Some Dems Facing Tough Elections

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," March 26, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: And, man oh man, what a difference a week makes. In fact, I was just last here on Monday, and, back through last weekend, we were here every day. Remember that? And there were protests, and there were rallies, and there were throngs, and there were marchers, and there were kids beating drums. And that was just for my being here.

But it was loud, it was noisy, it was raucous. And ahead of the big historic health care vote, the single largest piece of sending in recent American history, it was, just as you would expect, a carnival-like atmosphere.

But that was then. This is now. The town has virtually emptied out now. The reconciliation vote is done, so the second key health care vote makes its way to the president’s desk. We’re told that he will sign it next week.

Now, an easy sell for very, very popular congressmen in their districts, who, no matter what they do, seems to get them reelected.

Elijah Cummings is one of those. In Maryland, he is a rock star. He always wins his district by a huge margin. I dare say that the good congressman could go out on his front stoop and shoot someone, and still get elected by a large margin. That’s how popular he is.

But — but a lot of his colleagues are not so fortunate. They’re facing a vote for health care that wasn’t very popular with their constituents.

So, Elijah Cummings, what do those dudes do? I mean, that’s going to be a tough — tough sell.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS D-MD.: I think basically what they have got to do — and, first of all, how are you doing, Neil?

CAVUTO: I’m fine.

CUMMINGS: I was talking to one of my colleagues from Ohio today, and he was telling me, he said, "Elijah, you know, I know I’m going to face a tough situation," but he said "voting for this was a no brainer."

I think basically what we have to remind people is that we have been operating under a broken system. And we have to remind them that Anthem Insurance Company out there in California had just announced a 25 percent to 39 percent increase in their rates.

And we have to remind them that many of their neighbors, sadly, are not getting the proper care, and we’re having a system that is — I mean, it’s –- we’re spending a lot on it, one-sixth of our GDP.


CUMMINGS: But the fact is, it’s not been working very well. And that everybody agreed that we had to do something, that we had to...


CAVUTO: Well, you did. You got it done. You’ve done it. You got it done, but now you’re assuming then that they can go back to the constituents, say those premium increases stop. The skies open up, you know. You’re covered.

And a lot of this stuff, as you know, Elijah, since you were very instrumental in crafting this, that a lot of these benefits don’t kick in for a while and a lot of the problems kick in pronto. A lot of these companies that say this is going to cause a very big hit for them financially, maybe a loss of jobs as a result. And premiums for a lot of folks could go up soon as well. So maybe it isn’t such a great sell.

CUMMINGS: Well, I think that folks can make those kinds of arguments, but we have to also look at the things that do go into effect within the next year, such as being able to keep your child on a policy until they’re 26 years old, and the 35 percent of the employer’s contribution to health insurance that will allow them to hire — to actually help a lot more employees get insurance, and perhaps even the savings, allow them to hire people.

CAVUTO: But how do you know that kicks in — but how do you know that kicks in as soon as you thought?

I mean, last week at this time, I was talking maybe to you and certainly other of your colleagues who were saying kids’ coverage for preexisting conditions was going to take effect immediately. We discover, no, that’s not the case.

CUMMINGS: No. But there are — but most of this bill, as you probably know...

CAVUTO: All right.

CUMMINGS: ... there are a number of things that kick in — kick in later on.


CUMMINGS: But the fact still remains that there are a lot of...


CUMMINGS: ... we have — we have now moved in the right direction...

CAVUTO: All right.

CUMMINGS: ... of correcting the system that is — is basically broken.

CAVUTO: All right, Elijah Cummings, great having you, as it was last week.

CUMMINGS: And you know that.

CAVUTO: All right. Well, we’ll see. We don’t know yet.

Elijah Cummings, thank you very much.

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