OTR Interviews

If Supreme Court doesn't strike down 'ObamaCare,' it's repeal or bust for GOP

Congresswoman says Republicans will aim to repeal if Supreme Court upholds Obama's national health care reform law


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 27, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Right now, whatever it is, one thing is absolutely sure, it is monumental! We are hours away from the Supreme Court deciding the fate of the national health care law. No matter what the court rules, Republican leaders insist they have a say in the future of health care. Here is Speaker of the House John Boehner.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: If the court does not strike down the entire law, the House will move to repeal what's left of it.


VAN SUSTEREN: And from the very beginning, Representative Michele Bachmann leading the charge to repeal "ObamaCare." And tonight, she says Republicans are unified in that message. Just a short time ago, we spoke with Representative Bachmann on the Cannon House Office Building balcony overlooking the Capitol.


VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman, nice to see you.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.: Good to see you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you can feel the buzz on Capitol Hill, Democrats, Republicans. Tomorrow at 10:00 AM, the decision.

BACHMANN: It is. Lots of energy.

VAN SUSTEREN: You expect what?

BACHMANN: Well, I expect a decision from the Supreme Court that will change the current law on "ObamaCare." We don't know if it will be fully struck down, partially struck down, but the buzz and expectation that's been keyed up here in Washington is that something will change. It won't be "ObamaCare" as we know it today, and that's good news.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Americans really like certain provisions out of "ObamaCare." For instance, they like the fact if you have a pre- existing condition that you can get insurance. They like the fact that many of them keep their children on until age 26. In the event that the law is struck down in total tomorrow, do you have any plans, Republican Party, to address those issues for the American people?

BACHMANN: Oh, of course. Absolutely, because, again, Barack Obama is the one who said it, the big problem in health care is cost. He promised that every American would realize $2,500 a year savings on their health insurance premium if "ObamaCare" passed.

Just the opposite happened. There's a spike in premiums. And so what we want to do is make health care more affordable for people and more accessible.

Really, there's some simple things to do that are zero cost. One that we could do is let people buy any health insurance policy they want in America with no minimum requirements. Second, let people buy that health insurance with their own tax-free money. And third, have medical malpractice reform.

If you do those three things alone, which is no cost to the government or taxpayers, you'll bring down the cost of health care. That will help people. That's not the end of it. That's just the beginning.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there a commitment by the Republican Party that if the "ObamaCare" is struck down in total, that you will begin immediately to work to resolve this health care crisis in the country and work with Democrats?

BACHMANN: Oh, of course, we will. As a matter of fact, I have a letter right now that Senator Jim DeMint, myself are circulating. Today he began circulating it in the Senate. I'm circulating it in the House.

And what we're doing is telling the states, Don't implement the health care exchanges, because one thing we found out, Greta, is that if a state doesn't put these health care exchanges in place, the job creators of America don't have to collect the $3,000 tax per employee.

This is a huge job creator. And so we're are working now to get more members of Congress to sign this letter.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, I assume a lot of money has already gone out to the states to create these exchanges?

BACHMANN: Billions!


BACHMANN: Billions of dollars!

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, where is that billions? In the event that it is struck down -- I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow at 10:00 AM -- if the law is struck down, who gets those billions?

BACHMANN: Well, the billions that are spent likely are gone. And so what we are doing is calling on the states, Give the money back to the federal government that we've already given to you to implement "ObamaCare" because...

VAN SUSTEREN: Calling upon them or demanding? There's a big difference.

BACHMANN: Well, you will see a bill demanding that they give it back because no one wants to voluntarily give back billions of dollars. But let's face it, we've wasted a lot of time to create this government behemoth. We're saying, Give the money back. Let's do some common sense solutions so we can drive down the cost of health care for all Americans.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Leader Pelosi says the constitutionality of "ObamaCare," ironclad.

BACHMANN: Well, she's absolutely wrong. It's completely unconstitutional. There is nowhere in the Constitution where the government can force you just because you breathe to buy a product or service because government tells you to. That is the height of -- or that's the bottom of the barrel of not having freedom. So I see under no circumstance the Supreme Court could call that constitutional.

VAN SUSTEREN: And if it happens, what would you be saying to me tomorrow night, if, indeed, that you're wrong and they say that it is constitutional, that...

BACHMANN: Greta -- I'm sorry. What...


BACHMANN: What I would be saying to you tomorrow night is this. That's why elections matter and that's why all of our chips are on November and why we have to replace the president, the Senate, and make sure that we have a House that will fully repeal "ObamaCare." That hasn't changed for us. We are fully committed to the repeal of "ObamaCare."

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any chance in your mind that the Supreme Court would simply declare the mandate unconstitutional and leave the rest of the law standing? Because frankly, I don't know how they do that in the absence of what's called a severability clause in the statute, which is not there.

BACHMANN: Well, and the thing is, the severability clause was in the original "ObamaCare" legislation. That was removed. That's a clear indication of legislative intent, that Congress, this body, decided that if one part of the bill was declared unconstitutional, the individual mandate, the whole bill would fall.

And so it's pretty clear. It's pretty black and white. If the Supreme Court finds the individual mandate is unconstitutional, then no part of the bill should survive.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you anticipate that no matter which way the decision is tomorrow that there will be a criticism that the Supreme Court is partisan, that it is a political institution, and that it didn't simply interpret the Constitution or do its job?

BACHMANN: Well, there'll be no question that the Supreme Court will be under fire from whichever sector feels that they weren't heard or addressed. I plan to be in the Supreme Court chamber tomorrow when that opinion is handed out. And maybe that's part of the reason why the court decided to put the decision out on a Thursday, as opposed to a Monday, because then everyone can move into the weekend and change the course of the conversation.

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, we might add it's the last date of the term. They didn't exactly, you know -- they could have released it yesterday, but they -- or today even, but they're waiting until tomorrow.

BACHMANN: And remember, it's not the only decision that will come out. There are multiple decisions. But this is -- as they say, this is the king daddy decision of them all. This is what America has been waiting for. And we're very excited.

VAN SUSTEREN: If the statute is upheld in entirety, what's the Republican Party going to do?

BACHMANN: If it's upheld in its entirety, you're going to see one unified voice, and it's this -- and I believe that that will even include the Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney, that we still stand for full-scale repeal of "ObamaCare" because we already know what's happening under the president's health care plan. We've already seen that costs are spiking up and we're already seeing denial of care.

We won't stand for that. That's going to hurt everyone. So we are standing and we're going to continue to fight for free market health care to bring the costs down so more people can have access to better quality care.

VAN SUSTEREN: One last question, the political implication for November. If the president wins, what does that mean in November for him? If he loses, what does that mean in November?

BACHMANN: Well, if the Supreme Court upholds "Obama care" completely in total, the president will claim victory, that he was right all along. And then one thing that we do know is that 70 percent of the American people aren't happy with this bill.

That's not going to go away because health care costs are continuing to climb, and people are being told no when they go in to their doctor with denial of care. So this problem won't go away for the president. It will again be a central issue in the presidential campaign.

VAN SUSTEREN: And if the statute is tossed out in total?

BACHMANN: If it's tossed out in total, then I think it'll be very clear that the president has wasted the country's time, his signature issue as president over three-and-a-half years on an unconstitutional program, when we could have actually been dealing with the problems of health care, which is cost, and then we would drive those costs down.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we'll see you tomorrow at 10:00 AM. Congresswoman, nice to see you.

BACHMANN: Good to see you, Greta.