Reince Priebus on what lies ahead for House health care bill

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," May 7, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.

President Trump takes a victory lap after House Republicans vote to repeal key parts of ObamaCare. But will it ever become law?


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: This is a repeal and replace of ObamaCare, make no mistake about it.

SEN. TIM KAINE, D-VA.: They rushed through a bill without knowing how many millions of people it would hurt.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: I’m hopeful that we can make it better in the Senate.

WALLACE: We’ll discuss the battle ahead with White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. It’s a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive.

Then, forget the politics, what will the new health care bill mean for you?

From coverage to premiums to protections for those with pre-existing conditions? We will have a debate between GOP strategist Karl Rove and one of the architects of ObamaCare, Jonathan Gruber.

Plus --

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: You’re the presi-dunce, but you are turning into a real prick-tator.

JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: If your baby is going to die and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make.

WALLACE: We’ll ask our Sunday panel about the politics of late-night comedy.

And our power player of the week. A star basketball player's special bond with her sister.

ELENA DELLE DONNE, STAR BASKETBALL PLAYER: I wanted to be here and I was willing to do whatever it took to get here.

WALLACE: All right now on "Fox News Sunday."


WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

Republicans have finally started making progress on their pledge to overhaul the nation's health care system. President Trump held a celebration in the Rose Garden after the House passed repeal and replace. But there was no celebrating at town halls were GOP members who supported the bill like Raul Labrador, the House Freedom Caucus, faced angry constituents.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are mandating people in Medicaid accept dying. You are making a mandate that kill people --

REP. RAUL LABRADOR, R-IDAHO: No one wants to die. You know, that line is so indefensible. Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.


WALLACE: Health care reform still faces a long, tough road in the Senate and it could be months, if ever before it becomes law.

This hour, we’ll look at how the proposed changes in the House bill would affect you with GOP strategist Karl Rove and ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber.

But first, here in Washington, the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

Reince, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."


WALLACE: The Senate, as we were saying, is taking up repeal and replace. Now, they're talking about a major rewrite that could take months. Take a look.


SEN. BILL CASSIDY, R-LA., HEALTH COMMITTEE: I mean, that's the way it works, right? And so, they will pass theirs, we will pass hours, and then we’ll go to conference. I don't think that the House bill necessarily predicts what is in the Senate bill.


WALLACE: But Congressman Dave Brat, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, warns: They better not change it, the House bill, one iota. If they change it, you're not going to have 218, the majority you need of votes in the House.

Reince, given that fact that it barely passed the House, what does the president think of the Senate making major changes and according to them, maybe taking months to do it?

PRIEBUS: Well, first of all, he thinks that, and I think, and a lot of people think this is a binary choice. It’s a binary choice between what we know is a collapsing system, offering no options, no coverage, and getting to a place that is calamitous for Americans across the country, or a system in place that offers coverage, offers lower premiums, offers options, and we started the process, I think faster than anyone expected in the House. That's what the president understands and that's what he believes.

Now, we also believe that it's up to the Senate, if there are improvements to be made to make those improvements. And I talked to six out of the 12 members of that Senate committee yesterday, and I --

WALLACE: The working group.

PRIEBUS: The working group, including Leader McConnell and others. And everyone is excited and ready to go to work and take the time necessary to look at the bill, make improvements where they need to be made, and then the bill will be brought back for conference, most likely.

WALLACE: But I’m asking you for a practical political question, just barely passed the House with just one extra vote. It was a very delicate coalition. If they make major changes in the Senate and they take months to do it, doesn't that risk nothing ever getting through Congress?

PRIEBUS: No, I don't think so. I think that everyone is committed to getting this thing done and getting it done as soon as possible. I don't think anyone is going to be beating down the door of this group of 12. I think we want to let them do their work, let them work this out. They are all very mature. They all know what's going on. They all the commitments that we've made to the American people to repeal and replace a failing a failing program and ObamaCare.

So, I’m excited about where we are at. The president achieved something that no one thought he would. I think we were right to give the Congress an attaboy in the Rose Garden. But we also know that this is just the beginning, it's the first step.

WALLACE: Let's talk about the commitment that you've made. During the campaign, here's the promise that the president made to voters about ObamaCare. Here it is.


TRUMP: I am going to take care of everybody. I don't care if cost me votes or not. Everybody is going to be taken care of, much better than they are taken care of now.


WALLACE: But here are some of the features of the House bill. Under ObamaCare, older people, let's say 55 to 64, could be charged three times as much as younger people. In a House built, it's five times as much or even more. Under ObamaCare, people with pre-existing conditions could not be charged more. In the House plan, if states opt out, folks with pre-existing conditions can be charged more.

Given all of that, can you really stand by the president’s pledge that everybody will be taken care of?

PRIEBUS: Absolutely, Chris. And if you break this down, and I will be very quick. In this bill on pre-existing conditions, 176 million people across this country get employer-based insurance. This doesn't affect pre-existing conditions for those people.

Number two, it doesn’t affect pre-existing conditions for Medicare recipients. It doesn't affect pre-existing conditions for Medicaid recipients. And now, you're down to about 9.5 million people. And it doesn't affect anyone with continuous coverage, even if a governor, which I’m not sure that’s ever going to happen, takes the waiver option, it wouldn't affect anyone with continuous coverage.

Now, let's just assume that there are some people that might not have continuous coverage, they may not be in Medicare, they might not be on Medicaid, they might not have employer insurance.

