OTR Interviews

ObamaCare a nightmare for MLK's 'Dream'?

Why some find HHS Secretary Sebelius' ObamaCare pitch on Martin Luther King's holiday offensive. Plus, dissecting Obama's claim that some dislike him because he's a black president

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 20, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Listen to this. One of the ways the Obama administration is marking Martin Luther King holiday is a promotional push for ObamaCare. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a statement urging people to sign up as we, quote, "Celebrate the inspirational life of Martin Luther King."

A New York City pastor calling that push insulting to Martin Luther King Jr's memory. Reverend Michel Faulkner joins us. Good evening, sir.

MICHEL FAULKNER, PRESIDENT, THE INSTITUTE FOR LEADERSHIP: Good evening, Greta. Always a pleasure to be with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Always a pleasure to have you. Why do you find that insulting, sir, that they use Martin Luther King to push out ObamaCare?

FAULKNER: I find it insulting because they take bad legislation, and they're trying to use the memory, the good memory and the wonderful legacy of Martin Luther King, how he achieved what he was able to achieve through the civil rights movement, through his life and legacy and writings and all that he stood for, to cover up the horrible government fiasco known as the Affordable Care Act. It is not affordable and it doesn't promote health.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know you work in Harlem. How has ObamaCare impacted your community members of your congregation?

FAULKNER: It really hasn't, to be honest with you, because it really has not addressed any new issues. In New York State, we have always had a health care program that truly looked out for the marginalized and the poor. However, the Affordable Health Care Act was supposed to address issues like prevention. It does not. It does not level the playing field. It does not help people to get healthier. It just simply shifts the payment of the bill to someone else. And it supposedly guarantees affordable health care for everyone. And it really does not. Because the health care costs are continuing to skyrocket. And we are going to reach a point in time in this country when we are no longer going to be able to afford these sicknesses. We need to address health in a way that promotes health and not simply pays for sickness.

VAN SUSTEREN: Reverend, let me ask you another question. It's about comments President Obama made to the "New Yorker" magazine. The president saying, "No doubt some folks who really dislike me because they don't like the idea of a black president. Now, the flip side of it is, there are some black folks and make some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I'm a black president."

Reverend, your thoughts on the president's comments?

FAULKNER: He is the President of these United States of America, black, white, whatever. We elected him and twice. So he has got a job to do, black, white, whatever. And, sure, there are some people that don't like him because is he black and there are some people that are going to give him the benefit of the doubt because is he black. So what? Do your job, Mr. President. We elected you to do a job.

We didn't elect you because you were black. We elected you because the majority of Americans believed that the content of your character was beyond the color of your skin. Now for you to bring up skin color in this day and age. I have been black all my life and I have been dealing with it all my life. We do that. That is what we do. We have to be comfortable in who we are. Not saying that the comments said that Mr. Obama is not comfortable in who he is, however he is the president of the United States. I don't expect the president to say those things or to at least say them out loud so people can hear them. He is the president. He has got a job to do.

VAN SUSTEREN: In listening to it though, I sort of thought, you know, he was sort of thinking out loud in the sense tht, if there were a woman president, a woman would says, a lot of women vote for me because I'm a woman, and a lot of people don't like me because I'm a woman. I actually - - I'm not so sure he wasn't sort of talking about the realities of how people vote. You could substitute black for woman, for anything. I'm not critical. I'm one of the few who isn't critical about him in today's discussion on this.

FAULKNER: Well, you know, I mean, that's certainly could be the context of it, Greta. And certainly, I don't think that he was, you know, necessarily crying in his Cheerios about, you know, about what was going on. But I do think it is important for us to -- for him to focus on the fact that Americans right now are expecting him to get himself together, get that administration together, and move us forward as a nation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Agreed. We have got to get off the race thing, which can be so dividing amongst us, and sort of work forward for the entire country.

FAULKNER: Absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: Reverend -- Reverend --

FAULKNER: Absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: Always nice to see you, Reverend.

FAULKNER: It is wonderful to see you, Greta. And we -- you know, just one more thing about the health care bill. We need to focus on -- we need to address it. We have been addressing it, and through community efforts, and we need to do more of that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, sir.

FAULKNER: OK. God bless.