OTR Interviews

ObamaCare turns 5 - and the battles rage on

President Obama's signature achievement is the law of the land but nothing seems settled. #ObamaCare

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 23, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Today is the fifth birthday of ObamaCare. National health care law has faced five years of constitutional challenges. Right now all eyes are on the United States Supreme Court because the United States Supreme Court is deciding a case King vs. Burwell which could determine whether ObamaCare lives or dies.

John Barrasso joins us, who is also a doctor, nice to see you.

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO, R-WYO.: Thanks for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: This maybe a colleague of yours in the US senate. She won't come on talking about this nonprofit hospital serving the poor is going to get shut down and go bankrupt.

BARRASSO: Well it's terrible and across the country 43 rural hospitals have shut down since the Obama healthcare law has come into place. That's affected communities in many, many ways. So, here we are on the fifth anniversary of the president's healthcare law and all across the country Americans do not like this law.

VAN SUSTEREN: I can't get away from the headline, nonprofit serving the poor. And then you have got a candidate running for senate with a union who has got everything to gain from not having a lot of this happen. So it's very distressing. She ought to come on and defend it don't you think so?

BARRASSO: Absolutely. I would like the president to come on and defend the health care law to talk about some the issues that we have seen. There are a lot of reasons it's so unpopular and the costs have gone up. Remember what he promised. He promised the cost to have insurance would go down by $2,500 per family.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. What is the republican plan in case -- in the event -- I don't know how the Supreme Court is going to decide but in the event the Supreme Court guts King vs. Burwell and takes away the subsidies and credits from states that did not set up their own exchange. What are you going to do about it?

BARRASSO: One is we want to set up off-ramp from ObamaCare and get the decisions being made much more closely to home at the state level where people will have much more freedom and flexibility and choice so that people can actually get the insurance that works for them. They have a lot better idea of what they need than the president of the United States does.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any discussion now between the republicans on Capitol Hill and the president in the event -- I don't know what the Supreme Court is going to decide. But at least for the benefit of the American people, there ought to be a dialogue so at least, you know, we know what plan A or plan B.

BARRASSO: Well, I brought that up to the president at the White House right after the new members of the Senate and we took the majority in January and he said they had no plan because they thought that the Supreme Court would rule their way. He said we have 5 million happy people. He said and I know who they are. So, the president is really dug in and his argument is just that there will be people that may be left without coverage. Well, the republicans are ready to make sure that we can protect the people but not protect this awful health care law itself by forming a bridge, an off ramp to get these people making decisions at the state level where they can get better coverage and better care.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know what's going to happen at the Supreme Court. But all I know is that at least I would be ready for it if I were, you know, because I know the uncertainty of the Supreme Court. That would be the fair thing for the American people.

BARRASSO: We're meeting every week, republicans in the house, and republicans in the senate to come up with the best way to make sure that we can protect the people but not the law and get the decisions made locally and there are a lot of good things that we can do to help. You really do need a Republican president in the White House who will sign the repeal and the replacement law.

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

BARRASSO: Thanks for having me.