WALLACE: There are millions of people who fall into that.

PRIEBUS: And the government takes a waiver.

We would put billions, not millions, billions upon billions of dollars --

WALLACE: Eight billions over five years.

PRIEBUS: -- into high-risk pools to buy down any premium that they would have -- that they would have two pay for. And that's just in the House bill.

What this tells you is when President Trump brought Billy Long, Fred Upton --

WALLACE: Two members of Congress.

PREIBUS: -- Greg Walden and Dr. Burgess into his office last week he said let's work it out, let's make sure this pre-existing condition is taken care of. President Trump made it happen, which should show every American how committed he is to making sure that if you have a pre-existing condition, this president is not going to let you down.

WALLACE: OK, you're talking about that narrowly. There are arguments against it. We’re going to talk about that in the next segment.

But here’s the broader point, the CBO released an analysis of the last bill, and let's put the stats up on that. By next year, the CBO said 14 million people covered under ObamaCare will lose their insurance by 2026, 24 million people will. That's not taking care of everybody as the president promised.

PRIEBUS: Well, first of all, we don't buy that CBO score. I mean, everybody instantly isn’t going to come off of -- isn’t going to come off of insurance, as that CBO score would indicate. We’re also going to have more options for people. They’re going to have different levels of options for people. The pre-existing condition is going to be --


WALLACE: Rolling back Medicaid, older people are going to end up paying five times as much or even more.

PRIEBUS: And, by the way, that's the old bill. That's before.

WALLACE: That’s part of the bill stays (ph).

PRIEBUS: That's before the amendments were put in, and it's also before the Senate takes the bill and makes it even better, Chris.

The point of all of this, instead of getting in the weeds, is that go back to the beginning. If we go back to the beginning, we have two options, continued down on the road we were on, with a failing, collapsing system that every -- that most people don't think is going to work if you pull it, or start the process with a better system with more choices, more options, lower premiums, keep your doctor, all the things that President Trump promise. We started that process, we guided through the House and now, it's off to the Senate.

We will get this done. We will repeal and replace ObamaCare and give Americans a better product. That's what the president promised.

WALLACE: Let’s talk about another aspect of this. Democrats say that the House bill will be a big drag on Republicans politically in the 2018 midterms. Here's House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.


REP. NANCY PELOSI, R-CALIF., HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: You have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead. You will glow in the dark on this one.


WALLACE: As we pointed out, House Republicans are right now facing angry voters at town halls this weekend. On Friday, "The Cook Political Report", which you know well, the kind of unofficial bible assessing House races, shifted its assessment of 20 seats now held by Republicans in the direction of Democrats. I’m not saying they’re going to win them, but that they are more likely for Democrats to win.

You could lose your House majority over this.

PRIEBUS: Yes, these are the same people that said that Donald Trump wasn't going to run and he ran, he wasn't going to win the primary and he won the primary. Donald Trump couldn't win the general, he won the general. He couldn’t get health care repeal and replace through the House, he got it through the House.

Look, the fact of the matter is, there are sometimes in life you have to do what's right, not what's politically expedient. We believe this is going to be a better product. And by the time the people see that premiums are lower, it’s a better service, there are more options and more choices, they’re going to reward the Republicans that stood up and said, we are not going to see the ObamaCare system, which is failing and collapsing, continue any longer. We’re going to do something better and we’re going to do our job as legislators to get this thing done.

I think that the Republican Party will be rewarded.

WALLACE: OK. Let's turn to another subject, Congress passed a budget this week to keep the government funded until October. President Trump said it was a, quote, big win. Democrats, as you know, say that they rolled him and the White House.

Well, let me put it out: There's no money for construction of the border wall the president wanted. The bill continues funding for Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities. And while you did get more money for defense, you didn't get the big domestic spending cuts you were calling.

Didn't they get more out of it than you guys did?

PRIEBUS: I don't think the Democrats got almost anything out of this thing. I mean, they lost -- first of all, let's back up. They lost their parity role, which means for every dollar increase in military, you have to have an increase in domestic, they lost it. That's one of the biggest colossal failures in the Democratic Party that no one is talking about.

Number one, they lost on military spending. We’ve got one of the biggest increases in military spending in the history of these increases. Number two, for the first time in six years, our military is going to get a raise. We got $1.5 billion that we can do work on on the border, including a 20-foot border walls that are going to go up or fences existing today. We’re going to be able to buy back the property that we need to continue the wall moving forward.


PRIEBUS: -- walls which you've seen pictures of --

WALLACE: The president talked about a shutdown, a possible shutdown in October. Are you going to go at this --


WALLACE: Are you going to at this tougher in October?

PRIEBUS: I’m not even done yet. They didn't get the CSR payment.


PRIEBUS: They didn’t get any extra --


WALLACE: You talk about being in the weeds, we’re in the weeds.

PRIEBUS: Right, but what I’m trying to tell you and the American people is that, look, President Trump's agenda move forward in this budget and he move forward in this budget big league, as he would say.

Now, as far as the fight coming down the pike in September, we’re going to be ready for that fight and we’re going to make sure that President Trump's priorities continue.

WALLACE: OK. Speaking of the budget and the president's priorities, the president talks about fighting the opioid drug epidemic. But in a new budget proposal, he’s promising to gut or proposing to gut the White House office of the drug czar. And I want to put this up on the screen.

