke. Not only are staffers, actual members of Congress and Senate themselves will have to be under ObamaCare with the exception of leadership. So, the leaders of both parties in the various committees get to stay on their own health care Cadillac plans. It's just --

GUILFOYLE: How is that fair?

BECKEL: It's Cadillac. It's their Bentley plan.

BOLLING: It's like picking and choosing who is going to win and lose, ala Lehman Brothers going bankrupt and AIG being saved.

GUILFOYLE: All right. I wish we had a comment from the White House. We got Dana.

PERINO: Well, not this White House.

But I always get put in a position of trying to explain their side. It doesn't mean I am for their side. But let me try to take a stab at it. One of the things that Senator Coburn is asking of HHS and Office of Personnel Management which oversees federal employees, is to say, can you tell us with certainty, are we or are we not going to provide subsidies to our employees? This is what employers all over the nation are trying to decide.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

PERINO: They don't have the option in Congress of telling staffers that you're not going to be able to work 40 hours a week because they work 80 hours a week. So, what he's asking for is just to say, give us some certainty so that we can make plans -- because what's happening is you have a lot of staffers and we cannot -- a lot did work against the bill. They weren't successful. So, it's not that we're painting all of them with this.

But they are starting to leave Capitol Hill in search of other things. So, members of Congress are worried about the brain drain. I think Senator Coburn actually would exempt -- would say that leadership and members of Congress would have to pay the normal fee.

BECKEL: They should.

BOLLING: Exemption with the brain drain, if members of Congress and their staff --

PERINO: So, let's just say that some of your favorite senators --

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: -- their staff is worried. You are talking about out of pocket expenses. Say you make $70,000 a year and all of a sudden, you have to pay $80,000 or you have to pay $10,000 more a year for your health plan. That's a lot of money out of your pocket. I'm not saying they shouldn't pay it, that's just their position.

BOLLING: But wouldn't it be nice if the IRS and various unions from the states that are asking for waivers, would say prior to this point that we will be -- we are OK with ObamaCare and we'll take it.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: I told you guys on Monday this is coming to a head. This is going to come to a head -- I don't know. I think this time, Bob, I don't think they are going to.

BECKEL: The unions are going to get a pass on it --

PERINO: I think that the only way they could it (INAUDIBLE) is if they would agree, if the House would agree to do piecemeal measures, like the medical device tax repeal that passed 79-0 in the Senate. That has bipartisan support headed by two Democratic senators from Minnesota.

But the House doesn't want to do that for strategic reasons. So, they have -- it's a mess.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Well, first, they were exempted for five years and want another five years. But, listen, these people are enjoying the most unbelievable health care benefits of anybody in America. They should have to cut back.

BOLLING: Unions?

BECKEL: Unions have almost as good plans. Just not as good as Capitol Hill.

BOLLING: Whatever, what's the difference? So unions should be exempt or should not be exempt?

BECKEL: I think they should not be exempt, but they'll get exempted to it.

GUILFOYLE: Well, finally --

PERINO: Then why we can all be exempted and get rid --

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: The interesting thing is who is selling this plan? Doctors aren't selling the plan because they can't sell this plan because people know it's a joke.

So who is selling it? Celebrities are selling it. My feeling is if celebrities are selling this, like Jon Bon Jovi and whatever, when President Obama needs surgery, Oprah should do it.

BECKEL: The American Medical Association is in favor of it.

GUTFELD: Those aren't real doctors.

GUILFOYLE: We talked about unions. We talked about Capitol Hill. Let's talk about the impact of health care on you, on families and let's see whether or not you are getting a fair deal.

Let's listen to the HHS director on premiums.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president promised that will lower premiums up to $2,500 for a typical family.

So they will see a $2,500 reduction?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't say. We're not releasing any information.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certainly you can understand why citizens are concerned on what is going to be a very large expense for their families that we can't have any sort of prediction in terms of where this is going to be after several years of so-called implementation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I actually think that predictions are proven not to be very useful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: Somebody that can use ObamaCare around here, Bob Beckel.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Look at USA Today, health care costs for the first time in 12 years have gone down. And I wonder why -- I know Dana sent me an article that sort of refuted that. The fact is they have gone down and they're going to continue to go down.

PERINO: But why? But important -- you can't just say, OK, everything is great.

Health care costs have gone down because the economy sucks. That's why health care cost has gone down. Health care premiums, the insurance that you pay, have gone up. So there is the disconnect.

That's why you have to have more competition in the system so you can deal with the law --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: How come you buy car insurance, life insurance across state lines but you can't buy -- are you OK?

GUTFELD: He doesn't cough when he talks.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLLING: Let's throw it out to the table. How can you buy car insurance and life insurance across state lines but not health insurance?

BECKEL: You should buy health insurance across state lines.

BOLLING: Wouldn't that drive costs down?

BECKEL: It would. Two things need to change in this bill. One is that, and the second is tort reform --

PERINO: And third is the medical device tax. And the fourth is the promise that you can keep your doctor.

Basically, what is left? Once you strip away all of the things what is left?

BOLLING: If you sell your house for more than $400,000, the sales price above it, you are taxed at 2.5 percent. That is ObamaCare.

BECKEL: Can you stop hitting me in the arm when you --

(CROSSTALK)

GUILFOYLE: ObamaCare is a failed system that its creators don't even want. Whoa, that's progress.

BECKEL: This bill, everybody keeps talking about it, I want to see concrete examples.

GUILFOYLE: We just gave them to you.

PERINO: Two insurers pulled out of Georgia yesterday because they are not going to be able to compete.

