OTR Interviews

Sen. Marco Rubio zeroes in on cutting the 'heart' out of ObamaCare

Senator explains his 'Right to Refuse' Constitutional amendment that would invalidate ObamaCare's mandate tax, why he believes Obama and his administration are worried and the need for changes in his immigration reform bill

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 5, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Senator Marco Rubio says he has found a way to take the heart right out of ObamaCare, and he tells us how he is turning his idea into action.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you, sir.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: Good to see you.

VAN SUSTEREN: You have proposed an amendment to the U.S. constitution. What is that proposal?

RUBIO: Well, it's dealing with ObamaCare. If you recall last year when the Supreme Court heard the case on ObamaCare, the argument was Congress can't require you to buy something like health insurance. And the answer was they can't require you buy something, but they can tax you if you fail to buy it.

So this amendment to the constitution says that the Congress cannot punish people for failing to buy something like health insurance with a tax. That is what it is. It is pretty straightforward. The right to refuse, as we call it.

VAN SUSTEREN: The right to refuse. Has it been introduced in the House?

RUBIO: It has. It was introduced in the House. And I think this ObamaCare issue is going to be a real disaster for the country. Just wait until October when people start to let the gears explaining the benefits they are losing. Just wait until January when rates go up on personal insurance. Just wait till businesses start to figure out that they have to pay a $2,000 fine or have to lay people off or move them to part-time to comply with ObamaCare. When that hits our economy next year, even if it starts to hit later this year, I think the economy is really going to freak out, for lack of a letter term.

VAN SUSTEREN: Another issue is not all of the states have set up the exchanges, so the federal government has to, and apparently the federal government has not at least completed that. I don't know if they will get done by October. I don't know where they get the cash to do it. Then the problem that the implementation or fine aspect is through the IRS, and the IRS is embroiled in a terrible scandal.

RUBIO: That's another issue. One of the agencies on the frontline of enforcing ObamaCare is the IRS, the Internal Revenue Service, the same organization that targeted people because of their political views are now the going to be reaching out to the insurance company to determine what kind of insurance cover you have, whether you really been paying it, what does that insurance cover or not cover. They're adding, what is it, between 1,600 and 2,000 additional employees to enforce the law. We have the agency that already has no credibility with the American public, an d we are putting them on the frontlines of a program that quite frankly cannot be administered.

VAN SUSTEREN: The Obama administration thinks it can and doing the mad scramble to figure out how to do it. But in the meantime, you have this proposal for a constitutional amendment. Do you realistically think you can get a constitutional amendment? I don't.

RUBIO: I don't think I can get it today. Here's the point, we need to start developing this idea, because when this thing starts to fall apart and ObamaCare and the full brunt and impact on the economy starts to be felt, people will start looking for answers. How can we get out of this? And we want this to be an option on the table for people. In fact, I think after the 2014 election given the disaster that ObamaCare is going to be, we could well have the votes in both chambers to do significant repeals if not all of ObamaCare, the key portions of it. This actually would take the heart right out of ObamaCare, which is the individual mandate.

VAN SUSTEREN: It seems more likely if the Republicans get any sort of relief it would be in repealing it. But to get a constitutional amendment you have to get two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives. You might get that in the house. You're certainly not going to get that in the Senate, and then three-fourths of the state legislatures.

RUBIO: Here's the point. I think once ObamaCare has the negative impact that it's going to have on our economy, people including Democrats are going to be looking for ways to distance themselves from it. I think it's going to be that level of disaster for the economy. You have outlined some of the reasons why, but it is worse than that. We are going to see is next year when businesses realize maybe it is better if we only have 49 employees instead of 50. Or maybe it's better if we move 10 or 15 people into part-time status. That's going to be felt throughout our entire economy.

VAN SUSTEREN: But you make that statement based on the assumption that this is going get implemented. I really don't know how it is going to get implemented if we don't have the money. We have the HHS secretary Sebelius trying to raise money privately. I don't even know how we get to the point where you are talking about.

RUBIO: The point is that small businesses and mid-sized businesses and even large businesses by some point this year as they sit down with the tax professionals or lawyers, they have to plan for the fact that this could and is supposed to be implemented. They have to start planning for that it. They can't wait until January to do something about it. They have to do something about it this year. That means they'll start making hiring decisions this year and start making decisions to lay people off this year and start planning for next year based on all of the information and all these assumptions.

This is going to start having an impact on the economy this year. In fact I think over the next few months we will start to see the neglect impact that ObamaCare is going to have.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think President Obama is thinking right now about ObamaCare in terms of the implementation of whether or not it's going to work out once it's rolled out?

RUBIO: I think they can see the same things we do. I think they are very worried about it. We know that a couple of days ago we discovered all these Democratic offices have gotten this binder that basically tells them to assign somebody in the home district to be the outreach person on ObamaCare, all these sorts of things to try to fix it or make it look better are in the eyes of the about public.

The problem is that the system in and of itself is not implementable. It will be a complete disaster for the American economy and for American businesses and American employers and it will hurt millions of Americans. And I think you will start to feel that this year.

I know in my home state of Florida in October of this year, people on Medicare Advantage like my mom will get a letter in the mail, and it will describe to them the benefits they used to get and they benefits they are no longer getting, and they will not be happy about it. Sadly, they don't know it yet, because HHS issued a gag order and these insurance companies, telling them you can't tell the customers about this.

VAN SUSTEREN: How can there be a gag order?

RUBIO: They are not allowed to tell the customers what the changes are.

VAN SUSTEREN: How could that possibly be? Who came up with the gag order?

RUBIO: That was part of the original days after the bill was passed.

