• With: Mort Zuckerman, editor of U.S. News and World Report

    This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," October 8, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: That tape that could put White House claims it is busy-friendly to rest.

    You are about to hear IBM's chief executive officer say he made the president an offer, an offer which would have helped all taxpayers and curtailed debt, an offer he says the president turned down.


    SAMUEL J. PALMISANO, CHAIRMAN & CEO, IBM: We could have improved the quality and reduced the cost of the health care system by $900 billion. I said we would do it for free to prove that it works. They turned us down.


    VARNEY: No word whether another meeting between IBM and the White House this week has changed anything. We called IBM today, and a spokesman there standing by the statement you just heard.

    What does another powerful business -- businessman make of all of this? Mort Zuckerman is with us. He is the editor of U.S. News and World Report.

    Mort, welcome to the program.

    MORT ZUCKERMAN, CEO, BOSTON PROPERTIES: I'm delighted to be here.

    VARNEY: You are familiar with this IBM offer of help on health care fraud and the rejection thereof.


    VARNEY: What do you make of it?

    ZUCKERMAN: Well, it is a little bit puzzling, because I think there is a huge amount of both fraud and inefficiencies that American business, it is a lot more comfortable with and effective in trying to reduce. And this is certainly true, because the IBM people have studied this very carefully.

    And when Palmisano went to the White House and made that proposal, it was based on a lot of work, and it wasn't accepted. And it is really puzzling.

    VARNEY: Yes, I don't get it. That was a pretty good offer from an outstanding company to do a job that needs to be done...

    POLLAK: Right.

    VARNEY: ... with a -- for an administration that needs the job doing. You cannot just say it's puzzling. What do you think the reason is?

    ZUCKERMAN: You know, I cannot find a reason that makes sense to me, so I don't want to hazard a guess.

    VARNEY: But what...

    ZUCKERMAN: These are very, very responsible people. They don't have a political axe to grind. They are very familiar with the subject. They understand exactly what the issues are.

    VARNEY: You're talking about IBM now.


    Now, IBM, for example -- there are a huge amount of -- we have seen these programs where they have storefront doctors' offices where they file false claims or doctors or others escalate the -- the medical treatments received, therefore get higher payments. There are ways of getting this under control.

    And this is what they are talking about. And it is staggering amounts of money, at a time when we cannot afford, because what we have done now with this health care system, frankly, is to put 30 million people into a broken system. And what they want to do is help fix that system.

    VARNEY: Well, the implication is, since the White House rejected this offer, the implication is that this is not on the president's agenda, that the president's agenda doesn't include getting rid of waste and fraud.

    It includes extending health care to 30 million on Medicaid, as you suggest, and it includes being essentially anti-business. "I don't want IBM's help."

    ZUCKERMAN: Well, I don't know how much to interpret this. All I can say is that, when you are in a situation where this country is facing with -- facing huge deficits, and where anybody who knows anything at all about the health care system knows how much waste, fraud and abuse is involved in that system -- we have seen it covered on many different media over the years -- not to take this offer up, frankly, doesn't make sense to me.

    VARNEY: May I ask you about the stock market? It touched 11,000 today.


    VARNEY: I believe it closed right around the 11,000 mark.


    VARNEY: What is with that on the day that we find out that we have lost 95,000 jobs, we are ever deeper in debt? What is with the stock market?

    ZUCKERMAN: Well, the stock market has, as you know, its own dynamic. OK? One of the things that pushes the stock market up is very, very low interest rates or very -- fixed-income securities are trading basically under a one percent yield. People do not like that. People think they can do better in the stock market. And that demand pushes up the market.



    VARNEY: Well, I am smiling because I have got a theory.


    VARNEY: And you may well disagree with it.