This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 20, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight in "Your America" over the weekend Massachusetts Senator Teddy Kennedy threw his weight behind the health care proposals that are now under consideration in the House and the Senate writing in Newsweek magazine, he said, quote, "We will bring health care reform to the Senate and House floors soon, and there will be a vote. A century long struggle will reach its climax, and I believe this bill will pass, and we will end the disgrace of America as the only major industrialized nation in the world that doesn't guarantee health care for all of its people."
But Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is warning that the legislation will have unintended consequences including the fact that most Americans will end up with government-run health care, only the wealthy will have a choice about this, bureaucrats, not patients or doctors, will make choices about your health, and the quality of care will diminish.
Governor Jindal now joins us.
Governor, good to see you. Thank you for being here.
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL, R-LA.: Sean, thank you for having me.
HANNITY: All right. That was your rebuttal in the Politico today. Can you go into more specificity and details?
JINDAL: Absolutely. You know, my concerns of the House Democratic plan is, look, you've got a plan that increases deficit spending when we already gave trillion-dollar deficits, as far as the eye can see. You've got a plan that increases taxes on businesses, on those that don't want to participate in this plan, on small businesses and employers as well.
But third and most importantly, you've got a plan that would disrupt the quality by interfering, by inserting the government between providers and their patients. You know it's great whether the president says that you can keep the health care you have if you like it. The problem is that's not what this plan does.
One independent group says as many as 100 million Americans may lose their private coverage, may switch over to the public government-run plan.
You know you've got to give Senator Kennedy this. At least he's honest with what he wants to accomplish. In that Newsweek op-ed he talks about giving up — he said his ideal was always a single payer government run health care system, and I think that's really what's motivating a lot of the proponents of this plan.
But make no mistake about it. This is a radical restructuring of our health care system. You know House Democrats, they've tried to spend, they've tried to borrow our way into prosperity. Now they're trying to tax our way into prosperity, and in the meantime they want to help take over part of our health care system.
The government is already running banks, car companies, now it wants to run our health care system. I think it's a very, very dangerous piece of legislation, and I think we need to slow down, look at the consequences and understand it's higher taxes, higher deficits, worst quality health care for Americans.
HANNITY: Governor, you spell it out very clear in that Teddy Kennedy article really admits something that we conservatives have been pointing out for sometime, and that, in fact, this will result in rationing.
You went on to say, you said, "House Democrats are determined," and you just repeated it here, "to tax and spend our way into prosperity," and then you said our federal government, and I found this truthful, but nobody really having the guts to say it, is just flinging stuff against the wall in trillion-dollar chunks to see what sticks.
Now how frightening is this when it's not our money, it's our children's and grandchildren's money?
JINDAL: Well, that's exactly right. We're borrowing money from China, we're printing money. You look — and you hear what they're actually saying in the Congress. You know they actually say that the government has to participate in the health care marketplace to make it competitive.
When did we start believing that as a country? What's next? Does that mean the government has to start running newspapers and factories and stores?
This is absolutely the wrong way to reform our health care. Obviously we need to bring down costs. Congress' own budget office says this plan will not reduce government healthcare spending. It adds nearly a quarter of a trillion-dollar to the deficits.
Heritage Foundation says we may end up with higher marginal tax rates at the high end, higher than many European countries, many states may be over 50 percent. This isn't the free enterprise system that makes this such a great economy, such a great country.
You know conservatives have a lot of ideas on how we can actually reduce the cost, increase access to health care. Why not listen to some of those ideas? Why aren't we tackling lawsuits, abusive lawsuits? We can save — you know, right now defense and medicine costs as much $100 billion a year.
Why aren't we requiring insurance companies to actually cover those that are sick, allowing small businesses to pool their purchasing power? Why aren't we embracing electronic health care records? Why aren't we doing the kinds of things that actually bring transparency?
Let's provide — let's make providers post prices and outcomes on the Internet so consumers can actually choose. There are things we can actually do that will reduce the cost of health care. Unfortunately the rhetoric we're hearing from House Democrats, from the White House, doesn't match the legislation.
It'd be great if they actually had a plan that did what they said, that was paid for, that actually improved quality, that reduced cost, increased access. Unfortunately the plan doesn't do these things.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this, Governor. One of the things — you outlined everything that the president has up to this point asked for and has gotten, you know, including the stimulus plan and you go through a long laundry list, and then you conclude but taken as a whole what the president has done is devastating.
So my question to you is on a scale of 1 to 10, how devastating is what Barack Obama has done to the economy?
JINDAL: Well, look, the spending is atrocious. At some point you're going to see the value of our dollar go down, you're going to see inflation and interest rate goes up. We've seen this before. You see a debt that's being piled up for our children and grandchildren.
And what scares me about health care, though, that's even more challenging than many things that have come before like the stimulus, the TARP, the auto bailout, and all the other plans — which scares me the most about health care is you're talking about a permanent government involvement, in not only a large part of our economy, but in some of the most important decisions that we as Americans make, those decisions that should be made between American patients and their doctors, not with a government bureaucrat in the room.
HANNITY: All right, Governor. Let me ask you last question. If you were to have an opportunity, and I know you talk to a lot of Republicans around the country, in the House and the Senate, what's your best advice for them? Because I agree with you.
I think this is beyond troubling, I think this will fundamentally alter our free market capitalist system. You're very articulate and passionate. What advice do you give the Republicans? How do they combat this to stop it considering they have both Houses of Congress and the White House?
JINDAL: Two things. One, let's not be fooled by the rhetoric. Let's force them to actually do what they say. Let's force them to actually allow Americans to keep what they have. Let's not be raising taxes during a recession, let's not be adding to the deficit, let's not let the government take over.
And you know, the good news, as you're beginning to see some conservative Democrats begin to express concerns about the impact this will have on the economy, on our health care system.
Secondly, we've got to offer proactive solutions. There are things we believe in that involve things like refundable tax credits to help people buy portable insurance they can carry from job to job across state lines. Let's offer alternative solutions, but let's force the Democrats to live up to their rhetoric. Their plans don't do that.
HANNITY: All right. Governor, good to see you, thanks for being with us.
JINDAL: Thank you, Sean.
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