This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," April 1, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, GUEST HOST: Thursday's show is about the loss of freedom: The loss of every person to make intelligent choices without guidance or interference or compulsion from the government.
When this great country was founded, those who created the government understood that there are areas of personal choices that are none of the government's business. They fought a revolution. They wrote a Constitution. They guaranteed that the government they gave us would be far different than the one they fought against.
We are an independent country today in large measure because the Founding Fathers had enough of the British king and Parliament telling them how to live; forcing them to sell goods where they didn't want to sell; taxing almost all their behavior, and disregarding their natural rights to speak, to engage in commercial activities of their own choosing, and to be left alone.
Does that sound familiar? That was the complaint 230 years ago. It's happening all over again. Except now it is our own government, the people we chose and we hired to work for us who are trampling our liberties.
Think about it: The air you breathe, the water you drink, the chair you're sitting in and the TV you watch are all regulated by Washington, D.C.
It is hard to find an area of human behavior that the feds don't regulate. All their regulations have added to the size of the government, increased taxes to the breaking point and interfered with our personal choices in ways that those who created this country could never have imagined.
I'll give you a very recent example. Thursday, a federal judge in California scolded the president and told him that he is subject to the same laws as the rest of us. That should not be news; but in the era of the nanny state, it is.
You see, the government thinks that so long as the majority rules, the majority is right. But that's not America. Sure, we have elections. And elections have consequences. But we also have rights that come from God, not from the government. And the Constitution was written to assure that we could freely exercise those rights — free from the bad guys, free from the tyranny of the majority, and without the government on our backs.
After months of protest, town hall meetings and polls that showed a lot of Americans against so-called health care reform, the measure still passed. Just a couple of little problems remain though: Is it constitutional and how will we pay for all of this?
With us is now Dr. Rand Paul. He's running for the Senate on the Republican side in Kentucky. He's also ophthalmologist.
Betsy McCaughey — she's a former lieutenant governor of state of New York, a patients' rights advocate and a constitutional scholar. And Fox Business Network's Charlie Gasparino, who's a force of nature on his own.
NAPOLITANO: Charlie, we'll start with you.
CHARLIE GASPARINO, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Thank you.
NAPOLITANO: Welcome to the three of you to "The Glenn Beck Program."
How are we going to pay for this? Where is the trillion going to come from?
GASPARINO: Well, I mean, you know, higher taxes. You know, some states benefit, some states don't. I mean, if you look at the net-net, there has been some studies on this — the Heritage Foundation put together a good study. It looks $11 billion is in the hole for the states if you do a net-net basis and it's going to come from taxes.
BETSY MCCAUGHEY, FORMER NYC LT. GOVERNOR: And it's coming from the lives of seniors.
NAPOLITANO: Tell me what you mean by that.
MCCAUGHEY: This law is paid for in the first 10 years in part with tax hikes, about $500 billion.
MCCAUGHEY: And also with a $500 billion reduction in future Medicare funding just when 30 percent more people will be enrolled in Medicare when they turn 65. Those numbers do not add up. And already, if you look at a timeline —
NAPOLITANO: What is it that you're holding here? What is this monstrosity?
MCCAUGHEY: This is the first third of this new law.
NAPOLITANO: One third of the bill —
NAPOLITANO: — of the law, eight or nine inches thick.
MCCAUGHEY: That's right. But it's going to be defeated by this: The
18 pages of the Constitution, because this law is unconstitutional.
But let's getting — let's get back to seniors for a moment because seniors and baby boomers are going to suffer the most. If you look at a timeline of how this act rolls out, in the first two years, there are cuts to Medicare dialysis, Medicare home care, Medicare hospice care, Medicare reimbursement to hospitals and nursing homes.
The cuts are so severe they are opening express lane to the cemetery.
NAPOLITANO: Dr. Paul, how can the medical profession tolerate these cuts and who will be hurt the most by them?
DR. RAND PAUL, RUNNING FOR SENATE IN KY.: Well, I think a lot of physicians are demoralized and disheartened. I think what will happen ultimately is they will lessen the amount of Medicare patients they see, as the prices are cramped down and as there's a shortage of funds. And we're already seeing that: Popular family doctors are not taking new Medicare patients.
There will be less care for people and there will be shortages. And ultimately, there won't be enough money. And so, they'll have to ration the care for everyone.
NAPOLITANO: You know, our colleague Brit Hume was kidding around, but I think somebody on the floor of the House actually said this, "We'll just write a law that makes waiting lines illegal."