Funds for the drug czar’s office would be cut 95 percent, eliminating its two major programs. And the acting drug czar, Rich Baum, emailed the staff of this White House office: these drastic proposed cuts are frankly heartbreaking.

Why on earth when you say that there’s an epidemic and you’re fight it would you cut the drug czar’s office 95 percent?

PRIEBUS: First of all, that's a leaked document and it’s -- and I would tell you that nothing is final in this debate and discussion in regard to this particular issue, in this particular office.

WALLACE: The drug czar takes this pretty seriously.

PRIEBUS: Great. Good for the drug czar, and had -- I mean, he should take it seriously, that's his job.

Secondly, we have duplicative services in this regard all over the place. You’ve got in the Department of Justice. You’ve got it in the HHS. And so, that’s the first level.

But, secondly, I don't think any president showed more commitment in the first 100 days in regard to tackling opiates putting a commission together. Obviously, putting Governor Christie in charge --

WALLACE: I understand. Which is why people are so surprised about the drug czar’s office being cut.

PRIEBUS: So, what I would say is, again, back to the beginning. It’s a leaked document, nothing is finalized. There’s work being done at HHS and DOJ. I would always tell people, judge President Trump by his actions, not leaked documents and hypotheticals. And the actual actions of this president is a total commitment to this epidemic across this country.

WALLACE: Finally, and we’ve got about a minute left. The New York Times had a front-page story yesterday that talks about you and how much you had riding on passing ObamaCare repeal and replace through the House. I want to put up -- I’m sure you’re going to love these quotes.

They report you viewed it as a personal make-or-break moment. Another big loss on health care would probably have been an unrecoverable blow to an already weakened Mr. Priebus.


WALLACE: So, other than that, is this leak (ph) true?

PRIEBUS: No. But I remember the last time I was on your show, there was another quote from "The New York Times" and I think it was something on the lines of the person that people are pointing to most for the failure of ObamaCare was Reince Priebus. And I kind of joke I think at the time, so when it passes, am I going to be the one person in America that gets all the credit for the passage? Of course not. And the president knows that, it's ridiculous.

One person in the West Wing among thousands of participants -- it doesn't make-or-break it. The point of them -- the point of it is, it was a team effort, but it was led by our quarterback President Trump and I can say with assurance to everyone, without President Trump, and I think the speaker would say this and everyone in between, this would have never happened and got out of the House.

He did it. He brought people together and it was a leadership that we haven't had for eight years previously to get these kinds of things done.

WALLACE: The White House -- The New York Times accused you of being a nice guy, which only in Washington would be considered a character flaw. How do you plead, Mr. Priebus?

PRIEBUS: I think I’m a nice guy, but I didn't get here by accident.

WALLACE: Good answer.

Reince, thank you. Always good to talk with you. Thanks for your time this weekend.

PRIEBUS: Thank you, Chris.

WALLACE: Up next, a user's guide for repeal and replace. We’ll ask two experts what it would really mean for you and your family.


WALLACE: There's been a lot of talk this week about the politics of health care, the president's victory in getting the bill through the House, whether it will help Democrats in the 2018 midterms.

But the real question is, how the House Republican plan would affect you and your family? Would it mean better, more affordable health care coverage or worse?

Joining me now to debate that from Austin, Texas, GOP strategist Karl Rove. And from Boston, MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of ObamaCare.

Well, one of the big criticisms of the House plan is how it would treat older Americans who don't yet qualify for Medicare and also how it would treat people with pre-existing conditions.

Professor Gruber, what’s the problem there?

JONATHAN GRUBER, MIT ECONOMICS PROFESSOR: Well, the problem is that for older Americans, their health insurance is very expensive, and under ObamaCare, that is dealt with limiting how much more they could be charged to younger people and by having tax credits that limit the percent of income they have to pay for health insurance, as well as expanding Medicaid to lower income adults.

That all goes away under the House alternative. The Medicaid expansion goes away, so for the poor and elderly, they don't have access to health insurance, a tax credits become flat tax credits, not income based, so the elderly have to pay much more for their health care insurance. And so, basically, you have a system which is not as protective of those people as existing law is.

WALLACE: Karl, let's talk about both aspects of this. Democrats are now saying the fact that there isn't as much protection of people just shy of Medicare. They are calling at the age tax. And the compromise that the House passed does this about pre-existing conditions: it provides states to set up high risk pools with another $8 billion extra over five years to help people with pre-existing conditions, that's on top of $130 billion in the program to help states with other costs.

But, Democrats say, and you just heard a suggestion from Professor Gruber, Karl, that that is still not enough.

KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: Well, let’s first of all take the band -- the 3-to-1 ban that causes younger people on that act to subsidize people -- older people. It's been expanded to 5-to-1.

Now, why is that done? That is because older people have health care cost that on actuarial basis are roughly 4.8 times those of younger people. So, what we got now is a system that if you want to call it a tax, right now, we are taxing virtually everybody under the age of 50 by causing them to pay more for their premiums to subsidize the coverage of people over the age of say 54, 55 to reduce their premiums, despite the fact that older group on average has higher incomes, higher wealth, and less child-rearing expenses than the people below that we are overtaxing.

Before we had the Affordable Care Act, 42 states have set the bandwidth at 5-to-1. Three of them had it in lower level, 3-to-1, or 1.5-to-1.


ROVE: And the rest of them had no standards and the reason was --

WALLACE: I don’t want you to get -- I got it. We got it and now, talk about pre-existing conditions because that, as you know, is really the hot button right now.

