How Will We Pay for the New Health Care Bill?

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 16, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: House Democrats make no bones about it. They must find money to pay for the new health care bill, and they need to find lots of it.

The plan, raise taxes on who and what? Many Republicans are trying to stop the plan. One of them is Senator John Barrasso, who is also a doctor. Doctor, first of all, is this going to pass before the recess, or is on a fast track or not?

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO, R - WYOMING: I'm getting email and calls from around the country saying what's the rush? Get it right before you get anything done. And tonight Senator Baucus came out who's the chairman of the finance committee and said we cannot afford to be rushed, we need to find the solution that works.

So I agree with them. I think this should not be rushed. This is something people should take home with them, members should take home, should read, and then over August have town meetings, and travel around the states, and let people look at it and get the good ideas from all across America. That's what I plan to do in Wyoming.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, I will tell you, that if this bill does not get read, it is like this stimulus where people just hoped for the best and guess, and that the people we send to Washington don't read it, I think that the American people are going to be very upset if this is just a guessing game.

But anyway, that's my thought.

BARRASSO: And the same thing with the cap and trade bill. It's the exact same thing with a cap and trade bill.

VAN SUSTEREN: If you are not, we don't need you. In a sense, just flip a coin, or go to Vegas on it.

All right, the president wrote a letter on June 2 to Senator Kennedy and Senator Baucus saying that health care reform must not add to our deficit over the next 10 years, and must be at least deficit neutral. That means we got to find the cash for it.

Where do we get the money for this? How is now expected to be paid for?

BARRASSO: That's why I have problems with it, Greta, because it costs too much, it covers too few people, it causes too many people to get kicked off of the insurance that they may have and they like.

They're talking about raising taxes all different ways, and I just disagree. I think we need to get health care costs down. I practice medicine for 25 years. I've seen it as a doctor, my wife is breast cancer survivor. We've seen from the side of being patient.

We need to have people own their own insurance policies so is portable. We need to let people shop across state lines. Those are the ways to get the cost down.

Today, they had a hearing in the budget committee, Greta, the budget officer of the Congressional Budget Office said that these bills are raising the costs, they're making it worse, and make our deficit worse, which is going to make our economy worse.

VAN SUSTEREN: I actually sort of like the idea of having a bunch of doctors getting together. You're one, Howard Dean is a doctor. I mean, get people to actually have hands on experience to try to figure out what's wrong with the system.

And I have a little bit of a problem having insurance companies involved in these decisions, because they're in business. They've got business. I mean, doctors have a little bit of a different job here.

How would you fix this? If you had a magic wand, and being practical for the money, how would you fix this?

BARRASSO: I would give people individual choices, individual responsibilities, ways that they can save money.

People are very smart when it comes to their own money but aren't as cautious when it comes to spending insurance company money, government money. And --

VAN SUSTEREN: But a lot of people can't afford it. We can't just let people pile up on the street and die. What can we do?

BARRASSO: No. There are people that absolutely need help, and there are ways to do that.

But of all of those without insurance, many of them are already eligible for insurance, just have not signed up. About 10 million, Greta, are not here legally in the United States. You have another 10 million who could clearly afford the insurance. They make over $75,000 a year and choose not to buy it.

And then you have people like my kids who are bulletproof, those 18 to 30 year olds who think they don't need it.

But under the Kennedy plan, those young people are going to have to pay a much higher rate to cover older folks because there is not going to be any incentive for them to try and stay healthy to keep down the cost of the care.

When you look at the Kennedy bill, they talk about prevention. And what they do for prevention is a pay site's jungle gyms. Kind of reminds you of the old midnight basketball. They don't do anything to give them an incentive to an individual to quit smoking or exercise a little more, eat a little less, get her diabetes under control, their blood pressure under control, their cholesterol down.

Those are the things that are going to help us save money.

VAN SUSTEREN: And with that, I have to go, senator. And I do hope you urge all your colleagues to actually read this one, because, it will, I'm telling you, I got the e-mails. People are going to be enraged if it's just closing your eyes and voting yes or no.

Thank you, senator.

BARRASSO: And you tell your viewers to demand that their elected representatives read it.

VAN SUSTEREN: I will. They'll love to hear that one. They love that stuff. Anyway, thank you.

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