GASPARINO: Right. By reading — think what you're saying, what you're really saying is that we are going to ensure healthy 20-year-olds at the expense of the elderly.
MCCAUGHEY: Well, that's right. And Richard Foster, the chief actuary for Medicare, has warned in a December 13 letter, that the cuts are so severe and what hospitals will be paid to take care of the elderly, that some hospitals will simply stop taking Medicare. Where will seniors go when their local hospice —
NAPOLITANO: What burden, Charlie, will be imposed upon the states to make up?
GASPARINO: Well — I mean, they're going to have to — I mean, that's the whole notion here. And let me tell you something, I've read some of this, I don't understand a lot of it. I don't think Congress understands what's going on here — because if you look at it, there's going to need to be higher taxes on everybody. We, in order to ensure — and this is the key thing I think from a moral issue — in order to insure 20-year-olds who are healthy, you have to cut services to the elderly. You have to.
NAPOLITANO: Dr. Paul, you are a member of a medical organization, not the AMA, but another medical association that has filed a lawsuit against the secretary of health and human services, alleging that this is unconstitutional. What do doctors, what do health care professionals say is wrong with this?
PAUL: Well, this group is called AAPS and it's the same group that sued Hillary Clinton in 1994. We took it all the way to the Supreme Court and won. So, we have a good track record with this.
But we're alleging that it violates the Fifth Amendment, that you can't take things from people without just compensation and also that it violates the Tenth Amendment that these rights were not enumerated and given to the federal government and they have been traditionally been under the state government. And I know you've also mentioned this appears as if this is the federal government commandeering what functions have typically been left to the states.
We think we have a good chance in court and we will fight it. But, you know, we're also fighting it electorally. There's going to be a big fight this November over this.
NAPOLITANO: You and I talked on my radio show about this. I was in Florida last weekend with Glenn Beck, and a Florida legislator chatted with us and told us that the state of Florida now has to spend a billion dollars more than it has. That's basically the Congress saying to Florida: raise your state taxes by $1 billion and spend it the way we tell you to.
The legislator looked at me and said, "I thought we were an independent legislature. I thought we could decide what taxes are, and how we would spend the people's money."
PAUL: Well, there's going to be great expenditures by state governments but also by private industry. You know, AT&T talked about $1 billion more in expenditures. The bill also calls for 16,500 new IRS agents.
So, obviously, someone is going to be collecting some new premiums.
NAPOLITANO: The write-downs by the corporation, huge. They are required to do that by the SEC and the Congress is furious that this happens while the ink isn't even dry.
GASPARINO: What's scary about this bill is the incredible amount of demagoguery that surrounds this thing. I mean, if you're not for it, you're a racist. If — you know, if you are a corporation and you need to write down stuff you get before — you got hold before Congress because this is supposed to create savings.
And I'll tell you, that's the scary thing if you think about it. In order to create the alleged $138 billion of savings over 10 years — by the way, $13 billion a year is not a lot of money in the context of our economy — you have to raise taxes dramatically and you have to take massive write-downs if you're a company.
NAPOLITANO: I want you to wear your political and your scholarly hat. You were the attorney general of the state of New York. You are also a recognized scholar on the Constitution.
Question: Where is this more likely to die — in the federal court system or by the people rising up and electing a different president in three years and a different Congress in eight months and the political system taking this away from us?
MCCAUGHEY: Well, it's likely there will be a sufficient victory in the congressional races that will have majorities in Congress to defund this bill. Not necessarily with a veto-proof majority to repeal it, but it's also highly likely that the high court will reject substantial portions of this legislation. For example —
NAPOLITANO: What parts will it reject?
MCCAUGHEY: OK. On pages 148 and 49, this act, for the first time in history, says that the federal government can dictate how doctors treat privately-insured patients. So, when you're in Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare — any of those plans — the federal government can say to those doctors, you cannot participate in the private insurance system unless you do everything that the federal government says.
It means they're going to be on the driver's seat for whether you get a stent or a bypass, whether you get a caesarian, whether your OB/GYN orders a pap smear or a pelvic sonogram — literally everything in medical care.
NAPOLITANO: Dr. Paul, what will this do to the practice of medicine? If you have to report to the federal government what your patient tells you, a conversation that the Supreme Court has said is the most private and immune from government intrusion that we can have: the patient-physician conversation.
You, as a physician, if you were to follow this, instead of going into the Senate, would have to report to some federal bureaucrat what your patient told you and be guided or even regulated by the federal bureaucrat as what you can do.
Are American doctors trained to be subject to the intrusion and commands of federal bureaucrats when it comes to treating their patients?