ROVE: Well, look, the bottom line is, there's a lot of trash being tossed about out there. There's no change in pre-existing conditions for the people who are in the Affordable Care Act and are in states that don't have a waiver. If a state asks for a waiver, it can say if you haven't had continuous coverage, you haven't had any insurance coverage or you let it lapse for more than 63 days, and you have a pre-existing condition, you had -- you get an insurance policy, but you can be charged up to 30 percent more than other people your age for one year as an incentive for you to stay under continuous coverage.

And you are right, there's $8 billion there to pay for people who have extremely expensive illnesses.

WALLACE: Karl --

ROVE: Yes?

WALLACE: This is a debate, so let me bring Professor Gruber in.

Why isn't that enough, that protection for people with pre-existing conditions?

GRUBER: Look, the most important accomplishment of the Affordable Care Act was ending the ability of insurers to say you can’t get insurance and you’re charged multiple times because you have bad genes. That’s horrible feature of our systems. Americans don't like it.

Why would you possibly want to reintroduce this? That's what the law does. It opens the option for states to reintroduce the ability to literally say, just because the genes you were born with, you’re going to pay more for health insurance, many, many multiples more.

Now, the law does include funds for the so-called high-risk pool. I call it a high-risk puddle. By all the estimates that are out there, these are trivial funds relative to what would be needed to actually pay for this.

WALLACE: Gentlemen, let me move on. Let me move --

ROVE: No, no. This is --

WALLACE: Go ahead, but quickly, Karl.

ROVE: All right. First of all, it does not change pre-existing conditions for the vast majority of people. But if your state waves out, the only thing that they can do is charge up to 30 percent more if you have elected not to have insurance coverage.

And as to the amount, the last year that states had high risk pools, 35 of them in 2011, they spent $1.6 billion out of state money on those high-risk pools.


ROVE: Excuse me, $1.4 billion. This provides $1.6 billion.


WALLACE: All right. Wait, gentlemen, I’ve done this in a presidential debate, so I’m going to do it with you guys.

I want to move onto another subject, and that is Medicaid, because more than half of the 20 million people who gained coverage under the ObamaCare gained through the expansion of Medicaid, which allows more people higher up over the poverty line to be covered. But the House bill cuts Medicaid by $880 billion over the next ten years by ending that expansion and turning the program from an open-ended entitlement into a fixed block grant to states.

Karl, why is that good?

ROVE: Because it focuses Medicaid on who was supposed to be focused on, which are the vulnerable, the disabled, and the young. And it says to states: you can put in work requirements so that the people who are able-bodied and capable of going out and getting a job and getting coverage on their own can do so by removing the disincentive to simply stay on the role.

And yet, it cuts the Medicaid over the long haul, but it increases the amount of money that is spent on the blind and disabled, children, and those with ailments, and those that have children and are single parents. So, by all means, we ought to focus this program more and more on the vulnerable in our society and not simply people based on their income --

WALLACE: OK. Let me --

ROVE: -- with a disincentive to work.

WALLACE: Let me bring Professor Gruber in.

I’d like you to respond to that and also to the larger issue of entitlement reform. We've been talking about that for years and years. Is this entitlement reform?

GRUBER: Look, Mr. Rove is absolutely wrong in his comments on that. Medicaid, let’s remember what Medicaid does. Two-thirds of the money is spent on our nation's elderly and disabled. You can't cut that program by 25 percent without massively hurting the elderly and disabled in this nation. It’s just simply mathematically impossible.

So, you were talking about a program which takes care of her most vulnerable citizens and cutting it by 25 percent, and why?

Once again, let's talk about what does this do. This law does nothing to fix our U.S. health care system. All it is just massively cut funds to have a large tax break.

So, if we want to talk entitlement reform, that's a totally legitimate discussion to have. But let's have the discussion in the context of reforming entitlements in a way which doesn't harm our nation citizens, not cutting our program to the vulnerable by 25 percent.

WALLACE: OK. I want to get into one less subject with the two of you, because this effort isn't happening in a vacuum. The effort is to replace ObamaCare as Reince said. This is a choice between ObamaCare and something different, and I think everybody agrees ObamaCare has serious problems.

Here's President Trump on ObamaCare this week after passage of the House bill.


TRUMP: I predicted it a long time ago. I said it's failing. And now, it's obvious that it's failing. It's dead. It's essentially dead. If we don't pay lots of ransom money over to the insurance companies, it would die immediately.


WALLACE: And here are some stats, premiums under ObamaCare went up an average of 24 percent across the country this year. The average number of insurers in each marketplace has dropped from 5.9 in 2015 to 3.9 now.

Professor Gruber, in Iowa, there is now only one insurance company left in all but five counties in Iowa, and they just announced, Medica, that they are thinking of dropping out, which means there would be no insurance companies for the marketplace in all but five counties in Iowa.

GRUBER: Look, and whose fault is this? Before President Trump was elected, there were no counties in America that did not have an insurer. Since President Trump has been elected and massive --

WALLACE: Wait, wait, you’re going to blame the problems with ObamaCare on President Trump?

GRUBER: We had a situation under ObamaCare, where there’s one time premium increase last year that made up for the fact that insurers massively underpriced in the first two years. The problems with fixed insurers, positive -- profits were trending positively, insurers were saying positive things about their ability to stay in the exchange, succeed. And then you have a president who comes in, undercuts open enrollment, doesn't honor the obligation this law makes to insurers --

WALLACE: All right.

