This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," August 10, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you willing to put your family on this government assistance, which is different from the one you currently use? If you're not willing to put your family in the system, why should the rest of us?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the rest of the people in Congress and the Senate, are they going to be willing to be on the same plan they're asking us to be on?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, that's what this fellow wants to know. You cook it, you damn well better eat it. My next guest taking folks up on it. He is pushing to force members of Congress to sign up for the public health care plan top Democrats still want to create.
Congressman John Feehery is not only a Republican from Louisiana. He's also a doctor.
• Video: Watch Neil's interview
So, Congressman, you say, if Congress is going to propose, they should take up, right?
REP. JOHN FLEMING (R), LOUISIANA: Well, absolutely, Neil.
You know, I came to Washington for the first time in January, concerned about the arrogance and hypocrisy of Congress. And I found once I got there that I grossly underestimated the problem.
This — my resolution, House Resolution 615, simply says that, if you vote for a public option, that you are willing to join it, because there's a carve-out, there's a waiver for Congress that says that we don't have to join it.
And, so far, we have over 300,000 Americans who have signed the petition. And the rapidity of which that is growing is actually increasing. And we have 69 co-sponsors, all Republicans. And I have reached out to all the Democrats in the House and none have been willing to sign on.
CAVUTO: Well, the reason why they haven't signed on to it, Congressman, is it goes against what Henry Waxman has said — I think I have got the gist of this right, sir — that that is the beauty of what they are proposing. You have the option of keeping what you have or going the public route, and they would be exercising that, that that is their freedom, and that that would be folks' freedom at home.
You're not buying it?
FLEMING: No, I — I really don't agree with that.
If you understand, Neil, that, today, we have Medicare, which is a microcosm, if you will, of a single-payer system, it's heavily subsidized and supported by private insurance. As we enlarge that balloon, that Medicare single-payer balloon, it's going to begin to create a black hole, and suck in private insurance recipients.
It may be — it's estimated as much as 113 Americans will be pulled off of the roll and into the remaining single-payer system. So, a lot of people who like what they have and want to keep it will not be able to do that because of the differential cost to businesses, who must save costs in order to compete with one another.
CAVUTO: All right, so, when they argue that — that that will never happen, you are saying it will happen. They say you don't have proof that that is going to happen.
But the arguments withstanding, Doctor, I would be curious, what is on your own take on any kind of health care reform passing this calendar year?
FLEMING: Well, again, I came, Neil, to Washington wanting health care reform.
All of my Republican colleagues want health care reform. But we want commonsense reform, not nonsense reform. There — there's a core 10 million Americans who desire to have private insurance who can't afford it, for different reasons, preexisting illness and so forth, or can't get it.
And we really want to focus on where the needs are. Most Americans can get good health care and have good coverage. And, so, I — I would really have to say that totally destroying a very good system, the best health care in the world, and remaking it into the image of Canada's system or the U.K., which is very unhappy with their system, with long waits and all sorts of difficulties with access to system, rationing and so forth...
FLEMING: ... I just think that that is the wrong thing to do.
CAVUTO: All right, we were just showing, as you were talking, Congressman, a forum going on, a live forum going on, in Senator McCaskill's neck of the woods here.
She was the Democratic senator, as you probably were aware, said that protesters do in fact have a — a legitimate beef, and they're not being put up, as — as Nancy Pelosi seemed to imply in a column today.
How much backlash is the speaker getting over that column?
FLEMING: Well, there is a tremendous backlash, as you can see from these videos, of people who say, look, this is a litmus test.
If this is something that is so great for us, and you're doing this for us, and you're willing to explode the budget to the tune of $1 trillion over five, maybe 10 years, then why don't you just sign up now and show us, make a good example of yourselves?
And, again, we have not seen one single — and we have tried to pass language in House Resolution 615 in the committees themselves.
CAVUTO: All right.
FLEMING: And the Democrats have voted it down.
Senator — Congressman, thank you very much.
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