Sen. Judd Gregg on 'Glenn Beck'

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," June 9, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: Health care, of course, a big topic in Washington. Yes, health care will run us all out of business.

My next guest has introduced his own plan to reform the country's system. Republican Senator Judd Gregg. He is also a ranking member of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee. Sen. Gregg, how are you?

SEN. JUDD GREGG, R-N.H., MEMBER OF THE U.S. SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE: Good, Glenn. But before we start health care, first, we should probably have a plastic bag czar. But independent of that issue, you know, you made a point of saying that this TARP money that is coming into the treasury now. Approximately $70 billion should go to reduce the deficit.

Video: Watch Beck's interview

That's actually the exact language which I put in that bill. I said any refunds on this TARP money — and we should get it all back — well, should go, has to go to reduce deficit.

So you're absolutely right. That's exactly where this money should go. We need to have some action on this deficit. We need to have a sign from this administration that they're serious - they're obviously not serious. But they're at least willing to look at reducing the debt load of this country. Because on our present course, as you mentioned, or maybe it was your interviewee relative to the bond issue, we're headed to a situation where we're going to confront massive inflation, extraordinarily high debt rates as a result of too high a debt.

BECK: OK. Senator, I have —

GREGG: So let's take the $68 billion and reduce the deficit.

BECK: Yes. I have great respect for you. I know that you were against Part D for prescription drugs. You voted no on the stimulus. No on SCHIP. I mean, you are a relatively responsible man.

Kennedy-Dodd Health Bill is a nightmare. You're recommending — you have another proposal for health care. Tell me, sir, that this isn't just another big welfare government program that you're proposing.

GREGG: Well, it's not. Basically, what I'm suggesting is that we have meaningful health care so that people — I think the biggest fear people have with their health care situation is that they get in an accident or somebody in their family has a serious disease and they get wiped out financially.

So essentially, what this does is set up a process where everybody can get insurance that essentially covers that extraordinary event that might wipe you out. We need the private sector to do it. There is no public sector plan. There's no government plan.

In addition, it incentivizes through cash — money — people to live healthier lifestyles. We have seen companies like Safeway, for example, actually reduce their health care costs by giving their employees a cash incentive to go out and reduce their — and improve their health care, their lifestyle.

BECK: And there's —

GREGG: Now, it doesn't do that with federal cash. It does it by creating an incentive in the private sector, which is today, barred. Today, we bar the private sector in having a premium differential of more than 20 percent for the purposes of improving lifestyle and having — taking preventive actions.

BECK: All right —

GREGG: So it basically lifts that cap so that a company can give you a lot of money back if you go out and lose a lot of weight or if you basically start a serious exercise program. Or if you do the testing, you should do to make sure that health care issues are caught early.

BECK: OK. Senator, I'm out of time. We'll have you back to talk more about this. I'm glad to hear that it is private sector. I appreciate it.

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