O'Reilly and Ingraham Debate Obama's Health Care Plan

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 16, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight, another view on [Obama's health care bill]. Joining us from Washington, FOX News analyst Laura Ingraham.

OK, so am I brilliant or a pinhead on this?

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LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Somewhere in between pinhead and brilliant. Look, Bill, we love the watches in Switzerland. We love the Swiss people. We love the cheese. But not necessarily their approach to health care reform, OK? The idea that we have to cover everyone in the United States, everyone, every single person in the United States has to be covered, my answer to that is why? You know, if we have a 22-year-old recent college grad who doesn't want to spend $8,000 a year on health insurance, just doesn't want to and the company he's working for doesn't provide it, then why force him to take on coverage? Why not…

O'REILLY: Do you want me to answer that question?

INGRAHAM: OK, I thought I was going to be able to get — OK.

O'REILLY: I just, I mean, you're asking a question, I'm going to answer it.


O'REILLY: Because it costs the nation so much to treat these people who are uninsured in the emergency rooms. As you know, the law requires that — it's bankrupting our system.

INGRAHAM: Well, that's the…

O'REILLY: And it costs the nation…


O'REILLY: …because people have no health care, they have terrible habits, all right?


O'REILLY: They get sick.


O'REILLY: And they get treated. And the stats prove it. Go ahead.

INGRAHAM: Yeah, but no, I don't think that's accurate. I think it's…

O'REILLY: It is accurate.

INGRAHAM: There are two groups of people in the uninsured category, right? And I think there's about 43 percent of those who are uninsured are voluntarily uninsured.

O'REILLY: Absolutely right.


O'REILLY: But what happens to them when they get sick? Where do they go?

INGRAHAM: Well, they — I mean, they pay for it.

O'REILLY: No, they go to the emergency room.

INGRAHAM: But you're missing, Bill, you're missing the forest through the trees. If you want to lower the costs of health care, that's a noble goal. And I think we can all agree on that. The way to do that is not to have more government mandates come down and choke the system. The way to do that is to give individuals more power over their own health care decisions, over their own coverage. And that's where smart plans — and these are Republican ideas — come into play. Tom Coburn, Richard Burr, they have great ideas about, you know, having this meta choice, which would be a tax rebate that goes to individuals and families that aren't covered. And it incentivizes smart decision-making by individuals on health care. That's a very smart idea.

O'REILLY: I have no problem with any of that. I want to keep the private health care system in place, but the government has to provide oversight and make sure that the price gouging and the astronomical rise of everything, including aspirin — you get an aspirin in a hospital, they're going to charge you $10 for it. It's got to stop.

INGRAHAM: Right, well.

O'REILLY: It's got to stop.

INGRAHAM: Right, the best way to do that.

O'REILLY: And by the way, the Swiss thing…


O'REILLY: ...the Swiss system works better than ours.


O'REILLY: It works better than ours, OK? It does.

INGRAHAM: Well, yeah, I don't know what the mortality rates are in Switzerland, but it's better than Obamacare, I would grant you that.

O'REILLY: All right. I got to switch over to Sotomayor. You've been listening, as everybody has.


O'REILLY: Would you vote to confirm?

INGRAHAM: No, absolutely not. Sonia Sotomayor over the last few days has proven herself to be the David Blaine of judges, OK? This is a master illusionist, because she has not walked away from 30 years of her views on judging. She has run away from them in the last few days, Bill. I mean, her views on affirmative action, her views on the living Constitution, that it should evolve over time, her views on judicial activism, her views on all these issues that are well-established in her writings and well-established in her speeches, I mean, it's like well, what do you mean I said those things? I mean, she came across…

O'REILLY: All right, so you're not buying her.

INGRAHAM: No. No, of course not.

O'REILLY: Miller said last night on this program that the Republican Party would be wise to simply say OK, because they're not going to stop her nomination anyway and try to get goodwill with Hispanic-Americans, which the GOP needs to make a comeback. Your reply?

INGRAHAM: Oh, but that's — no. If that's what you believe your constitutional role is, currying favor with one ethnic group or another, then yeah, I mean, just forget…

O'REILLY: No, it's a matter of what battles you fight.


O'REILLY: Do you fight the battle and lose the war?

INGRAHAM: No, Bill. You know what I believe? I believe in doing the right thing. And if you as a senator believe her approach to the Constitution, and if you didn't see Frank Ricci today testify and Mr. Vargas testify, the two firefighters, it should be required viewing for every one. It's a telling story.

O'REILLY: Well, we are going to have the sound bite on that later.

INGRAHAM: Compelling stories.

O'REILLY: Coming up in the "Kelly File."

INGRAHAM: Amazing. So I mean, no.

O'REILLY: OK, now listen, it's a legitimate question.

INGRAHAM: Vote your conscience.

O'REILLY: Miller says look, you got to fight your battles. You want to make a comeback, you need Hispanics. And you say you've got to stand by principle at all times, absolutely. I mean…

INGRAHAM: Yeah, well…

O'REILLY: ...you know, both have valid points.

Laura, thanks very much. We appreciate it.

INGRAHAM: Thanks, Bill.

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