GRUBER: -- and as a result, premiums are going up and insurers are exiting.

You can look at the quotes for insurers themselves.


WALLACE: We’re running out time and I’m interrupting both of you equally.

Karl, your thoughts about that?

ROVE: Look, last week, Dr. Gruber --

WALLACE: Here’s the white board.

ROVE: -- he blamed it all on the insurers, because -- but they guessed strong. Really, actually, the government told them to consider that they were going to get a lot more healthier, younger people than they actually got in any single year that this program has been in effect.

He said, Trump stopped the ads. Trump stopped the ads on the 26th of January, and the end of the enrollment period was in 31st. Really the problems of ObamaCare are going to be solved by four days worth of TV ads? Really?

He also said the executive order said not to enforce the individual mandate and that that caused problems, disruption in the force. Well, President Obama delayed the individual mandate for two years and the employer mandate for a year.

And finally, he said, oh -- he talked about the cost-sharing payments and that cause distress among the insurance companies. Well, the insurance companies are getting the cost-sharing payments despite the fact that last year, a federal judge declared them illegal. President Trump said, I’ll continue to pay them until the issue is resolved.

Last October, Dr. Gruber said the program is working exactly as we designed it. Now, it was designed, as he said earlier, with the stupidity of the American people built into their calculations how to sell it, but it is a broken system --

WALLACE: All right.

ROVE: -- and it’s going to go under --


WALLACE: I’ve got to give Dr. Gruber the last word here.

Thirty seconds, sir.

GRUBER: OK. So, basically, you have a system which was not working perfectly, but it’s a system which was very fixable. The question is why --

WALLACE: Can you respond to what Karl just said?

GRUBER: What Karl --

ROVE: Working as designed. It is working as designed, there’s no -- there is no sense in which it needs to be fixed, Mr. Gruber said.


ROVE: The law is working as designed.

GRUBER: The law could absolutely be improved. But the question is, instead of improving it, why do you take steps to undercut it and then cost 24 million people to lose health insurance? And seniors --


ROVE: That is not true. That is not true.

WALLACE: Gentlemen, we’re going to --

GRUBER: That’s actually true.

ROVE: The CBO -- no, it isn’t -- the CBO said those people who did not have insurance, that is to say they would not buy insurance because --

GRUBER: No, 24 million more Americans --

WALLACE: All right.


ROVE: How can you lose 24 million people when 10 million people bought the insurance?

WALLACE: Thank you both. Professor Gruber, Karl, thank you. And we will continue this debate.

But we want to focus on how it will affect you, not how it will affect the politicians, as the bill makes its way through the Senate.

Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to get their take on health care reform. Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about the upcoming battle in the Senate? Will the bill ever become law?

Just go to Facebook or Twitter, @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.


WALLACE: Hillary Clinton takes responsibility for her loss in the presidential election, but then starts pointing fingers.


HILLARY CLINTON, D-FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If the election had been on October 27th, I’d be your president. And it wasn't. It was on October 28th. And there was a lot of funny business going on around that.


WALLACE: The panel discusses the blame she’s placing on FBI Director James Comey.



TRUMP: On Thursday, the House voted to repeal one of the worst job killing laws of all. It's called ObamaCare. Perhaps you've heard of it.


WALLACE: President Trump in his weekly address calling on the Senate to follow the House and pass Republican health care reform.

And it's time known for our Sunday group. Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume, back from Florida.



WALLACE: Columnist for The Hill, Juan Williams, former Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Well, we asked you for questions for the panel and it's clear Democrats are already making headway in this argument that the House bill is going to hit older Americans. Susan Lloyd Farrell sent this on FaceBook. "These are the years when the elderly need medical coverage and many live on Social Security. What will happen to us under this new plan?" Now, Speaker Gingrich, folks obviously over 65 are still protected by Medicare, but if you’re 55-64, aren’t you going to pay more under this new House plan?

NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You -- you may pay somewhat more. But the fact is, the -- the ObamaCare system’s collapsing. They just announced in Maryland a 50 percent rate increase next year. There are no plans left in Knoxville, Kentucky. In 94 of the 99 counties of Iowa, there are no plans left. I mean people can yell about pre-existing conditions. If you can't get any insurance, you have no coverage for any condition. This is an effort to try to get the program to be -- to survive, to make sure we can offer insurance for everybody.

WALLACE: Let me bring you in Congresswoman Harman.

First of all, your reaction to what Speaker Gingrich said, and, secondly, what’s your biggest concern about this House bill?

JANE HARMAN, R-CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, I was in the House when ObamaCare past. I voted for it. It passed on a -- in a totally party line vote as this version did and we’re just trading bad for bad. Why don't we think about American health care, not Republican health care or ObamaCare? And my reaction is, that this got Reince Priebus, who did a very good job on your show, and Paul Ryan over the goal line, but we need -- it's going to be a do over in the Senate and it's not going to look anything like the House bill if it even passes the Senate.

WALLACE: But do you agree with the speaker that ObamaCare is -- is collapsing?

HARMAN: I agree that there are issues with ObamaCare and they -- part of that is it -- the bill that passed the House -- the Congress doesn’t -- didn't resemble what we did in committee on a bipartisan basis. And we just repeated the same movie by having a bill that didn't go through committee, that isn't scored by CBO, and that came out just as the leadership (INAUDIBLE) my view press release.