BOLLING: That's the goal. The ultimate goal where government says, OK, all your states and insurers are saying no and the open arms of government says don't worry, we'll take care of you. That's the ultimate goal.

BECKEL: Do you think for a minute insurance companies are going to go anywhere where they can't make money? That's what they've been about. They are the single biggest distorters of health care costs because they charge --

GUTFELD: The government is.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: The government is.

BECKEL: No, it's not.

GUTFELD: If you didn't have the government involved in medical coverage or health coverage it would be a competitive market place and we would know what we are paying for. But because people don't know what they're paying for, that has nothing to do --

BECKEL: You want to do away with Medicare then?

GUTFELD: I would like to have a free market where people what they're paying --

BECKEL: Including Medicare.

GUTFELD: Yes. Sure. Why not?

BOLLING: Stay on this for a second. If the government says here is your premium and insurers have to charge this to meet their cost where are you going to go, Bob?

BECKEL: You are assuming that you are buying the insurance companies' argument that that's their cost.

These guys have been ripping people off in this country for ever since

--

GUTFELD: The government has been ripping us off.

BECKEL: That is a part of it, too.

But insurance companies, they are exempt from anti-trust laws for a reason. They colluded with each other and they sent prices arbitrarily and they make a huge amount of money for not much what they give back.

GUTFELD: They make a very, very small profit, compared to what the government does.

BECKEL: That's what they say, Greg. But --

GUTFELD: You can look at it.

PERINO: They actually run a business that is profitable unlike the government.

GUTFELD: I wonder, who are in these insurance companies? They're called human beings. They make a living. They have families.

All the government does is suck them dry.

BECKEL: Excuse me, just because you are tired you don't need to be in a bad mood.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: -- government, too.

GUILFOYLE: I have a couple of comments. Number one, what is up with the wonder woman cuffs on the IRS guy? He must be making a lot of money because his cuffs are bigger than Bolling's.

BOLLING: That's a new shirt. That's what happens.

GUILFOYLE: I don't know about that.

Number two, let's talk about free stuff you can get from your government. In fact, not one, two, maybe three -- even if you are not on welfare. Did you guy hear about this story? If not, get prepared.

OK. So, National Review writer Jillian Kay Melchior said that she got three shiny new Obama phones. I would like just one because this phone doesn't work at all. As you know, I can't even tweet with it.

What do you think of the story, Bolling?

BOLLING: So, here's the deal with that. She went in and I downloaded the application for an Obama phone just to see what it looked like.

(CROSSTALK)

GUILFOYLE: I would die if you got one, that would be so funny.

BOLLING: No, I was going to try and get one but I realized I'm not going to perjure myself to do it. But you have to have certain levels of income or be on certain assistance, like food stamps or whatnot.

But what they found -- she got three of them. What they found was "Wall Street Journal did a piece and found that 41 percent of the people with these life line phones couldn't prove that they fell in one of those categories or refused to answer, which means it is wrought with waste, fraud and abuse. You have to wonder, if it's an Obama phones $2 billion program, what about food stamps? A $100 million program. Bob --

BECKEL: Listen, I think the fraud and the waste is terrible. Do you want to take away life line phones from people who need them?

BOLLING: No, I want to give it to people who need it and take it away from people who don't --

(CROSSTALK)

GUILFOYLE: Do you see the problem though with the system, that she got three new phones?

BECKEL: I see the reason was an important thing where people who need help could have a line --

GUILFOYLE: Well, guess what? I think you have more people abusing it than the life line people who really need it.

BECKEL: That's not accurate.

GUILFOYLE: You know what, Bob? I'm telling you, this is a problem. But this is also systemic. It is not just one isolated case. We've got the fraud with food stamps, as well. They need to really get in there and clean it up because otherwise they are being very frivolous with taxpayer dollars and they're not caring that there's fraud and that there's abuse of this privileges, which only hurts the people that really need it.

BECKEL: There was fraud and abuse in government regrettably from the time it was started.

BOLLING: So, that makes it OK?

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: I think we do have to have more oversight --

GUILFOYLE: The more stolen programs.

Greg?

GUTFELD: If the world was a poker table, America has become the sucker that you invite over to clean them out. It is now a magnet for fraud and scammers and loafers. The pursuit of happiness is now the pursuit of your wallet.

Remember the old phrase the invisible hand? The invisible hand was a self regulating nature of the market place. The invisible hand is now in your back pocket. And it is the government because the government is now a target for scammers. I said this before, United States, the USA, the S stands for scam and everybody is in on it.

PERINO: Is that an invisible hand in your pocket?

BECKEL: You thought the free market could --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: You know what the problem is, it is not invisible. President Obama is so arrogant about this, he doesn't even trying to hide the hand.

GUTFELD: Yes.

BOLLING: He says, we're going to do this. We're going to go around the Constitution.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Who are the hands behind your business when they ripped off people with mortgages?

PERINO: What?

GUTFELD: What are you talking about?

PERINO: Your business?

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: You remember the Community Reinvestment Act, Bob, that is what caused it.

BECKEL: OK, I heard what you said. Not one of these idiots had taken a perp walk, not one of them.

PERINO: Why hasn't Eric Holder prosecuted, brought any of them to trial?

BECKEL: He should have.

GUILFOYLE: Don't get me started on that --

BECKEL: Oh, are you going to defend these people?

GUILFOYLE: If I could, I would divorce them immediately.

All right. Ahead on "The Five" --

BECKEL: You divorced four other people, why not make it five.

GUILFOYLE: No, two. You're next.

GUTFELD: You opened yourself up for that.

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