Hoodwinked by Health Care? CBO Estimate of Cost $115B More Than Original White House Estimate

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 12, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: OK, hold your breath and count to 115 billion. According to CBO, the health care bill could cost $150 billion more than the government originally thought. That makes the grand total more than $1 trillion for the health care bill.

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, who has been protesting that price tag for more than a year, goes "On the Record."


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

SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R-UTAH: Nice to see you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, I have this letter from the Congressional Budget Office to member Jerry Lewis, ranking member on the committee on appropriations about scoring the federal health care bill. We got an update on it. A huge $115 billion dollars over 10 years more?

HATCH: That's exactly right. They sold this bill as less than $1 trillion. And the gimmicked it up by not counting the first four years. It is really over 10 years $2.5 trillion.

But taking their word it is less than $1 trillion we now find it is $115 billion more so it is over $1 trillion. I might add there are all kinds of other costs they are not talking about here as well. So the budget will double in five years and triple in 10 years under the Obama administration. Health care is going to be one of the major reasons for the tripling.

VAN SUSTEREN: I read an article in the Associated Press asking the CBO why suddenly the $115 billion number now, and the Associated Press says the CBO says the reason they didn't tell us before is they didn't have enough time.

HATCH: They wanted to get this bill passed.

VAN SUSTEREN: Meaning the Democrats.

HATCH: Yes, the Democrats. And they did it by a purely partisan vote. And they held back on a lot of things. For instance, they said nobody would pay increased taxes who make less than $250,000 a year. Now we find 25 percent of the people who make less than $250,000 a year are going to be paying additional taxes.

It is going to cost $10 billion just to enforce the mandates in the bill by the IRS.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's in this letter.

HATCH: That's $10 billion more. Keep in mind the total budget for the IRS today is $12 billion a year. So this is going to almost double the IRS total budget so they can force this mandate on the American people. It gets worse and worse.

I'll tell you, Greta, what's really involved. These people have a real plan here, in my opinion. They want this -- they know this system is going to fail. They know it is going to cost too much. They know it's not going to work, and then they'll throw their hands in the air and say the government has to do it all. We'll go to a single payment system. In the end that's what they are really after.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'll tell you the thing I found particularly distressing. There are a couple of layers of issues. One is the health care bill itself and whether the people like it or don't like it.

But the thing that is distressing I think at the outside the American people ought to know what's in it. And if it is a rush through so the CBO is saying they couldn't give us the candid anticipated cost because they got it rushed through, there really was no rush except Christmas day seemed to be a deadline.

I think that is going to distress the American people if they find the CBO is saying we didn't have time to give you the right numbers.

HATCH: Keep in mind the CBO is run by the Democrats. The head of the CBO is an honest man in my opinion, but he's a Democrat. In other words, they could have waited a little longer. They could have tried to build bipartisan vote on the health care bill.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which is another issue.

HATCH: Which is another issue. They rushed it through, and now they are telling us we weren't quite accurate in our assessments, in our economics. We knew they weren't accurate. We knew it is phony that the delay to increase all the taxes between now and 2014, to delay the benefits until 2014 is just phony.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know if they are saying they were inaccurate. They said they didn't have enough time because they rushed by the Democratic Party. And they are saying that the items that were left out in the original number was the discretionary spending, and that there's no absolute requirement that it be spent, but now we are going to come back and revisit that.

HATCH: I don't blame the Congressional Budget Office. I said all along it was going to cost a lot more than what they had estimated. And the fact is they rushed this to judgment, didn't even try to get a bipartisan vote on it, or should I say they didn't do anything to really entice people to vote together on it.

And now we are finding that it is a lot more costly than they said it would be. And not only that, enforcing it by the IRS is going to double the IRS budget. People are going to pay taxes who weren't supposed to pay taxes. Only the rich were supposed to be pay taxes. When do you say these people don't shoot straight? They are just not telling us the truth.

VAN SUSTEREN: I think, I don't want to know how most American taxpayers feel, but I want to know, what is it? If something gets rushed so that there are hidden costs, that's not fair. It may be if I have all the information I would agree with it, but I don't know.

But on these numbers now coming out is distressing, and if you fold it into our other economic issues, unemployment rising by two-tenths of a percent last month, the problem in Greece in which indirectly we may have to pay $15 billion dollars in the IMF. This is getting a little bit -- this is -- this doesn't look good.

HATCH: Not only does it doesn't look good. Remember what I said, these people know isn't going to work.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think they know that?

HATCH: How can they be so stupid not to know? I've been saying it all along. I know what's going to happen. They are going to throw their hands in the air and say we have to go a single payer system.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why would they do that? That's sinister.

HATCH: Because they want the government in Washington, D.C. to control everything. That's what they are doing.

VAN SUSTEREN: So you think it's dirty dealing?

HATCH: I wouldn't call it dirty dealing. I know that they're --

VAN SUSTEREN: It is not candid.

HATCH: I know the CBO, the chief actuary there really does try to do a very good job. But it was rushed all the way through.

Let me just say, if you look at it, they said they would cover the 32 million people who did not have health insurance. But they pushed 16 million into Medicaid, which means more and more government control.

Now, have you noticed how many corporations now are canceling health insurance for their employees because they are pushing them in there also? Guess who is going to pay for this? It's going to be the taxpayers. And frankly, we predicted all of this.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any chance -- if the discretionary spending in this letter --

HATCH: The $115 billion dollars.

VAN SUSTEREN: If that is not spent, then of course it hasn't been over-evaluated. That's a discretionary number, right?

HATCH: But we know it is going to be spent.


HATCH: You're doggone right. Every time the CBO comes out with a number it is always more. It isn't because they are not trying. It is because they generally haven't got all the facts or just the nature of the beast that it always cost more. I've never seen them save any money yet.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thank you, sir.

HATCH: Nice to be with you.


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