Glenn Beck: Is Mass-Care Bankrupting Bay State?

Published March 22, 2010

| FoxNews.com

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," March 19, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: With me now: former Pennsylvania senator and FOX News contributor, Rick Santorum. And Massachusetts treasurer, Tim Cahill, who's now running for governor of Massachusetts.

You were a Democrat, correct?

TIM CAHILL, MASSACHUSETTS TREASURER: Yes.

BECK: And you've just become an independent.

CAHILL: Last summer.

BECK: OK. And I want to make this clear. You — I don't know anything really about you. But do you ever watch this show?

CAHILL: I have. Yes.

BECK: Do we agree on much?

CAHILL: Sometimes. Yes.

BECK: Sometimes. OK. But probably more principles than policies, I'm guessing.

CAHILL: It depends.

BECK: OK.

CAHILL: It depends.

BECK: You want reform on health care.

CAHILL: Correct.

BECK: So do I, I just don't want the government to do it. I want the government to ease restrictions, et cetera, et cetera.

Do you want a big program?

CAHILL: No.

BECK: OK.

CAHILL: No.

BECK: You say — now, you are the secretary of treasury.

CAHILL: I'm the treasurer. Yes.

BECK: You're the treasurer. You say that if this passes, this will bankrupt the United States within four years.

CAHILL: Based on our experience in Massachusetts.

BECK: Tell me compare, A-B compare.

CAHILL: Well, we have what David Axelrod referred to as the pilot program. It started four years ago in Massachusetts — universal health care to mandate, to cover everyone in the state of Massachusetts. It wasn't going to cost us a whole lot of money, so they said and it was going to work.

We have a public exchange that was going to match up private insurance with people who couldn't get insurance, small businesses. It hasn't worked out the way they said it was going to work out. And it has increased cost in just in Massachusetts of about $4 billion over when this program was started in 2006.

And just today, the governor himself announced there's an extra $300 million hole in our health care line items. So, it is bankrupting the state and would have bankrupted our state if not for the federal government being overly generous with Medicaid reimbursements over these last four years. They've really propped the system up to keep it in place.

BECK: So, what is the difference between this system and the Massachusetts system? I mean, if it's the — if this is the pilot program, I've noticed that nobody has gone in and said, hey, maybe we should look, maybe we should do a pilot program. You know what? In your beloved Illinois, Barack Obama, do the pilot program there, because if it works, great.

But nobody wants to do that. If they say this is the pilot program and it's disintegrating, what has the government learned and has changed in this bill? Any idea?

CAHILL: I don't think anything has changed. I think it — I don't — I haven't read all 2,000 pages, but there's exchanges which is not supposed to be a public option but is functioning as if it was a public option in Massachusetts, because most of our people who have been covered have been covered with heavy subsidiaries or free health care. It's really serving as a second Medicaid program, this public exchange.

So, we have regular Medicaid that's costing us over $10 billion a year. And then you have this connector that is matching people up and giving them coverage of which they're not paying anything for.

BECK: OK. Tell me — tell me what this means for the life of people up in Massachusetts. Tell me exactly how — because everybody thinks it's going to be sunshine and lollipops and somehow or another Oompa-Loompas are going to create, you know, medical care for people. Tell me what this means for the average person that's lived in Massachusetts now.

CAHILL: Higher insurance premiums.

BECK: They say they are supposed to go down.

CAHILL: They've gone up higher in Massachusetts than I think any other state in the nation. So, it has not created any competition, because you only have four major players, four major insurers. So, you got more people, complete access. It's a mandate. You pay a tax if you don't sign up.

BECK: Which is in this bill.

CAHILL: Which is in the bill.

BECK: I've been said — I've been told over and over again that I have no solutions, that I'm — it's not my job to come up with public policy. But one of my solutions has been: end the regulation over state lines. Let me buy insurance from any state that will offer it at a better deal. You only have four options in the Massachusetts.

CAHILL: Yes. And we agree on this point.

BECK: OK.

CAHILL: That should be something. I mean, if you create access but not any competition, you're going to be paying higher prices.

BECK: Correct.

CAHILL: We're limiting access to community hospitals. We've got seven community hospitals suing the state of Massachusetts.

BECK: Why?

CAHILL: Because they're not being reimbursed at a high enough rate. They are getting all the poor patients and the government has only reimbursed them 60 to 70 cents on the dollar. So, they're suing because they're going bankrupt. Those hospitals that are outside of Boston in the neighborhood of Massachusetts are suing the state since this plan has been in place, which is going really limit access, not increase access.

And costs have not gone down. I mean, costs are still among the highest in the nation. I mean, we're high-cost state anyways because we have these teaching hospitals at Harvard and Beth Israel and —

BECK: So — is everybody — is everybody that you run into, are they just stupid? Or are they just — is there just another idea?

CAHILL: No, I think — I think they've been convinced that this is working. And what we said on Tuesday of this week is it's not working. It's blowing a huge hole in the budget. I was challenged by our governor to say, where have you been on this issue?

We've been fighting — as a treasurer, I've been trying to balance the budget for the past two years and wondering where all the money is going. And what we've discovered in the official statement that the governor and I signed that all the money, increase money is going to Medicaid and to this health care reform — by over 52 percent increase over these last four years, over and above the rate of inflation. No other budget item in our budget has gone up even close to that.