VAN SUSTEREN: If that gets passed in the House --

RUBIO: It's a rule.

VAN SUSTEREN: Added afterwards?

RUBIO: Absolutely. And the reason why is they don't want insurance companies, you know, ginning up their customers against the law or against implementing the plow. They didn't want the insured to know or the potential patients to know of the changes that are coming. So they are not allowed to. A Medicare Advantage insurer is not allowed today to tell the recipient what is coming down the pike. But they will tell them in October when they get their benefit letter and it tells them this year we no longer cover dental or eye care or what have you.

VAN SUSTEREN: I want people to have medical care, but I don't see as this is unfolding that this is going to unfold in a good way for Americans.

RUBIO: I don't know if there's any way to implement Obamacare effectively. In fact I think just the very existence of it over the next few months will have a very detrimental effect on American jobs.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any problem with HHS Secretary Sebelius raising money from people that she oversees or regulates. I think it is a conflict of interest. You couldn't do it as a lawyer. As a lawyer if you tried to hustle like that you get into a lot of trouble.

RUBIO: I can tell you, for example, as a policymaker I cannot go out and raise money to go out and promote a bill of mine. What they're doing is even worse. She actually oversees the individuals. Imagine getting a phone call from the head of HHS asking you more money knowing that they make all sorts of rules and regulations that directly impact your bottom line. I think that is pretty uncomfortable position to be in. And then to raise the money for the purposes of going out and promoting the law is not something that's appropriate.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Next, more with Senator Marco Rubio.

======================================================

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it a major setback or a way forward for immigration reform? The gang of eight in the House is now just a gang of seven. Tonight Republican Congressman Raul Labrador says he is done. He's dropping out as the House gang's other members say they reached a deal.

Senator Marco Rubio is leading the charge as the full Senate plans to vote next week anion immigration bill. What will it take for are the Bill to pass? We asked Senator Rubio.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Immigration, where does it stand on the immigration bill?

RUBIO: I think it's pretty straightforward, and I've said this to people. In order to get the vote to pass it out of the Senate, not to mention the House, and to pass a law, people have to know this is never going to happen again. They are prepared to deal with the 11 million that are in this country illegally. People understand the status quo is unacceptable. It's de facto amnesty. They are prepared to deal with this. But only if we take steps to ensure this never happens again in the future.

And so I think that is what the next few weeks are about. It's coming up with changes to the bill that ensures that the boarder is secure and e verify is work and we are tracking the entry and exit of visitors to the country to ensure when we deal with this issue now it will be the last time we deal with it.

VAN SUSTEREN: We have e-verify and border security, and it hasn't worked to it date sealing the border. What do you intend to do differently to convince the American people that this time, yes, it will work?

RUBIO: We now have resources at our disposal that didn't exist 25 years ago.

VAN SUSTEREN: Like?

RUBIO: For example, drone technology.

VAN SUSTEREN: And follow them to Phoenix?

RUBIO: Yes, throughout the desert. You can see them even at night. We know that technology exists. Ground sensors, we know the double layer fencing works and needs to be built.

There was a bill passed in 2007 or 2006 that required 700 miles of double fencing and it was never built. The Congress came back and defunded a significant portion of it. Staffing levels at the border patrol.

But the other part is e verify. The magnet that draws people here illegally is labor, jobs that are available. The true e-verify system every employer is required to comply with, cost-effective and can do in a matter of minutes, but you allows you to positively identify whether the person you are hiring is here legally or not.

And the third is just tracking visitors. We track people when they come in but we don't track when they he leave. And 40 percent of our illegal immigrants entered the country legally and overstayed their visas. We don't know who they are because we don't track people when they leave.

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean whether it is JFK or Miami international airport or -- it's not just the border between U.S. and Mexico. We have the major airports people coming in on student and vacation visas, and then just stay.

RUBIO: They all have to have a passport when you come in. They have to swipe it back out, entrance and exit.

VAN SUSTEREN: You have a six month visa and you decide to leave 10 years from now. What are we going to do --

RUBIO: The problem is once you enter the country you are registered as clocking in, basically. If you haven't left, the system will say John Doe came in.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are we going to hunt them down then?

RUBIO: Number one, they won't be able to find a job because you have an e-verify system that knows that they're here illegally. Number two, they will be in that database so if they interact with law enforcement or anybody else it will pop up that this independent is in the country illegally.

VAN SUSTEREN: So you get picked up for drunk driving or speeding or lifting someone at the 7-Eleven.

RUBIO: But you won't be able to work. You have to be able to sustain yourself if you going to overstay the tourist visa, and that is why the e-verify component is so important.

VAN SUSTEREN: What if it is like a 7-Eleven where they only have four you or five employees?

RUBIO: The software is cost-effective. The person has to produce an I.D., and you type the name that the program and you can see that it's them. You have a photo he tool shows you if it is them. You print that out and you put it in the file and you hire them because they're here legally. If the person doesn't check out as legally here they can't work for you. And if you hire them we are doubling the penalties for businesses that violate that law.

VAN SUSTEREN: And we have the software and it works, and it's a matter of using it?

RUBIO: It has to be improved. I can show up somewhere with someone else's Social Security card and say I'm John Doe. You run it through and it comes up as legal even though it is not me, and you hire me. Now, there will be a photo tool associated with it. So there will be a picture of you online with regards to who you are. And where it's especially going to be effective are people in the country in a nonimmigrant status or recent arrivals that as part of the entry program will have that photo of themselves taken. They will be able to match that up and see not just the card but a picture and foe that that is the person or not.

(END VIDEOTAPE)