Can Americans withstand the crushing cost of ObamaCare?

Charles Krauthammer weighs in on the continued ObamaCare chaos


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 26, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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Hi I'm Juan Williams, in for Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us this evening. Our "Top Story" tonight: get ready to pay up as you're ringing the New Year an onslaught of new taxes and hidden fees take effect in just days. And they will take billions of dollars out of Americans' pockets to help cover the cost of Obamacare.

It's all in the name of making healthcare more affordable, but a new analysis by "USA Today" shows the opposite for many Americans who don't qualify for government subsidies.

In states using the federal Obamacare Web site, more than half the counties lack affordable health plans for 40-year-old couples and more than a third don't offer affordable plans for people over 50. Can Americans withstand the crushing new cost of Obamacare in the New Year? Joining us now from Washington to analyze: Fox News political analyst Charles Krauthammer -- the author of "Things That Matter", the number one "New York Times" bestseller now available on audio book CD.

Charles, I am looking here at a list in my mind, in my hand, I should say, of some of these new taxes and fees. Of course, we know about the individual mandate that's going to tax -- that's what the Supreme Court said put a tax on people who don't sign up.

But you've also got taxes on medical devices. You've got a Medicare payroll tax. In all, you've got 20 new taxes in Obamacare, nine that have taken effect this year or next. What -- what are all these hidden taxes and fees coming for? What is it going to do for anybody?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, how do you think Sandra Fluke gets her free contraceptives? Remember all the free stuff people are getting, the free mammograms? The free preventative care, the free everything? Nothing is free in this world. What Obamacare managed to do very cleverly when it was selling itself is to hide all these taxes.

There are a $1 trillion a year as the ones you mentioned are just a sample. And they are everywhere. And then there is the one that you just mentioned in your introduction, which is the hidden tax. People tossed off their private insurance. And then it will be in the future people tossed off their employer insurance who now have to buy plans with all of these bells and whistles that people don't want.

But it does that to artificially inflate the premium and, thus, use that extra money people are paying, the hike in their premium and to use it to subsidize other people. So the cost here that people are paying out is huge. And what you mention about the middle, the middle-middle and the upper middle class is, they are being asked to subsidize anybody up to three times the poverty line.

So that's the plan. This is a huge transfer of wealth that was always in the bill. It was never anything that couldn't have been seen. But the media and most analysts and of course, Democrats were uninterested in looking at it at all.

WILLIAMS: Well, here is the thing. You know, it's supposed to help people, especially people who have been lacking in health insurance or under insured. But what the "USA Today" story indicated is that somebody who is making a middle income, you know, an individual making $50,000 or so, a couple making $60,000, if they don't qualify for that subsidy, Charles, their cost of insurance, their premium under the Obamacare plan is going to be more than eight percent of their income, which is what Obamacare says is the base. You should pay no more than eight percent.

But now they are going to have to pay much more and they are going to have to pay the added fees and the added taxes. So there are people who are being squeezed we have already talked about people who have had plans canceled. But here is a segment that's new to the table as being squeezed and possibly squeezed out of all health insurance.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well that's -- and that was the fraud of Obama's campaign promise. They pretended they only wanted to tax the upper two percent you know the very rich and the plutocrats and all of that but what they didn't say is that hidden in Obamacare were billions, tens of billions of dollars of tax hike on the middle, as you say, $50,000 that's about the medium income in the country, household income and the upper middle class. This is a huge tax on the middle class.

But Obama poses, defender of the middle class against the very rich now we look inside -- remember Pelosi said we're not going to know what's in the bill until we pass it. Well we passed it we're enacting it and now we can see what was in it all the time and people don't like it.

WILLIAMS: Now Charles well part of this bill and this is where I started with you this evening was to say what's all this -- where is all these money going? What's it for? What are all these hidden taxes and fees for? Part of it, it seems to me is to help the insurance companies in case that their risk pools don't pan out -- that they don't get enough young healthy people. It's to make sure that they have some compensation. In fact what we know is there are so-called risk corridors put in there so the government can give money to the insurance companies if they are not getting enough money back.

So is this going to result in the government doing a GM and bailing out the insurance companies down the line?

KRAUTHAMMER: Well that's what the insurers are scared to death about. You've gotten all of these new audibles called at the scrimmage line by the administration. The new rules the extension of the deadlines. The instruction that anybody who has canceled insurance no longer has to pay a fine or a tax or can buy a very cheap catastrophic plan.

This stuff is being tossed at the insurers at the last moment. They already are looking at a catastrophe of enrollment. Hugely under enrolled and hugely weighted against the young and the healthy, the ones who are supposed to subsidize everybody else.

WILLIAMS: All right.

KRAUTHAMMER: They can see billions losses down the road. And there is only one way out of that, Juan. That's going to be a bailout. That's why the administration is somewhat serene and that's why the Republicans have to get up right now and to pass a bill saying no bailout at least in the house.

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