This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," July 15, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's time for us to buck up, Congress, this administration, the entire federal government to be clear that we have got to get this done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right. Buck up or buckle up?
The president says it is high time to buck up and get health care done. And man, oh, man, are Democrats doing — health care proposals racing through Congress right now at warp speed, a Senate committee just ramming through a major bill that forces individuals to get it and employers to pay for it.
That is on top of a bill in the House hanging the tab on the very richest. But if health care is for everyone, should everyone be paying?
With us now, a man who takes a slightly different view on that, Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Congressman, always good to have you. Thanks for coming.
REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: It's my pleasure.
• Video: Watch Cavuto's interview
Just one correction. The Senate bill and the House will eventually merge into one. It's not going to be two bills.
CAVUTO: OK. Inherent in both is this idea of taxing the rich to pay for it. Is that right?
WEINER: Well, it's going to wind up actually saving all Americans a lot of money. Remember...
CAVUTO: How do you know?
WEINER: ... we have got to put something into this equation.
Because I can tell you that, right now, we are spending about $7,400 for every man, woman, and child in the country, $960 billion a year in health insurance — in health insurance money that — that is going to insurance companies. and I don't think most of your viewers think we are getting good value for it.
So, in order to do this right, we have to make sure that everyone is covered. But, I think, in the long term, maybe even in the short term, all Americans are going to wind up saving money because of this plan.
CAVUTO: All right, so, let's say you say, Congressman, and the — the up-to-4.5 percent surtax on millionaires is — is more than dwarfed by the savings you get, would you take that increased tax back?
WEINER: Would you take — no, well, the — I am not sure I understand your question.
At the end of the day, every citizen is going to wind up being — benefiting by this, meaning that they are going to spend less for health care, less for the...
CAVUTO: No, no. I — sir, I understand that.
WEINER: ... less for Medicare and Medicaid...
CAVUTO: I know. But — but what...
WEINER: ... than they're going to be paying in, in taxes.
CAVUTO: Well, if you are realizing all of these savings, then the — the tax hike to pay for this up front, would you take that back? Would you say, actually, we're saving so much now...
CAVUTO: ... that we don't need to do it?
WEINER: Sure. I would like to have tax cuts.
CAVUTO: No, no, no. But I am asking you, then, is if you are realizing these savings, would you go back and take these tax hikes away?
CAVUTO: You swear?
WEINER: Yes. I want there to be tax cuts.
WEINER: Unfortunately, now, in order to get this program started to cover all Americans, which is how we get the competition that leads to the savings...
WEINER: .. we are going to have some up-front costs. And the way to do it is to say to 99 percent of your viewers, we're not going to touch you.
But we are going to say to some folks that...