BECK: OK.

CAHILL: So, that's where I say, be careful, country, because it's going to bankrupt us. I mean, without this federal reimbursement, we would haven't the money to pay for regular services in the state of Massachusetts.

BECK: OK. Hold on just a second.

And , Rick, I want to get to you, because I — you are kind of a common sense guy to me, but I have to go to Washington now because we have two people that have been standing by, Michele Bachmann and Iowa Congressman Steve King.

And you're both being called to the floor to vote. Vote on what exactly? What are you being called to vote on?

REP. STEVE KING, R-IOWA: We're going to —

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.: A U.S. Coastal Waterways Bill right now, Glenn.

BECK: Is this — this isn't the one where they are talking about limiting fishing and everything else, is it?

BACHMANN: I don't know if this is it or not.

BECK: OK. All right.

KING: We have a caps amendment up. It's an environmentalist amendment. So, we have to hustle over there to vote no against the environmental extremists.

BECK: OK, all right. So, tell me what you guys see happen in happening this weekend.

KING: Well, from my standpoint, this is — this is now the last ditch fight to end this effort to produce socialized medicine in America. The central event we're asking American people to join in is at noon tomorrow on the west side of the Capitol. It's time for everybody to come to this Hill and pitch a last stand.

It's like Fourth and Goal, we got to hold them off. They know that the momentum shifts to us if we beat them here this weekend. And it's going to take everything we have in America to do so.

BECK: OK. So, let me ask you this, you know that the — I'm not kidding you, the socialist and the communists are also planning rallies there on the Mall this weekend. Workers of the world unite. And then you also have a big rally, or what's being said is going to be a big rally for immigration reform. You've got a powder keg happening this Washington.

Are you aware of that? Is anybody nervous about bringing everybody together like this? With the tension this high in America?

KING: I imagine the Capitol Hill police are a little nervous about it. I have planned be there at the illegal immigration rally on Sunday regardless.

And now, we have Nancy Pelosi who has actually called a vote on that same period of time. So, this could be volatile, but I think the American people are peaceful in their hearts. And as long as their votes are reflected, they will be peaceful. And I'm hopeful that this Congress will react to the will of the people.

BECK: The part that I'm worried about is, you know, you have radicals in America that are — I mean, we have played this bald communist over and over again who wants revolution, who — you know, they want civil unrest. It works to their advantage.

I'm concerned about the, you know, the anarchists that are always standing side-by-side with, you know, the workers of the world if you want to euphemistically call a communist that.

KING: Well, Glenn, I've watched those people in the parades here in town, a human river of discontent pour down Pennsylvania Avenue. I don't know that we'll quite have that here on Sunday. It's more focused on illegal immigration and it's been a little more peaceful than the anti-war rallies, for example.

We need the American patriots to fill this city on Saturday, to peek out at noon and that's how they're going to get their message. If we can save America from socialized medicine, then we can deal with the rule of the law the next day.

BECK: All right. Michele, I want to ask — I want to ask you, because you and I have been talking back and forth for quite some time. And I think you and I think alike in many things. And the one thing that I'm concerned over is this idea that has permeated America, that big government is always the answer. And it has gone to the people like Lindsey Graham, et cetera, et cetera.

If this passes, I think it makes the election of people like Lindsey Graham, who are the compromise with big government, darn near impossible, because you can't tone this down. You've got to pull this back by strong constitutionalists. Don't we — if this passes, don't we lose really the Democratic Party to the socialists? And the Republican Party either has to be, you know, real federalists, real people that understand controlled power, or you are going to have a third party? Do you understand what I'm saying?

BACHMANN: This is — I do. This is the greatest opportunity for the Republican Party to redeem themselves and regain their footing with the American people. But they have one chance, because the American people have this much patience left. They have had it with Republicans. They've had it with Democrats.

And now, with the rise of the tea party movement, the American people want to know where can they go to have their voices heard. If the Republican Party is wise, they will embrace the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States and Bill of Rights and stand strong on those principles. I believe that they will this fall. And it's really up to the individual candidates to make their case to the people.

The American people, like Steve King said, are not violent people. We don't want to see violence.

BECK: No.

BACHMANN: But the American people are frustrated, because they look at Nancy Pelosi on the Hill and they say, why aren't you listening to me? Three out of four Americans don't want this bill. And there's good reason for it, Glenn.

I just found out, for instance, the IRS will be the enforcer for this government takeover of health care. Every month, 16,500 new IRS agents will be hired at a cost of $10 billion. Every month, IRS agents will verify the 300 million Americans have purchased health care acceptable to government. They'll also be verifying that employers have insurance that's acceptable to government. And the IRS can now share confidential taxpayer information with Department of Health and Human Services.

And if the American people or employers don't comply with what the IRS want, they have the power, Glenn, to levy fines of 2 percent of a person's income or over $2,000, whichever is greater. This should make the hair stand up on the back of people's necks to realize that now, it's up to the IRS to enforce this health care bill.

BECK: OK. Thank you, guys. We will see you again.

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