This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 20, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Governor Palin is striking again with her favorite weapon. Facebook, about the issue that has many in our country burning mad tonight, the new medical guidelines advising young women to skip pap smears until they get older and to cool it when it comes to breast self- examinations and mammograms.
Governor Palin smells a rat and wonders if money has something to do with this new advice. She posted on Facebook, in part, "There are many questions unanswered for me, but one which immediately comes to mind is whether costs have anything to do with these recommendations. The current health care debate elicits great concern because of its introduction of socialized medicine in America and the inevitable rationed care."
We went to the office of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. She went "On the Record" about the new medical guidelines, Governor Palin and much more.
VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, nice to see you.
REP. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS, R - WASH.: Great to be with you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Happy to be in your office.
VAN SUSTEREN: We've taken it over a little bit, but appreciate you sitting down with us.
RODGERS: Oh, it's great to have you.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Governor Palin is -- she's striking out on Facebook about this new -- this new statement that -- about when women need to be -- how often you need to get pap smears and at what age. Your thoughts on this.
RODGERS: Yes. Oh! I think we were all shocked to have this government task force, through social services, come up with these new recommendations after all of our years, all of our efforts on this war on breast cancer, and the education, the increased awareness that we've been working on to inform women of the importance of an annual mammogram after they're 40 and the self-checks throughout their lives and that early detection being key in having us, as Americans, have a 98 percent survival rate in those first five years dealing with breast cancer. You can compare that to other countries, and it's not as good.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, that's the breast cancer. One of the things that has been said is that the radiation might not be good, and of course, there's been nothing but women -- a lot of women are very upset about this. But the pap smear one that came out, that's not -- that's not radiation. That's a rather simple procedure. And it's -- you know, that's got a lot of women up in arms.
RODGERS: Well, I'm just -- I'm concerned that we have these government panels making recommendations that are going to actually impact someone's life. You know, our system, our health care system has been one that has focused on saving lives, and the recommendations that we've had for prevention have been focused on trying to save lives, rather than it being about just saving money. And it seems like these recommendations are more about just figuring out how they can save some money, and it might mean costing some lives in an effort to save the money.
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you make of doing it on Facebook? Governor Palin, from her position -- she's -- of course, she's not in office now...
RODGERS: Right. Right.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... but using Facebook as a mechanism?
RODGERS: I think -- yes, I think it's great. You know, the new media, these new social networking tools are really changing the way that people get information, the way people communicate. I can tell you, as House Republicans, we've been using these tools more and more because it means that we're not dependent upon the mainstream media in order to get our message out to America or to communicate our ideas and our solutions. So I think it's exciting to see how this is just changing -- changing the way politicians interact with citizens, too.
VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think about some of the comments about Governor Palin, certainly, during the race, the fact that she's the mother of five children, even the mother of a special needs child, which of course, is near and dear to your own heart? Was the media -- or has the media been fair to the governor?
RODGERS: Well, I reflect on when she was first announced for vice president as McCain's running mate. And I must admit, as a Republican congresswoman, I was so excited. I thought, Wow, this is a governor of the state of Alaska that is very popular, first woman governor of Alaska. I had just finished being the co-chair of the women's caucus here in Congress. And we -- you know, the caucus had been celebrating the first woman Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. Hillary Clinton was running for president. And finally, a Republican woman comes on the scene.
And I -- I was a little taken aback, actually, with the reception that Sarah Palin got when she entered that national scene. And it has -- it hasn't changed. And I remember the first time I watched "Meet the Press" after she'd been announced and they were introducing her, but they did not say one thing positive. It was all of these questions about her qualifications and her experience and whether or not she was vetted. And it's just continued ever since that day.
VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, the special needs.
RODGERS: Yes. Oh, my! Well, I also have a son with Down syndrome and he is the joy of our lives. And I was just so excited to have someone that high profile with a son with special needs, someone who was committed to being an advocate for families all across this country. And she -- she spoke to my heart and I know that she spoke to millions of other people. And we were all excited to know that she was going to be an advocate for us.
VAN SUSTEREN: How about the health care reform bill that looks like it's meandering through -- it's been through the House, but the Senate -- what's your sort of global thought about health care reform?
RODGERS: We have a long way to go. It's...
VAN SUSTEREN: You better hurry up. You don't have much time! The Senate's voting tomorrow.
RODGERS: I think we have a long way to go. I don't -- I don't necessarily think that the Senate has the votes. There's a lot of pushback as Americans learn really what this bill means. You know, we were talking earlier about the mammograms and the pap smears and these new recommendations coming from the federal government task forces, and that's a preview possibly of, you know, how government-run health care may be implemented in America.
You know, these recommendations mirror what recommendations -- or what they follow in England, in Canada, and I'm not sure that's where -- that's what America really wants. By and large, America likes their health care system. They don't -- they are concerned about the cost, the rising cost of health care. And there are steps that we can take to address the cost drivers within the system without having it be a government takeover of health care!
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it looks like we're getting -- we're getting a change. It looks like -- it looks like that's happening.
RODGERS: Well, we just want to make sure that we do it right. And I -- this bill that's currently being pushed through Congress is not the right kind of health care reform for America.
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