WALLACE: OK. Let’s -- let’s switch -- pivot a little bit to the politics of all this.

There was a good deal of pushback to the optics -- take a look at this picture -- of the president’s victory celebration with House Republicans in the Rose Garden. And if that wasn’t enough, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced his working group on health care reform. And if you notice something all of those people have in common, it's 13 white men.

Brit, first of all, what do you think of the pushback and the concern about that? And, secondly, what about this argument that this is going to be as big a political burden for Republicans in 2018 as it was for Democrats who lost more than 60 seats in the House in 2010?

HUME: First of all, I’d say that this whole health insurance issue is not a racial issue. The second thing I’d say about that is that all of this -- these claims about the political damage that will be incurred by the Republicans because of this are ridiculously premature. We are not half way to enactment of this. We’re about a quarter of the way. After all, the Senate will now have to pass a bill. Then the differences between them will have to be composed. And then the final product will have to go back to both the House and the Senate. You can make an argument that we’re a fifth of the way. And what we ultimately see is likely to be quite different from what we see now.

WALLACE: But you’ve got to judge what you’ve got in front of you.

HUME: I understand that, but you can’t act as if it’s already passed and start lining up and making estimates of the number of people that are going to be, quote, "hurt" by it, particularly when people’s grasp of what’s actually in the bill seems so -- seems to tenuous at best. So this is all way too soon.


JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: You remember, next year, 2018, key midterm elections, nobody is going to act really once you get past the end of this year on such a controversial bill. Just think about the advertisements. The advertisements are going to say, congressman y, a Republican, voted to take 24 million people often of health insurance and to increase your -- remember, seniors are more likely to turn on in midterms -- to increase your premiums and cost for health care, including prescription drugs. These are devastating ads. So, yes, it's a little bit early in the process, but, nonetheless, they voted for this bill. It's right in front of us for all to see.

WALLACE: I want to switch to another political subject, Speaker Gingrich, and that is, we’ve got a French election. As we’re sitting here right now, they are still voting in France. But you've got the far right wing candidate, Marine Le Pen, against the establishment more moderate candidate, Emmanuel Macron. For those of us who haven't been following the -- the primaries in Lyon (ph) or Marseille (ph), what’s at stake for the United States in this election?

GINGRICH: Well, I mean, it’s a very big election. My guess is Macron is going to survive. But Le Pen will be bigger than she ever has been before and she may well win the next election. I do think there's a real -- there’s a pattern building here.

Remember, if -- if Europe --

WALLACE: But let’s assume Macron wins or Le Pen wins, what does that mean for Americans?

GINGRICH: Well, if Macron wins, you have -- you have decay as unusual, politics as usual, unemployment as usual, explanations of violence as usual and people just get more disaffected. But for the short run, the European Union survives, the euro survives, et cetera. If Le Pen wins, you have a break that is at least as big as Brexit and you have suddenly a France that is cutting loose from its relationship with Germany and cutting lose from its ties with Brussels. I don't think she will win, but I think she’ll probably get over 40 percent of the vote. Her -- her father got 12 percent the first time he was on the ballot. So it keeps growing and there’s a very single fact, if you are a French young person, you are three times as likely to be unemployed as if you’re a German young person. Right at that border. Germans are figuring out a way to have the economies work. French socialism is collapsing. That ain’t going to change under Macron and that’s why, in the long run, it’s a vote for decay to vote for Macron.

WALLACE: Congresswoman?

HARMAN: Guess what, I agree with Newt. I’m saying it here, fair and balanced. But also a couple -- a couple of more points. Unemployment in France is 10 percent. Unemployment in French youth is 23 percent. It's staggering. And whatever happens in this election, it’s going to further isolate Angela Merkel, who, in my mind, is the moderate --

WALLACE: The chancellor of Germany.

HARMAN: Stable voice in Europe.

And one other point, Chris, and that is this huge data dump, nine gigabytes of data on an alt-right --

WALLACE: Yes, but you point (ph) that Macron’s files were hacked on Friday, just two days before the election.

HARMAN: Right. And it was released just an hour before the blackout in terms of their election coverage. I mean they -- we don’t know who did this. Circumstantially it could be the Russians, and the Russians are probably playing in Germany, too. And this is really scary for the U.S. to have this kind of meltdown in European politics that does affect us.

WALLACE: All right, we have to take a break here, but when we come back, Hillary Clinton and James Comey, round three. And late night talk shows are experiencing a Trump bump, but are the hosts crossing the line with their commentary?



CLINTON: I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28th and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubt in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me.

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: This was terrible. It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election.


WALLACE: Hillary Clinton and FBI Director James Comey on the role the FBI investigation of Clinton's private e-mail server played in the 2016 presidential race.

And we’re back now with the panel.

So, Brit, how much responsibility do you think Jim -- James Comey really bears for Clinton's defeat, especially his announcement that he was reopening the investigation 11 days before the election?

HUME: Well, you can argue that flat or argue it round, Chris. I think he -- it had a limited effect. I don't think it was a main factor. But look at it -- you can look at it this way as well, the case he laid out that he said was not the basis for a prosecution could very well have been, as numerous legal authorities have argued about that. So it's possible that he could have recommended an indictment, which was -- obviously would have been devastating. He didn't do that. A lot of people think he let her off the hook. So you can argue it that way as well.

