Interviews

Rep. Mike Kelly: This just isn't working Mr. President

Pennsylvania lawmaker on GOP alternative to ObamaCare

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 16, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: The headache just keeps on coming for ObamaCare, and Republicans are still pushing alternatives.

But did the president get the memo?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If they have some better ideas, I have already told them I'm happy to hear them. But I haven't heard any so far.

The reason why the opponents of this law throughout have never been able to actually offer a better alternative, right? Initially, they said they would.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: But they didn't.

At least they used to say, well, we're going replace it with something better. There's not even a pretense now that they're going to replace it with something better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VARNEY: Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania Mike Kelly is a co- sponsor of one ObamaCare alternative.

Congressman, welcome to the program.

REP. MIKE KELLY, R-PA.: Stuart, thank you for having me.

VARNEY: It's a complex deal, replacing ObamaCare.

KELLY: Absolutely.

VARNEY: Can I run through the main points...

KELLY: Sure. Yes.

VARNEY: ... that I think you're getting another here? Number one, tort reform. Number two, you can get any insurance policy from any insurance company anywhere in the station -- in the nation.

KELLY: Absolutely. Right.

VARNEY: And, number three, you can take your policy with you when you leave a job. And, number four, no mandates.

KELLY: That's correct.

And...

(CROSSTALK)

VARNEY: That's basically your plan.

KELLY: And we address health savings accounts, which makes a lot of sense to a lot of Americans.

Now, the president, I think he thinks if he says it often enough and long enough and loud enough, people will listen to him. But I do think now, we realize the emperor has no clothes. And we're looking at this and we're saying, this just isn't working, Mr. President. And we have going and talking to him, but he is a tough guy to talk to, because if you're not speaking his language, he doesn't hear you.

VARNEY: Well, right back on day one, before the legislation was passed in the first place, weren't you recommending tort reform...

KELLY: Yes.

VARNEY: ... which is a mainstay of your current plan?

KELLY: Oh, absolutely, because, listen, we want everybody protected from bad practices.

But, by the same token, these frivolous lawsuits drive the costs off the charts. And you know and I know this was never about health care for people. This is about insurance for people. There's a huge difference.

We have the best health care in the world. Now they just have to have access to it, and it has to be affordable. We have done things that make commonsense approaches to making it for everyday Americans to be able to go to sleep at night, put your head on the pillow, and know what, you're covered. We have got you covered. And that's what we're there for. That's our job. If we can't do that, we shouldn't be in Washington.

VARNEY: You have a plan.

KELLY: Absolutely.

VARNEY: The congressional Republicans, you have got a plan, and the president says you don't have a plan, and you have got one?

KELLY: Well, we have got a plan. It's the American Health Care Reform Act.

You can go to Kelly.House.gov. Now, that's a Web site you can get on and you can read the information. It's all there. It's been there for a long time. We have tried to be driving this message. But, again, this didn't fit the president's narrative. This has nothing to do with the president or his personality. This has to do with his performance.

We have failed miserably in Washington to provide one of the key -- key things we have to have. As parents, listen, I took care of my parents as they got older. You have got to have that ability to sit down and be able to discuss those things, and there's no one size fits all. That's the beauty of our plan. We allow people to choose what is best for them.

VARNEY: Now, during the commercial break, I was talking to you.

KELLY: Yes. Yes.

VARNEY: You have an example of someone, a constituent of yours...

KELLY: Oh, sure. Yes.

VARNEY: ... who is in a real mess because of ObamaCare. Tell our viewers that story.

KELLY: Well, you know, the -- when I go home to Butler, there's a little restaurant I eat at, Natili's. It's a fourth-generation place, great Italian food.

Cindy (ph) waits on me all the time. Now, the last time I was in with my wife, she said, Mike, can I talk to you about something? I hate to interrupt your dinner, but you know what? I am really torn. My husband company is no longer is going to cover me. They're just going to cover him.

VARNEY: That's because of ObamaCare?

KELLY: Because of ObamaCare.

And she says, now I have to go out and get my own insurance. I checked. It's going to cost me $780 a month. I can't work enough hours. I can't generate enough tips to pay for that. So I have told them that. And they said, we will get you a cheaper policy, $350 a month.

But here's the kicker, Stuart, $11,500 deductible and a 70-30 reimbursement. So insurance will pick up 70 percent. She has to pick up 30 percent. She says, essentially, I have no insurance. And you know what? Cindy is right. And there's 250,000 Pennsylvanians that are finding out that they no longer have health care. And I'm an automobile dealer. Next year, I have got to come back and come up with plan that makes sense for the people that I have worked with for the last 60-some years. And dad started out business. One of the things we had a hallmark, we took care of our associates.

This ObamaCare makes it impossible for us to maintain the great relationship we had with the people that worked with us and tried to keep our customers happy. It's a terrible thing to do to the American people.

VARNEY: Mike Kelly, Republican, Pennsylvania, thanks for joining us, sir.

KELLY: Thanks, Stuart.

Our best to your waitress. Natili, is it?

KELLY: Yes, Natili's, Natili's.

VARNEY: Our best.

(CROSSTALK)

VARNEY: All right, thanks very much.

KELLY: Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2013 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2013 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.