PAUL: Well, so much do they want this to be electronic records, that they're actually giving doctors $40,000 apiece to change their office to electronic records, but then they also want access to those electronic records. So, it does concern me about patient privacy. And I don't really want the government looking at my records or any other patient's records. I think it's a real danger.
I was in the state capital today talking, though, about trying to get our attorney general in Kentucky to join a lawsuit against this. And we had 300 people there. And it's part of this Tea Party movement. People are not happy, but there's still great momentum on the countryside to try to change this.
NAPOLITANO: What is the financial community think about this? I mean, do they think this is a left-wing politics run amok? What do they think is the way for it to work?
GASPARINO: We've been talking all day about Jamie Dimon coming out and saying that we're sick of being demonized by the federal government, by some of the bureaucrats in Washington.
GASPARINO: Listen, Wall Street supported Obama in a major way.
GASPARINO: Unprecedented, going with —
NAPOLITANO: That was then.
GASPARINO: That was four times more to McCain — to Obama than they gave to McCain-Palin.
GASPARINO: Right now, they are really worried. And it's not just the rhetoric. They are worried that, you know, instead of reforming health care, we've created a new entitlement. Instead of maybe helping the people at the bottom end of the ladder, well, you know, we're redistributing wealth. They are really worried about what this does to the deficit.
They may not go public with it, but you can talk to every single Wall Street CEO and they can't believe he turned to this instead of deficit reduction.
NAPOLITANO: Aren't you worried as a patient advocate that innocent human beings, whether they're healthy 20-year-olds or 75-year-olds who need to see a physician more regularly, will be powerless here?
There is a clause in here that prohibits an appeal from a decision of bureaucrat. So, if a bureaucrat says to Dr. Paul, you may only perform this service on this patient, that decision is final and absolute.
MCCAUGHEY: That's right. And doctors will be constantly forced to choose between doing what's right for their patients and avoiding a government penalty.
You know, women's rights advocates who have fought for 30 or 40 years for a woman's right to choose on reproductive issues and a woman's right to keep her medical records private, need to reassess the impact of this law on their values because whether you're pro-life or pro-choice, you lose under Obamacare.
NAPOLITANO: Dr. Paul, can you bring yourself to put down in the government laptop everything your patients tell you and wait for the government to come back and say: OK, Doctor, we have decided that this is the procedure, this is the medicine and this is the budget?
PAUL: No — and being a physician is really not about following an anagram and everything is out of a cookbook. I think there is some intelligent interaction and the choice is not always the same as what comes out of a book. So, I don't think that's the way we want to practice medicine.
Talking about the cost, you know, the Congressional Budget Office said that the prescription drug plan would only cost $400 billion. It's costing $1 trillion. The implications of this, they say they're going to have $500 billion in savings from Medicare. But it's based on assumptions that Congress gave to them. It's not based on reality.
And when you make something free, it gets over-utilized. And that's what will happen here. It will cost two and three times as much as they say it will cost.
NAPOLITANO: And there's crazy thing in there, Charlie, about the reserve corps, the 6,000-person —
GASPARINO: I don't know what to make of that thing.
NAPOLITANO: — that the president can put together. He can conscript doctors from the state National Guard and make them work for —
GASPARINO: He's bringing back the draft.
NAPOLITANO: Where is that going to go? Are we going to get to a system like Great Britain where the health care providers are employees of the government?
GASPARINO: That's what it looks like. I mean, we're at least moving in that direction. Obviously, there's going to be a fight over this. What I don't understand — maybe the doctor can explain this — how did the AMA ever support this nonsense?
MCCAUGHEY: That's shocking. Remember that only 17 percent of physicians belong to the AMA, and many of them are not physicians who actually care for patients.
NAPOLITANO: What physicians in their right minds could support this, Dr. Paul?
PAUL: Right. And I think this actually will lower their membership. The AMA has been struggling for years and they do not represent doctors across the country. And AAPS has been growing dramatically, as doctors who want to fight against big government join together under a different banner.
But the AMA doesn't represent me. I've never been a member of the AMA. And they don't represent my position in supporting Obamacare.
NAPOLITANO: Do federal judges have the moral courage and fortitude to look at this thing and say, this did not come from the Constitution?
MCCAUGHEY: I believe they will. And, in fact, there's a very important case, Gonzales v. Oregon, which was just decided a couple of years ago that made it very clear that the federal government does not have the power to regulate the practice of medicine, or impose medical standards and regulate how doctors treat patients.
NAPOLITANO: Dr. Rand Paul, former Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey, my colleague Charlie Gasparino — thanks for joining us.
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