Poll: 50% Oppose Obama's Health Care Plan

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 17, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Factor Follow-up" segment tonight: Are Americans beginning to revolt against Obamacare? A new poll shows that now 50 percent are opposed to the president's health care reform, while 42 percent support it. And now the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says that the Democratic-backed plan is going to increase the cost for most taxpayers, not save them money.


DOUGLAS ELMENDORF, CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE: We do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.


INGRAHAM: With us now is Elizabeth Carpenter. She is the associate director — political director of the New America Foundation, which is a left-leaning think tank.

Now, he also said it was an unsustainable level of government spending, government growth. And he was projecting out, not just today but out into the future. How does this square with all of these promises that it's going to bring down the cost of health care and this is going to be this brand new utopian vision of nationalized medicine where we have this new, invigorated system? It does not seem to add up.

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ELIZABETH CARPENTER, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: Well, this is a good conversation to have and I'm glad you asked the question, because I think, you know, the president has been clear, health care reform is going to be paid for.


INGRAHAM: Yes, on the backs of people like me, maybe. But how — you know, it's going to be paid for, it doesn't — the numbers do not add up. The Congressional Budget Office is not partisan…

CARPENTER: Here is the thing that we should all recognize here that Congress is trying to legislate, and this is part of the legislative process. And part of the legislative process is to get feedback from people like the Congressional...

INGRAHAM: They don't want feedback.

CARPENTER: Oh, I think they do.

INGRAHAM: Why do they want feedback? They are trying to ram this thing through. I mean, I don't mean to raise my voice, but they are trying to ram this thing through without the public knowing what is in this 1,000-page monstrosity of a bill. No good comes from 1,000 pages in this federal government. No good.

CARPENTER: Well, I think what you're seeing today, and frankly, as a result of the Congressional Budget Office testimony is some moderate Democrats, moderate Republicans who are working on this.

INGRAHAM: They are freaking out.

CARPENTER: Well, no, I think they are…

INGRAHAM: Yes, they are freaking out.

CARPENTER: They are going back to the — to what we know we can do. We know that 30 percent of health care spending in this country does not add clinical value, does not make patients healthier.

INGRAHAM: And we want bureaucrats to decide that for us?

CARPENTER: No, we don't at all.


CARPENTER: We want patients to have more information about…

INGRAHAM: Well, let's get into that because…

CARPENTER: …their care.

INGRAHAM: Well, we have President Obama, a couple of days ago, was talking about health care in the United States, and he was talking about end of life issues. Let's listen.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The most important thing we can do on end of life care right now is to make sure that we are empowering everybody to make decisions for themselves about how they want to deal with the end of life and to encourage people to look at hospices as a legitimate option for dealing with these issues.


INGRAHAM: Now I find that to be creepy, for the president of the United States to be saying basically, we hope more people — you old people, you get sick, you know, we encourage you to look at hospices. That's not it. That's not the only thing. The House bill actually compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years on issues such as alternatives to treatment and also issues such as nutrition that they might be taking, antibiotics, and artificially administered nutrition and hydration. Is that not a frightening thing to you that old people could be visited in their homes and essentially be told, all right, sweetie, you have had a good life?

CARPENTER: I think the thing that we're talking about here is giving patients more information, because to be honest, the data shows that many patients in America do not get the care they want at the end of life, because they do not know other options are out there...

INGRAHAM: Go die. Go to a hospice and die.

CARPENTER: ...and frankly they haven't had a chance to have the conversation with their doctor. So I think…

INGRAHAM: Why should the government go into someone's home and have a consultant talk about the end of life issues?

CARPENTER: I think you should ask the American…

INGRAHAM: What happens when the Democrats…

CARPENTER: …Medical Association, our doctors...


INGRAHAM: They're embarrassing themselves.

CARPENTER: …because they have supported the House bill.

INGRAHAM: Yes, well, they're embarrassing themselves.

CARPENTER: So I think the doctors of America have spoken.

INGRAHAM: Yes — well, first of all, I know a lot of doctors personally. The doctors have not spoken all through the AMA. The fact that a government bureaucrat will come to an old person's house as a mandatory counseling session — first of all, stay away from my father, who is 83 years old. I do not want any government bureaucrat telling him what kind of treatment he should consider to be a good citizen. That's frightening.

CARPENTER: I think what we want is for you and your father to have a conversation about what he wants when his...

INGRAHAM: That is none of your business. The Democrat Party has consistently…

CARPENTER: Right now you and your father might not have the information...


INGRAHAM: That is none of your business. That is not the government's business. The Democrat Party has routinely said, hands off our bodies, it is all about choice, it's pro-choice, don't touch our bodies, and keep your hands off when it comes to abortion. But when it comes to the elderly who have paid into the system their entire lives, basically the message from President Obama is, OK, we hope, we hope, we hope you consider these other alternatives.

CARPENTER: Well, whether or not you take advantage of that information ultimately is going to be up to you and your dad.

INGRAHAM: Well, do you think this is flying? Do you think this is going to go through? Because I'm sensing the American people have had just about enough of the wool being pulled over their eyes.

CARPENTER: I think what the American people want is for us to stop having these rhetorical wars and start solving the problem.

INGRAHAM: Yes, but you think this is going to increase competition among private insurers?

CARPENTER: I think right now many Americans have no choice of private insurance and what we want to do is give every American that choice.

INGRAHAM: Then why are the numbers dropping for this? Why are the numbers dropping?

CARPENTER: What numbers?

INGRAHAM: Approval for the way President Obama is handling health care.

CARPENTER: Because I think — I think what we know is that Americans are nervous about losing their health care coverage.


CARPENTER: They're nervous about their jobs.

INGRAHAM: As they should be, because they're about to lose it.

CARPENTER: And right now, this legislative debate is exactly what they need. They need to know more about what is going on.

INGRAHAM: Yes, well, if we had a debate, that would be great. We appreciate you joining us. Elizabeth, thanks for being with us.

CARPENTER: Absolutely.

INGRAHAM: It's spirited. That's what you do on a Friday night.

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