Obviously, his whole involvement didn't help. This whole investigation did not help. But whose fault was that? It was the person who had the unauthorized system for the use of her e-mails. That was the original sin of this matter and -- and that was what -- in the end, this was all about.

WALLACE: In his congressional testimony, Comey said that he faced two terrible alternatives.


JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: I stared at speak and conceal. Speak would be really bad. There’s an election in 11 days. Lordy, that would be really bad. Concealing, in my view, would be catastrophic.


WALLACE: Congresswoman Harman, the argument that Comey makes is that if they had not revealed this, she had been elected president, and then it comes out that there is an investigation going on, let alone that she had broken the law, that that would have badly damaged the FBI.

HARMAN: Well, Comey had a great chapter in John Ashcroft's hospital room during the Bush administration when he blocked the signing of an order that he thought was illegal. And I applaud them for that. I think he was wrong three times last year. Every single thing he did was wrong. And the right thing to do as FBI director was keep his mouth shut and -- conceal? No way. What we’re talking about was this stash of e-mails, I think, on Anthony Weiner's hard drive, which no one had looked at. And to imply, which his announcement did imply that there might be something bad there, when it turned out there wasn't, I think was unprofessional.

WALLACE: All right, we got both sides of that argument.

Let's turn to the politics of late night comedy. Here was Stephen Colbert with this astonishingly prude attack on Donald Trump this week.


STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW": You’re the presidunce (ph), but you’re turning into a real pricktator (ph). The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's (EXPLETIVE DELETED) holster.


WALLACE: Wow. And here was Jimmy Kimmel talking about the -- the terrible news about his newborn son in the context of the debate this week over ObamaCare repeal and replace.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": Billy was born with a heart disease. Something called Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia. No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life. It -- it just shouldn't happen. Now here.


WALLACE: We should point out that Billy, the doctors at Cedars-Sinai were able to fix his heart and he's going to be a healthy little boy.

Your thoughts about both of those, Mr. Speaker?

GINGRICH: The second one is part of the left’s whole mythology. I mean if you show up at a hospital with a brand-new baby on the brand-new baby has a heart problem, the doctors of that hospital do everything they can to save the baby. They don't -- they don’t say, we’ll take care of the baby right after you write a check. They try to save the baby’s life. And that's true across the board in this country. So that is just part of the mythology of the left.

The problem you have with humor in American today is that Hollywood is so enraged at Donald Trump that they can't be funny. All they’ve got is pure anger. And that's what's coming out in this stuff. And then they think it must be funny because they're called comedians, so they -- they -- they exhibit their anger as almost a pathology on late-night television and you’re supposed to laugh because, after all, they’re comedians. They ain't funny because they're too angry to be funny.


WILLIAMS: Well, I think in the case of Jimmy Kimmel, I don't think there's any question, if you’re poor in this country, if you don't have health insurance, your children are at greater risk. And, yes, if they’re -- if you rush your child to the hospital, Mr. Speaker, yes, in the moment, but what we’re talking about his long-term care and maintenance of that child's well-being. And I think there's no question, you don't want to be poor and dealing with this health issue system. President Trump said this week, Australia has a better system, Scotland, Canada and he’s -- he’s changed and said, well, I didn’t mean single payer, but I think it's pretty clear that in this argument, the American people clearly believe that a child like Jimmy Kimmel's should be able to be guaranteed a healthy life without the parents worrying about insufficient funds.

WALLACE: All right, before we get --

WILLIAMS: Let -- let me --

WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait, before we get to the other one, though, your reaction to that?

GINGRICH: (INAUDIBLE) just -- two things. There are 8,000 federal community health centers. If you're genuinely poor, you’re on Medicaid everywhere in the country. And I think it’s just, again, part of the left’s mythology. We do an enormous amount in this country to try to save people. And, by the way, most of the people who didn't buy ObamaCare insurance are young people who preferred to pay a tax to buy the insurance so that ObamaCare was not able to coerce them enough to make them buy the insurance. That’s the largest, single block of people who didn’t buy insurance.

WILLIAMS: That’s true, that they’re the largest, single block. But don’t -- don’t forget, Mr. Speaker, that, in fact, ObamaCare was performing better than had been predicted, even with that. But you have Republicans who intentionally sabotaged, removed subsidies to create the system -- a collapse of the system, to make it implode. And now you say, oh, but the system’s not working so we need a replacement. I find this not right.

GINGRICH: So Comey -- Comey beat Clinton in the public (INAUDIBLE) ObamaCare (ph). That’s what I just heard (ph).

WILLIAMS: No, I just want to say, I think that Republicans should have been, from the start, working to create a system that works for the American people rather than simply engaging in a system of trying to destroy ObamaCare and obstruct improvements. And now I think Democrats should rise above it and do something to improve the current system, that this really is the original sin, to my mind as, Republicans saying, we’re going to stop this no matter what. This is big government. Now everybody says you should have a right, as Jimmy -- Jimmy Kimmel’s kid, should survive.

Let me just finish up on -- go back to Stephen Colbert for a second. Colbert --

WALLACE: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Go ahead.

WILLIAMS: Colbert spoke in crude terms. But the suggestion that the FCC should get involved here is ridiculous. When should government suddenly be a sensor of late night comics?

WALLACE: It’s over the air.

WILLIAMS: It’s over the air, but --

WALLACE: The FCC -- the FCC controls it.

WILLIAMS: No. You know what, CBS should fire him if that’s -- if they feel that there is a problem, let CBS act.

