Sen. Hatch: 'Holy War' Coming Over 'Lousy' Health Care Bill

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 19, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: What's up with Senator Orrin Hatch? He's fired up! Why? Well, we know you love the inside story, and as always, we are giving it to you. We went to Senator Hatch's office, and he has a copy of the Senate health care bill printed out on his desk. He does not like what he sees.


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

SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R - UTAH: Well, it's nice to see you.

VAN SUSTEREN: I love that you have the U.S. code in your office.

HATCH: Yes, we -- we -- I used to spend a lot of time in the U.S. code, and still do.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, speaking of the U.S. code, this could be -- what is this? This could -- this might be part of the U.S. code at some point.


VAN SUSTEREN: What is that?

HATCH: Well, that's actually the bill that -- this is the Reid bill. It's 2,074 pages. By the way, the Constitution -- this is the Constitution, the most important document in the history of the world, and that's how long that is. "War and Peace" is only 1,400 pages.

VAN SUSTEREN: I didn't get to "War and Peace." I skipped that.


HATCH: I did. And Webster New World (INAUDIBLE) you know, 1,700 pages. And you can see what we're talking about here. If it takes that kind of -- that kind of gibberish to be able to do health care, you've got to -- and they can't get 75 to 80 votes on it in a bipartisan way, then you know it's a lousy bill. And I can tell you right now, it's a terrible bill.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, I want to talk cost (INAUDIBLE) but first of all, the CBO is the one who, quote, "scores" it, which I always love the name "score" because they don't want to say what it costs because you can't really determine the cost, so we score things. But has the CBO -- do they do revisions? Do they have a long track record of getting it right, just so we know how much confidence we should have in their numbers?

HATCH: Well, actually, I have a great deal of respect for the current CBO. He's a Democrat, but he's, I think, honest. But CBO has often missed the mark and they usually are much lower than what the real costs are. But I'll give them credit for at least trying to do a very, very good job at CBO. But now, look, a lot of the people in the media buy off on the fact that Senator Reid and others say this is an $849 billion bill or some...

VAN SUSTEREN: Which brings me to your other prop that you showed me that you have here in your office.


VAN SUSTEREN: Explain this one. This is the CBO estimate, $849 billion.

HATCH: This is what they estimate, $849 billion, the CBO score. Now...

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, is this, like, over what -- over 10 years?

HATCH: Well, it's over 10 years, except they don't count the first four years and maybe even the first five years. So the fact of the matter is, it's a budgetary gimmick to get it below a trillion dollars, when, in fact, if you count the full 10 years, it's $2.5 trillion.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right...

HATCH: And that's also a CBO score. But both of these are what we call preliminary scores because they don't have final scores on this bill. But it's the best they can do under the circumstances. But this is just a fraud. It's a fake. That is what it really is, if you look at it over what really is a 10-year period. This is basically a five or six-year period.

VAN SUSTEREN: So (INAUDIBLE) but this is the year 2014 to 2024?

HATCH: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: Would that be...

HATCH: That's...

VAN SUSTEREN: So that's...


VAN SUSTEREN: That's the 10-year period.

HATCH: Well, it would be this bill. This would be this bill, if we actually made the bill fully implemented.


HATCH: From now. If they tried to go ahead with this bill without really allowing enough time for amendments and for chances to try and correct the bill, I think the American people are going to be outraged, and they should be.

VAN SUSTEREN: You used the term "holy war" in describing that, right?

HATCH: We're talking about a country that is really going to be in real economic jeopardy if this bill goes through this way. And let's just be honest. Those figures are probably low.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is this going to get passed?

HATCH: I don't know. I hope not, and I'm going to do everything in my power to try and stop it. I personally don't believe it will. I think if the American people get up in arms here -- and many of them are getting up in arms because they're starting to realize that these figures are reality (ph) -- if they get up in arms, I don't think it'll pass. If you have a bill this big that's this big clunking thing here -- I can hardly lift the doggone thing!

VAN SUSTEREN: Who's going to read it?

HATCH: I mean, look at that! Who's going to read the doggone thing? But if you have a bill like that -- think about it. It's going to just wreck the country! And I don't understand how they think they can sell this. And American people are starting to catch on. And seniors in particular and independents in particular are starting to say, Hey, this is not what we want.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why isn't it starting, though, in 2012? Why the 2014?

HATCH: Well, because that's a budgetary gimmick. They could not be below an estimated $1 trillion if they actually started it where...

VAN SUSTEREN: So this is all playing numbers.

HATCH: Sure. It's a game.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well -- and then the American people, are they complaining to you?

HATCH: Well, you bet your life they are. I get people all the time everywhere I go. People stop me in airports and say, Please defeat that doggone thing. And that's true, I think, of a lot of Republicans. And Democrats, too.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you say to Speaker -- or what do you say to the majority leader, Reid?

HATCH: Well...

VAN SUSTEREN: Or won't he talk to you?

HATCH: No, he talks to me. He's very cordial. We're cordial to each other, of course, and he's a friend. But in all honesty, he's got a job to do, and the only way they can do it is by phonying up the figures, which the media allow them to do, by the way, by and large, because they know...

VAN SUSTEREN: Do Republicans ever do that?

HATCH: Unfortunately, I think they have from time to time. And I think it's wrong. I don't care who does it, it's wrong. But in this case, it's really wrong because the American people are sold a bill of goods if this is under a trillion dollars when, in fact, it's really $2.5 trillion.

VAN SUSTEREN: Sir, thank you, sir. Good luck, sir.

HATCH: You're welcome.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you.



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