This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," July 8, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, GUEST HOST: President Obama is continuing to push for a total overhaul of America's health care system this year. It's his top domestic priority.
While hospitals say they're ready to give up about $155 billion over 10 years in government payments — which could help cover millions of uninsured Americans — Congress is putting up roadblocks. Lawmakers came back from the July 4th holiday break with plenty of questions and concerns about key parts of the legislation, particularly the prospect of taxing benefits. You heard me: Taxing your health care benefits.
Joining me now: the chairman of the Kentucky Taxpayers United, Dr. Rand Paul; and the CEO of Wall Street Strategies, my FOX Business Network colleague, Charles Payne — here in the studio with me.
Charles, Dr. Paul, welcome here.
CHARLES PAYNE, FOUNDER & CEO WSTREET.COM: Thank you.
NAPOLITANO: Charles, to you first. We were talking before the show started. What will Obama-care cost us in cash, in dollars?
PAYNE: Without a doubt, Judge, it's going to cost a lot more than the $1 trillion they keep throwing about. Listen, when they first laid out the plan, the CBO came back — the Congressional Budget Office — and said, listen this plan, $1 trillion, it will cost $1 trillion and only cover 1/3 of the people. They've done some re-jiggering of the numbers and they're coming in and they keep trying to stick to this $1 trillion number.
I think they're not being straight up and honest with us about that. They've not even — they still haven't figured out how they're going to pay for it. Of course, they're now talking about a surtax on the so-called "rich," you know, anybody making over $250,000 a year — that would include small businesses — an absolute, unmitigated disaster.
Dr. Paul, the government wants to add 40 million presently uninsured people to the health care rolls and the government wants somehow to manage their health care. What will 40 million new people receiving health care at the government expense do for the delivery of health services today as we understand them?
DR. RAND PAUL, KENTUCKY TAXPAYERS UNITED: Well, the first question you have to ask is: Who are these 40 some-odd million people? One interesting fact that doesn't come up enough is 1/3 of them make more than $50,000 a year. A third of them are eligible for Medicaid, but haven't figured out how to apply for it, and about 20 percent of them are not citizens. A good percentage are also without insurance for a short period of time.
So, my question to Obama and the Democrats is: Are you going to throw out the entire system we have — are you going to bankrupt the country or throw us into bankruptcy even sooner — for a problem that really has other solutions?
NAPOLITANO: If some of these people choose, because they're young, because they think they're superman or superwoman because they think they don't need health care at this point in their lives, not to have health care, but the government will force it on them anyway — what is that going to do to things like waiting time in emergency rooms, waiting time to see a specialist, waiting time to get a test?
Basically, Charles, tell me if you agree with this: Government rationing of health care.
PAYNE: Without a doubt. I mean, just look around the world. Everywhere there is universal health care, we hear the horror stories. And no one could even debate that. I don't think we have the infrastructure to handle it all. I think we're — they're also underestimating just how much use there's still going to be for emergency rooms.
And, you know, at the end of the day, Judge, it's just absolutely ridiculous. Dr. Paul hit on it. You know, if you look at the details of this thing, just who are we are trying to cover?
Here is the real deal: At some point, I think everyone is going to be forced or a lot of people are going to force to a single-payer system. Right now, almost 90 percent of Americans say they're satisfied. We're talking 250 million Americans who are already covered who are satisfied with the system.
NAPOLITANO: Dr. Paul — by the way, if Dr. Paul looks familiar, he is the son of Ron Paul, a member of Congress from Texas and a frequent guest on Glenn's show.
Dr. Paul, how will doctors react to a single-payer system in which the federal government tells them what choices they have for services to render to their patients and what they can charge?
PAUL: I'll give you an example of what happens under a socialized system or a single-payer system. In England, you know, it's essentially free to go to the doctor. And so, people go in great waves to the doctor. It's over-utilized, which means that then they have to ration the care. That is ultimately — even the proponents of this, they don't like to use the word "rationing," but that's what happening.
So, I deal with eye disease. The most common form of blindness in the United States for elderly people is macular degeneration or scarring of the center of the retina. One of the treatments is a drug named Avastin. In England, for years, they would not let you get the injection in unless you could first prove to them that you were blind in one eye from the disease. So then they would let you get the treatment in the second eye. But there was a hue and cry, and finally, a public uproar and they got it changed.
But is that the way we want medicine to work is that the public has to get so angry that finally we change the rules?
Also in England, there is a drug called Herceptin. It blocks the estrogen receptors in breast cancer and it allows women to avoid getting breast cancer again, and it's illegal in England because it's too expensive.
That's what will happen when the government is in charge.
The other question I ask people frequently is: you want people to be in charge of health care, just think how good they were in distributing water at the Superdome after Katrina. Ineptness is the role of government. It is what we typically see from the federal government.
NAPOLITANO: Yes, they do.
PAUL: If you want them, just think of the head of FEMA being in charge of your health care.
NAPOLITANO: The thought — the thought should be perished. It's hard to believe that could happen, but that's what may be coming if the president's proposal isn't stopped.
Dr. Paul, Charles Payne, thanks very much.
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