Health care law under scrutiny amid widening IRS probe

OK Sen. Tom Coburn weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," May 15, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: And never mind it looks like the IRS broke the law. Thousands of new IRS agents are still set to enforce the health care law, just as we are hearing that the White House wants to spend a billion bucks on innovation to strengthen that health care law.

To Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn, who says, well, maybe there ought to be a law to for now stop, just stop.

Anyway, Senator, very good to have you.

This is still going, you know, full-throttle to get the IRS involved in the implementation of enforcing a lot of these financial provisions and cost provisions within the new health care law. Do you think they should slow down on that or what?

SEN. TOM COBURN, R-OKLA.: Well, there is 49 separate areas of health care law that the IRS, who has now proven itself not to be impartial in terms of political philosophy, probing into every aspect of American people's lives.

So I think the question remains open. The fact is, is we have had severe abuse of power ongoing with this IRS denial of appropriate benefits. These are really serious times. And the really sad part about it is, as Americans, we're already pretty cynical about the effectiveness of Washington and the agencies that we have set up, and here is one that we're supposed to be able to trust and obviously you can't.

And I think a lot more is going to come out. We're going to have to get to the bottom of it. When the former commissioner of the IRS actually knew what was going on and testified that he didn't, you know, that's at the top. And that speaks terribly for all the good people who work for the IRS.

So I think there ought to be a time-out, especially with the delicate nature of everything that the IRS is going to be asking of people in terms of the 49 different areas where they're going to be probing you whether or not you have complied with the Affordable Care Act.

So I think it's a dangerous time, one, for -- if they go on and do it, whether or not they're going to get proper answers back. Why would you send them the information about your health care if you don't trust that they're going to keep it intact?

CAVUTO: Well, that was one of the original concerns, even prior to these indications of going after conservative groups, with the IRS having that much more responsibility over the health care law, and thousands of agents hired to essentially police it in these 49 different areas.

Do you think that was -- that that's going to be reconsidered now, period, whether this scandal...


CAVUTO: ... goes by the wayside or not? What do you think?


COBURN: Neil, I don't know. I don't know.

But these things -- there is definitely, in my mind, a cover-up on Benghazi, a direct intention not to share the facts with the American people. And I think that complicates everything else. Benghazi's far from over. The people who distorted what actually happened and knew better -- and it's not the CIA who did that, by the way. I sit on the Intelligence Committee. They were very straightforward with what they put out initially.

CAVUTO: Right.

COBURN: So we have some real problems right now with the confidence. And the shame of it, Neil, is we're primed to really grow. If the Congress and the president -- what we lack is leadership right now. If the president would lead on solving the big problems in our country, everybody knows what they are, reforming the tax code, fixing and saving Medicare, fixing and saving Social Security.

CAVUTO: But do you think all that is out the window now?

COBURN: Well, no, I don't think it's out the window, but leadership is about standing up and creating a possibility for something positive to happen.

And we're not seeing that. And my hope is, you know, the president's probably not connected to any of this directly, but he is absolutely responsible for all of it. And he needs to be on the offensive, leading on the real problems of the country. And one of the real problems is how do you reestablish confidence that the government is not so big that they cannot keep from violating your privacy rights, your tax rights, and your personal property rights?

And the one thing that I'm worried about, this smells an awful lot like Chicago-style politics, where you don't care what the rules are, you're out to go after your enemies for anything. And I'm not saying they did it. But I certainly don't like the way it's -- when Kathleen Sebelius is now hitting up the very people she regulates, it may not be illegal, but it is certainly unethical. It is inappropriate. It's wrong. It may not be illegal, but it's wrong to do that.

CAVUTO: All right, Doctor, Senator, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

COBURN: You bet. See you.

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