HUME: Chris --

WILLIAMS: They government and big government should not be involved (INAUDIBLE).

HUME: I don’t --


HUME: I -- I think what Colbert said was disgusting.


HUME: And if -- and if -- and if he had said something -- he or any other comedian had said something like that with regard to Barack Obama, you can bet the guy would be on the -- or the woman would be on the unemployment (INAUDIBLE) chain. Having said that, I don't think he should be fired for having set it. I don't think that the FCC should get involved. And I suspect, in the end, it won't. What I think should happen is, that people should be repelled by it and tune him out and that will take care of the matter. That’s how it should be.

HARMAN: The important subject on this show is health care, and both parties are blaming the other party and gaming the 2018 and 2020 election. What about American health care? Why don’t we think about how to build up a system that would serve everybody?

WALLACE: But -- but -- I -- I -- it’s a nice thought, but we’re so far away from that in this country today. I mean -- I’m mean I'm serious. Look, as you said, ObamaCare passed without a single Republican vote and this bill passed without a single Democratic vote.

HARMAN: Right.

GINGRICH: You have -- you have a chance in the Senate, which is a much more open institution.

HARMAN: Hey, if Newt and I can get along, why can't we do this?


GINGRICH: I would love to see any Democrat willing to stand up tomorrow morning and say, I'm willing to work with Mitch McConnell to produce a better bill than a House bill. Any --

HUME: (INAUDIBLE), Chris, think of this one with one thing.


HUME: It’s being said that Republicans are now in dire political straits because they voted for this bill. Juan made the case for that just a few minutes ago.


HUME: Think what would have happened had they failed again. So what we now have is a situation in the media and in the body of politics to some extent where they’re damned if they do and damned if they don't. (INAUDIBLE).

WILLIAMS: But it was seven years --

WALLACE: All right.

WILLIAMS: Sixty votes and they still don’t have a good plan.

WALLACE: And -- and I thought Rogue (ph) and Gruber (ph) were going to be tough to control.

Thank you panel. See you next Sunday.

Up next, our "Power Player of the Week," a new basketball star in Washington on and off the court.


WALLACE: There’s long been a debate whether sports stars are just athletes or should also serve as role models. Well, there's a new start here in Washington who is definitely both. She's our "Power Player of the Week."


ELENA DELLE DONNE: First things first, you know, I'm a professional basketball player. I want to win games.

WALLACE: Elena Delle Donne is one of the stars of the WNBA. The league's most valuable player in 2015, Olympic gold medalist last year in Rio. Which makes her decision this winter to demand a trade from Chicago to the Washington Mystics even more dramatic.

WALLACE (on camera): Were you really willing to sit out a season in order to force a move?

DONNE: I was.

WALLACE (voice-over): League rules make it hard for players to move from one team to another.

DONNE: So if you truly want a move, you kind of have to put your foot down. I truly thought D.C. was the right place for me and I wanted to be here and I was willing to do whatever it took to get here.

WALLACE: Which brings us to Elena’s older sister, Lizzie, who was born blind and deaf and with cerebral palsy.

DONNE: She's always been my angel, my guiding light, my role model. And I've always said Lizzie he has taught me more than any other person in my life and she's never even spoken a word to me.

WALLACE: The sisters can't Skype or text, which makes long separations intolerable for Elena.

DONNE: When I enter a room, the first thing she’ll do is she’ll grab my hand, pull me in and kind of just get my scent and she knows who it is. And hopefully that means she has a bright smile when she gets my scent, but some day she doesn't. And I’m like, all right, sis, like, really?

WALLACE: Now Lizzie is just a short train ride away in Delaware. But that's only part of Elena’s story off the court. In 2008 she contracted Lyme disease and it’s been a problem on and off over the years.

WALLACE (on camera): When you have a relapse, how does it feel? What’s it like?

DONNE: For me it's always felt like flu-like symptoms.

WALLACE: Perfect for a professional athlete.

DONNE: Yes, fatigue, muscle aches, yes, all great things for a professional athlete.

When you shoot, you can hold the ball in two different ways.

WALLACE (voice-over): Elena took me to the Mystic’s practice court to give me some pointers on basketball shooting.

DONNE: I always just go to a 90 degrees angle --

WALLACE (on camera): Yes.

DONNE: And you’re just going to lift and flick your arm -- flick your wrist, sorry. Lift your arm, flick the wrist. It's all coming back to you.

WALLACE: There you go.

DONNE: Looking smooth.

WALLACE (voice-over): But then she took me to the three-point line, which looks a whole lot farther from the basket when you're on the court with a star player. That's when I wisely decided to end the lesson.

DONNE: That's a good one.

WALLACE: Beyond basketball and family, her other project is the Elena Delle Donne Charitable Foundation, to raise money and awareness for Lyme disease, and for families dealing with children who have special needs. It's all part of a remarkable young woman's game plan.

DONNE: I've done something with this limelight and I haven't just soaked it all in for myself. I've always said, I’ve tried to be a voice for my sister and I feel like I'm doing that to the best of my ability and will continue to keep trying to do better and better.


WALLACE: This isn't the first time Elena has upended her life to be closer to her sister Lizzie. Back in 2009, she started college at the University of Connecticut with its championship women's basketball team, but she dropped out after just to go days to go home to the University of Delaware.

And that's it for today. Have a great week. And we’ll see you next "Fox News Sunday."

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