GOP Welcomed in Health Care Debate?

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," February 9, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: All right, let's move on to health care, GOP leaders meeting with the president today. They want him to scrap the Democratic health care bill and start from scratch.

It follows a report that the president plans to walk into his bipartisan summit with an agreement in hand on a final Democrat bill and move on it after that.

Reaction now from Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland.

Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS D-MD.: Good being with you.

VARNEY: You know, I'm going to remind everybody one more time of the Massachusetts vote. Scott Brown said, vote for me, I will kill this Democrat health care plan.

They voted for him. He's going to try to kill it. I put it to you, sir. The people, the voters, they don't want it.

CUMMINGS: Well, it's interesting that you say that. A recent Washington Post poll shows that 63 percent of the people want the president, the Democrats and the Republicans, to sit down and work out a bipartisan solution to this problem.

And that's a fact. And, so, you know, I mean, Scott Brown, keep in mind, voted for a piece of legislation up there in Massachusetts that is quite similar to the Senate bill that has already passed. And keep in mind, the — this bill passed the Senate overwhelmingly, with 60 percent of the vote.

VARNEY: I put it to you that the disagreement is not necessarily between Republicans and Democrats. It's really between Democrats. There aren't the votes on a Reid-Pelosi bill to pass the Senate or the House, and the voters don't want it.

I mean, the argument here...

CUMMINGS: I'm amazed that you would — I'm astounded that you would...

VARNEY: But the argument is not — is between Democrats.

CUMMINGS: Yes, I'm astounded that you would even say that.

You are act — I mean, you are acting as if the folks who — for example, a person like Mr. DeMint, who has 19 percent of his folks down there in South Carolina with no insurance, that you don't even count them. They sit on the sideline and do nothing. In Texas, 27 percent of the folks down there are uninsured.

VARNEY: Well, I'm counting votes, Congressman.

CUMMINGS: But wait a minute. But listen to me. Don't act as if the Republicans have no responsibility to their constituents who are suffering and dying. Come on. They need to be a part of this process.


VARNEY: The Republicans want to start over.

CUMMINGS: And I'm glad they're coming to the table.

VARNEY: The Republicans believe...

CUMMINGS: No. Why...

VARNEY: I don't want to be their mouthpiece, but the Republicans believe that the health care plan as envisaged by the Democrats is a failure. The voters don't support it. They want to start from scratch. And you don't. The Democrats don't want to.

CUMMINGS: Why start from scratch?

VARNEY: You want to present the plan that they apparently have.

CUMMINGS: Keep in mind, the Republicans — quite a few of the amendments that the Republicans wanted are in the House bill and the Senate bill.

This is a process. And it so happens, just in case you don't remember, the majority of the Senate and the majority of the House are Democrats. And, so, basically, what the president has said, is, look, I have reached out to you before and I asked you to work with me. And when there was this gang of...

VARNEY: Why do you need — why do you need Republican support? I'm sorry to interrupt.

CUMMINGS: I'm sorry?

VARNEY: I do apologize, Congressman. I'm sorry to interrupt.

CUMMINGS: Yes, but, keep in mind...

VARNEY: I have to ask, why do you need — why do you need Republican support? You have an overwhelming majority in the House and in the Senate. Why do you need the Republicans?

CUMMINGS: Because Republicans represent people. Republicans represent people who are dying and who are sick and who have no insurance.

And we all need to be a part of this process. That's what the president has been talking about. He's basically said, look, I don't want to do politics as usual. I want us to come together and work together.

And then — but then the other reason is, you have got the Republicans standing on the sidelines complaining that they're not a part of the process. So, the president says, come on, everybody, let's sit down and work this out.

And that's what he's trying to do. He's doing it in part because the Republicans have said they want to be a part of the process.

VARNEY: All right.

CUMMINGS: Now you argue that they shouldn't be a part.

VARNEY: No, I'm arguing that you have got the votes.

CUMMINGS: What's the deal?

VARNEY: I'm arguing that you have got the votes. You have had them for a year. I don't know why you haven't used them.

CUMMINGS: Well, what — the fact is, is that we welcome the Republicans.

I am so happy that they're going to sit down and do what they told the president they're able to do, and that is to accomplish increasing the — the roles with regard to people who are insured by some 30 million, that they will be able to address the abuses of the insurance companies, such as preexisting conditions, doing away with them, and they will be able to — and also to be able to control the costs for almost nothing. Based on them, it's not going to cost us anything.

So, let's see what they say. I would love to see their proposal.



CUMMINGS: I'm excited about it, to be frank with you.

VARNEY: OK. Congressman Elijah Cummings, Democrat, Maryland, thanks for joining us, sir. We appreciate it. Thank you.

CUMMINGS: Thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2010 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.