Not the Way to Do Health Care Reform

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 15, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, sometimes a picture says it all. Take a look at this flow chart. According to the Republicans, this flow chart shows how the bureaucracy will work in the House Democrats' health plan. That's the health care plan. But do the Democrats -- or but do the Republicans have a better idea?

Moments ago, Senator Orrin Hatch went "On the Record."


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

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

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, this health reform bill that's sort of meandering its way through Capitol Hill -- how's it going to be paid for?

HATCH: Well, let me tell you. I don't think it is going to be paid for. The fact is, they don't even have the scoring done, and yet they want to put it through before the August recess. And there's a good reason for that. They know that if they pass these bills before, they have a better chance of getting through the next 30 days. But if they don't, then over that 30-day period, people are going to really be examining what the costs are of this bill.

You know, we're talking about a deficit in this country of, for this year, $1.8 trillion. We're talking about that doubling within the next five years and tripling within the next 10 years. We're talking about a $10 trillion deficit by as early as 2014.

And what they are going to do here is there are going to -- we already have the $2.5 trillion health care bill in this country when you count every aspect of health care that the federal government is involved in. And what they want to do is add $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion more.

Now, the house will tell you is that there is only $1.1 trillion, but that is a lot of money even if that it all it was, but I guarantee you it isn't. And then the health committee said, well, we have got our stub at $600 plus billion.

But what they don't tell you is that they his budget gimmickry to get those prices. What they're really talking about is $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion on top of $2.5 trillion.

And I'll tell you, you know that they're going to do? They're going to expand Medicaid. And even if they expand that and the costs go off the charts, then they won't cover these 20 million people

So they're going to charge these kinds of costs to American society, and in the end, there will be at least 20 million people uncovered. And if they don't do the Medicaid expansion, there will be at least 33 million people that won't have any health insurance.

To be honest with you, it is basically immoral what they're doing.

VAN SUSTEREN: When I hear these numbers, like $1 trillion in the deficit or more, you know, at first, they were, like, astounding. I thought $800 billion was a lot in February.

We are sort getting used to these numbers. But I think the American people are probably thinking at home what does it really mean for me? How much is it going to cost someone in my hometown or someone in your hometown? What does it really mean for them?

HATCH: Our country right now is living off -- every dollar that we spend, 50 percent of it is deficit financed. Now, they want to add these costs to it without really having all the scoring.

And without scoring, I mean, economic score, so we know the best we can, through the Congressional Budget Office, where we're going.

I just had a letter today. It's a really interesting letter. This letter is from the Congressional Budget Office. It is from Mr. Almandorff, who is our Congressional Budget Director.

This is really interesting. I will put my glasses on to read this, and it will blow your mind when you see it, because they have been selling the American people that this will not cost much and that they have a way of doing it.

It just says CBO has not yet had time to produce a full estimate of the cost of incorporating any specific Medicaid expansion in the health committee's legislation. This is the committee's legislation that we just passed out this morning.

VAN SUSTEREN: So we do not have time to do the research on the costs is what the CBO is saying?

HATCH: Right, they haven't had time.

"However, our preliminary analysis indicates that such an expansion could be increase federal spending for Medicaid by an amount that could vary in a broad range from around $500 billion over 10 years.

Along with that increase in federal spending would come a substantial increase in Medicaid enrollment, amounting to perhaps 15 million or 20 million people.

Such an expansion of Medicaid would also have some impact on the number of people who obtain coverage from other sources, including employers.

All told, the number of people who would remain uninsured would probably decline to somewhere between 15,000, and 20 million," just like I said. "For comparison, CBO's analysis of the draft legislation that was released by the health committee found that absent any expansion of Medicaid or other change in the legislation, about 33 million people would ultimately remain uninsured if it were to be enacted."

VAN SUSTEREN: What I said about under the program that's being proposed is that there will be all these people who aren't insured, they're not going to get insurance anyway. It's going to cost a fortune. And I presume taxes will have pay for this. We're going to have to get a rise in taxes.

HATCH: Well, if they expand Medicaid, many of these people -- many of these people that are going to be these 15 million or 20 million people, they are people who have private health insurance now, and they will be pushed into Medicare, in other words, the government plan.

VAN SUSTEREN: Where do we get this money? I am trying to figure out -- there is the issue of whether the program is any good, whether it does what it says it's supposed to, and then there is how we are going to pay for it.

And that is why ask the question, are our taxes going up, whose taxes, or is that not how they are going to pay for it?

HATCH: They are going to pay for it in a variety of ways. One we would be to sock it to the so-called "rich," unquote, many of whom are small business people who put the monies back into their businesses and hire people and keep jobs going.

Some of them are very rich people. If you earn over $350,000 a year, you get socked 1 percent more. If it is over $500,000, it's a 1.5 percent more. If you're over $1 million, it is 5.4 percent more.

Now, some people might say that is fine because they're rich. Well, it may be fine, except that the rich generally pass these costs along to the poor.

And in the case of small businesses, which produces 70 percent of all of our jobs, that means if they either pass those costs on or they reduce employment or fire people in order to be able to make the payments.

I the hospital, I believe they are going to give subsidies to people who are 400 percent of the federal poverty level. That means $88,000 a year, by the way. And in some instances, it means even more than that, people who could afford their own health care coverage.

That's what they're going to do. And when the state's complain, they say we will pay the difference between what your Medicaid payments are now and what they will be.

Utah's current Medicaid match is 74 cents. So if it goes to 150 percent, it's going to be a whopping bill for the federal government.

But then after five years, guess whose responsibility it becomes? It becomes the states. And it will bankrupt the states.

This is not the way to do health care reform.


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