This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," March 8, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Meanwhile, Massa not a mess for Democrats?
The other side now. Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings calls this just another health care distraction. He says we need to get this health care thing done. He joins me right now. Congressman, always good to see you.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS D-MD.: It's good to see you, Neil.
CAVUTO: If you had to handicap it, the Massa soap opera notwithstanding, how does it look?
CUMMINGS: We will get a health care reform bill through.
And, as I listened to the discussion just now with you and your guests, you know, I have got to tell you, Neil, I'm — it's rather upsetting to me, some of the things that were just said.
And it goes against the fact that many Americans are without health care. And many people — people are basically being left to suffer and, in many instances, die. And we're talking about Congressman Massa and what an aide has alleged.
And that's — to me, this discussion, it's — in and of itself, is a distraction from the things that we need to be about. This is not a progressive cause.
CAVUTO: Well, you might believe that, Congressman.
CUMMINGS: No, listen, Neil, Neil, Neil...
CAVUTO: If he were against or for health care, would that make a difference at all?
CAVUTO: Charlie Rangel, who has done potentially a lot worse things, right — and we don't know — the investigation...
CAVUTO: He's treated differently. I mean, that's the knee-jerk reaction.
CUMMINGS: I — first of all, whatever these allegations are, they came, allegedly, from a staffer. Now, I don't think a staffer ran around talking to the president, saying, how can I hurt Mr. Massa?
I think Mr. Massa needs to address what...
CAVUTO: So, you think Massa used this as an excuse to sort of take the offensive...
CUMMINGS: I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.
What I do know, though, is that Mr. Massa has people in his district and I have people in my district that need health care reform. We also have people who cannot afford the policies, Neil. Come on now. We can spend all this time on distractions. Mr. Massa's thing will take care of itself.
That one vote, we would love to have that vote, but, if we don't get the Massa vote, we didn't have it before, and we were able to pass it out of the House. And, if we don't get it, we don't have it. But we will find the votes to get this done. Nancy Pelosi is determined to get it done, not because it's a progressive thing, not because it's just something that we just want to do. It's because it is needed.
We have a dysfunctional system, whether you like it or not.
CAVUTO: But, Congressman, you just said something important, whether you like it or not.
CUMMINGS: Fifteen thousand people are losing...
CAVUTO: What if — what if most Americans don't like what they see you're tinkering with? They might like...
CUMMINGS: I'm so glad you said that.
CAVUTO: But what if you don't, and you're still going full-throttle?
CUMMINGS: I'm so glad you – I'm so glad you said that, because that's taken out of the playbook of the Republican Party, Neil.
CAVUTO: Is it out of the playbook of your Blue Dog Democratic colleagues?
CUMMINGS: No, no, let me be very clear. The polling shows that, when you take this bill apart, and look at things like getting rid of preexisting conditions, so that people like the lady that I met coming in the studio today who had a flare with breast cancer can't get health insurance, so that people, a large percentage of people want to get rid of those.
People want to make sure their kids can stay on the policies until they're 26, 27 years old.
CAVUTO: Absolutely. You're right.
CUMMINGS: They don't want to be thrown off of their policies. They want control over costs.
CAVUTO: Absolutely. You're right. Elijah, I'm not disagreeing. Most of them like those aspects.
CUMMINGS: That's right. They like...
CAVUTO: They don't like collectively...
CAVUTO: No, no. What they're saying is, they don't like collectively what you've done. They do like those pieces on preexisting conditions...
CUMMINGS: That's right. And, Neil...
CAVUTO: ... and portability of coverage.
So, why don't you work and do those things, and the stuff that is far more objectionable, for which you're getting very low marks from voters, you give pause and give credence to what they say?
CUMMINGS: Neil, it's like a bald tire. You can patch it, but, no matter what, it's going to bulge somewhere else and it's going to pop.
You know for a fact that, if you are going to get rid of preexisting conditions, you have got to insure more people. You've got to, because somebody's got to pick up that cost. That is, people who are healthy have to help the people who aren't healthy. And when you pick up the costs, you've got to find a way to help people who can't afford it.
CAVUTO: So, Elijah, you're saying this is for the good — this is for the good of the American people. Even those who are opposed to it, you're saying, trust us, we have got you covered. That's what you're saying, right?
CUMMINGS: That's exactly what I'm saying.
CUMMINGS: I'm saying it, and I believe it.
CAVUTO: All right.
CUMMINGS: I believe it with all my heart. We have got 31 million people we're trying to insure.
And, what are we supposed to do, Neil? Let them suffer and die? Come on.
CAVUTO: All right. Elijah Cummings...
CUMMINGS: At some point, we have to — somebody has got to say we have got a moral situation here that we have got to address.
CAVUTO: All right. That's assuming you address it, right?
Elijah Cummings, always good seeing you.
CUMMINGS: But we're going to address it.
CAVUTO: All right. Very good seeing you, my friend.
CUMMINGS: It's good to see you, Neil, always.
CAVUTO: Thanks again.
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