What is the President's plan if ObamaCare fails?

Rep. Dennis Kucinich on what the Democratic strategy is if the Supreme Court strikes down the healthcare law


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 30, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: Continuing now with our analysis of the Obamacare Supreme Court decision and the Republican presidential race. With us, Congressman Dennis Kucinich in the big city this evening.

Yesterday, Laura Ingraham spelled out that the justices of the Supreme Court already know what they're going to do at this point in time on Friday. They met today among the -- they talked among themselves very secret, all right and they said look, this is what we feel about Obamacare.

So they already know and now they have to write it up and after they write it up, they debate it again. They can change their minds but pretty much what's going to happen is locked down. Almost everybody, and you just heard Karl Rove says it's not going to survive the Supreme Court. Its' going be tossed. How do you see it?

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO: I think Justice Kennedy as you pointed out earlier is a pivot vote here and as such he could come down on the question of liberty and strike it down. Or he could say that this is an essential exercise of Congress's authority.


O'REILLY: Well, we know what he could, what do you think he is going to do?

KUCINICH: I don't know. I mean, I --


O'REILLY: Your instincts, you had a pretty good instincts. You know come on.

KUCINICH: I think it's a jump ball right now.

O'REILLY: Jump ball. Ok. And I'm not going to get it out of you.

Let's assume it goes down. How bad a situation is that for President Obama going into the campaign, going into the convention?

KUCINICH: It's a disaster for 50 million Americans who aren't going to know what kind of healthcare they're going to have, that's number one.

O'REILLY: But they -- they can always move to Belgium you know and they can get free healthcare there.

KUCINICH: No, they can't.

O'REILLY: No I don't want to be; it's not America.

KUCINICH: No they can't.

O'REILLY: It's not America. We aren't Sweden. It's just not -- never going to be. But anyway, put that aside because I do believe there has to be healthcare reform and I want to do it in the private marketplace.

But President Obama loses the signature issue; let's say he does. And then he's got to zoom into the campaign. How badly does it hurt him?

KUCINICH: I think it's really going to depend on the larger economy, not on this single issue.

O'REILLY: Really? You don't think this is going to be a major issue?

KUCINICH: It is an issue because the President tried healthcare reform within the context of a for-profit system. That's something that you advocate, for-profit healthcare, I don't. But he tried that.

If it goes down, I think that it would certainly be a political defeat. However, the election is going to be determined by the overall economy. We have some problems with structural unemployment right now and unless we do something --


O'REILLY: How much do gas prices intrude on the overall economy?

KUCINICH: I think there is no question that the high prices of gasoline --


O'REILLY: Ok because again people on vacation this summer and they're going to be driving around, and $5 a gallon. I mean, you know they're going to -- and who are they going to be thinking about?

KUCINICH: It has an impact. But let me tell you what -- about the unemployment. If you -- if we keep having unemployment above eight percent --



KUCINICH: -- and a lot of people have been out of work for more than 40 weeks. That kind of structural unemployment is going to stop people from being able to do anything else but rivet on their own economic experience and they may not vote. President Obama's problem is if people don't vote, it's not they're going to switch their vote.

O'REILLY: I think a lot of Independents are going to switch their vote. I think Catholics may switch their vote because of all of this stuff. We had Cardinal Dolan on and he's still teed off, they're going to sue. The Catholic Church is going to sue the Obama administration.

There's a lot of things that President Obama has -- look, you know me, I've been pretty fair to President Obama. But if I'm looking at it from a logistical standpoint now, he's got all kinds of problems with very few strengths. He's got very -- and particularly of his signature issue Obamacare goes down what is he going to point to. For reason for four years and he has done what?

KUCINICH: If that goes down, 50 million people without healthcare. You have people who under this bill, the bill had flaws but it covered people with pre-existing conditions and covered younger people, 26 and under on their parent's policy. Put cap -- it took off the caps on the kind of money that could be paid if somebody has a very serious health problem.

Bill, healthcare is going to be an enduring issue in this country but whether or not President Obama gets re-elected I believe is going to be directly connected to whether we get America back to work or not and with more than eight percent --


O'REILLY: He is up against it then because he only has five months to do it and your state Ohio is going to be one of the big battleground states.

KUCINICH: It is, there is no question about it.

O'REILLY: And people are teed off. All the polls show that Ohioans believe that he is not doing a good job on the economy or gas prices.


KUCINICH: If you're asking -- if you're asking if this is going to be a tight race for President Obama, you bet it is. This race could go either way.

However, watch the unemployment numbers because that's going to tell you whether or not the President will be able to mobilize enough people to go and vote for him to keep him in to keep progress going. Otherwise we are looking at a race that you know it's going to be a nail biter and whoever gets 270 --


O'REILLY: I think the race will be close no matter what happens. And I think the Republicans are going to have to define for the nation what they will do in the healthcare area to make things better.

KUCINICH: We haven't seen -- we haven't seen that happen, though.


O'REILLY: No, we have not -- we have not seen it happen.

KUCINICH: See I'm for single payer. I think sooner or later this country is going to move towards single payer. It's good for business, it's good for individuals.

O'REILLY: All right.

KUCINICH: But we have to have preventative healthcare and people are taking more responsibility for their health.


O'REILLY: But after this Americans is going to need a breather and we've got to do tort reform or we've got to insurance competing across state lines first.

Congressman always good to see you. Thanks very much. I appreciate it.

KUCINICH: Bill it's great to be with you.

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