How will ObamaCare impact 2014 midterm election?

Rep. Tom Cotton on Arkansas Senate race


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 7, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: In the meantime, one thing is clear, to Mort's point. Democrats are feeling emboldened, at least by some of the ObamaCare enrollment numbers, even those in very tight races.

Democratic Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas says that he would vote for the law all over again.

Republican Congress Tom Cotton is fighting for that seat. We did invite Senator Pryor to appear on this show. He wasn't available, but we might have him later this week.

In the meantime, to the good congressman right now, and what he makes of these latest developments, particularly the division among Democrats.

What do you make of that?

REP. TOM COTTON, R-ARK.: Good afternoon, Neil. It's great to be on.

I was frankly very surprised by Senator Pryor's comments last week that he would vote for ObamaCare all over again. ObamaCare is massively unpopular in Arkansas. Large majorities of both parties oppose ObamaCare, just as they did four years ago, when Senator Pryor cast the decisive vote for it.

And it just goes to show that despite the double- or even triple-digit increases that Arkansans are seeing in their premiums or a loss of health insurance or the loss of access to their doctor, Senator Pryor just still doesn't get it. He doesn't understand the kind of pain that ObamaCare is...


CAVUTO: Well, he says that you don't get it, Congressman. He's saying you don't get it, and that if you endorse the conservative budget that's out there, the Paul Ryan budget, that would gradually lift the Medicare eligibility age to 70, you are going to do a whole lot more to hurt folks than he's doing now. You say what?

COTTON: Neil, Senator Pryor has also endorsed in the past increasing the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security.

More importantly, ObamaCare raided Medicare $700 billion to pay for ObamaCare. What we propose to do in the House is to modernize and reform Medicare, so it's available, not just for my generation, but for my parents' generation.


CAVUTO: But you are for raising the age. You say he was for raising the age, so you said there isn't that much of a space between you?

COTTON: Well, we make -- we make no -- we make changes for those who are in or approaching retirement and eligible for Medicare, but for my generation, for people who are decades away who are living longer than we ever have in America, then, yes, we do need to modernize these programs to make sure that they can continue to fulfill the promises we have made to all Americans.

CAVUTO: Congressman, you know, Republicans have always been between a rock and a hard place when it comes to criticizing this law when they say, all right, well, what would you do? Now, there are at least four viable Republican plans, particularly in the Senate, that Harry Reid has simply not taken up.

But the one common theme in each and all is that they have tort reform, or this removing this pall of paying high legal fees on the part of doctors and the medical establishment. Would you compromise any of that to get any bill, any Republican measure forward, because that seems to be a nonstarter with Democrats?

COTTON: Neil, in the House, we have passed numerous measures to try to protect our constituents from the harms of ObamaCare.

Just last week, we tried to lift the cap on the weekly workweek from 30 hours which ObamaCare puts in to up to 40 hours. We have tried to stop the individual mandate tax. You're right that there are a lot of reforms. What they truly do all have in common to trying to empower patients, so they can have the choice between insurance plans or doctors or other kind of providers, not bureaucrats in Washington in control.

So in the long term, we do have to repeal ObamaCare entirely, but ultimately we need to replace it with reforms that trust patients and doctors, not bureaucrats in Washington.

CAVUTO: Congressman, thank you very, very much.

COTTON: Thank you.

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