This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 25, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Our town hall panel from last night is back, four very special guests who all to town halls last year. They were here last night and they are back tonight.
Joining us from San Francisco, California, Catherine Bragg, who owns a small business, in Houston, Texas, Tracy Miller, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dana Loesch from the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Katie Abram.
We start in California with Catherine Bragg. Catherine, did you hear anything today that caught you off guard, that surprised you?
CATHERINE BRAGG, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: No, actually I didn't, Greta. I think what satisfied me, actually, because I didn't see anything that shocked me, was I was really happy to see the Republican leadership, I was happy to hear at least six very common sense points that they had. Some cost reduction solutions on the table.
And then I saw the standard, I think, political theater that the Democrats had. And I think overall I walked away with the sense there are many options on the table. But unfortunately, the Republicans for the last year have not been given an option to really play in this arena. That's what I found most disappointing.
VAN SUSTEREN: I take it you are a Republican. Is that a fair assumption on my part?
BRAGG: Yes, it is, dyed in the wool, all my life.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything that the Democrats said today, any of the members of Congress, that made some sense to you?
BRAGG: I don't think that there was much that really made sense to me, because I've heard what their plan is in little bits and pieces throughout the last year. And I couldn't really quite make sense of, because in essence, as a country we don't have the money for this plan. We don't have the money to start another entitlement program.
The people that are saying no to this bill, they have said no, Obama- care is dead. We don't want to see another entitlement program put on the backs of future generations of this country.
This is the first time in our country's history where all this information is available. If the same information had been available in '65 somebody may have looked at Medicare much differently than they do today.
This is a profound time in our history where people are plugged in. They see this huge government additional amounts of money that are going to be spent on future generations, and we are just saying no to it.
VAN SUSTEREN: We only have 20 seconds left. Are you opposed to any health care reform, or are you just simply opposed to the Republican plan? Are there some things you would like to see improved or not, or do you think it's fine?
BRAGG: It is definitely in need of improvement. But on table are some cost saving measures, especially tort reform. Looking at the fact that there are malpractice lawsuits and defensive medicine has to be practiced in this country, the fact that citizens should have the right to go and buy insurance across state lines. Those are still two important issues.
VAN SUSTEREN: Catherine thank you very much for joining us.
And now to Tracy Miller in Houston, Texas. Tracy, how about you -- did anything that was said today, surprise you or was unexpected?
TRACY MILLER, TOWN HALL ATTENDEE: Well, I was surprised when the president started out talking about we still had a ways to go on creating jobs and breaking the back of the recession. I was surprised to hear that admission coming from him.
I was also surprised to hear the president say that the single biggest drag on the economy is the cost of health care. I disagree. I think the single largest drag on our economy is the expansion of government and the big spending coming out of D.C. right now.
And that's exactly what started the tea party movement and caused so many people to turn out at town hall meetings across America during August.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who impressed you? Is there anyone you thought is a person who was impressive in how he or she speaks and the positions? Did anybody wow you?
MILLER: Yes, and I can't remember the last name, Chris -- I can't remember the last name of the one that impressed me. But he was going back and forth with Obama. And Obama said if you want to characterize the plan that way and kind of shirked it off as talking points.
But I thought he was -- the conservatives were doing a good job on putting forward some ideas that wouldn't cost the country money and left some regulation so that the free market could solve some of these problems. And at least some people would have more access to health care because the cost would be lower.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything that any of the Republicans said -- I understand your position, I can tell from listening to you -- anything Republicans said you thought, well, I don't like that?
MILLER: Yes. I'm not 100 percent sure on tort reform being a federally done deal. I think that some issues really belong to the states and we need to let the states decide that.
And I can't remember if it was the Republican side or the Democrat side that came up with a federal commission to cap health care costs. I did hear that, and I don't think we need a federal commission.
I think that can be done at the state level, because they would much better understand the cost as associated with health care, especially border states like Texas that have the additional costs of illegals coming across the border and we have to treat them in our hospitals here.
VAN SUSTEREN: Tracy, thank you very much.
Dana Loesch joins us live from St. Louis. She's from the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. And I suppose you know the question I'm going to ask you about being surprise. You've had time to think about it, so what did surprise you today? It must have been something.
DANA LOESCH, ST. LOUIS TEA PARTY COALITION: I don't know. Thanks for having me back, Greta.
There was one thing that surprised me, and that was when the president said that they considered every cost-effective measure. And I had to scratch my head at that, because I was thinking, really, you thought about purchasing insurance across state lines, you thought about tort reform, because we waste billions of dollars a year practicing defensive medicine, doctors ordering tests they don't need to order just to cover their backsides. So that surprised me.
And I was pleasantly impressed with the way that the GOP held the line. And I really, really liked what Paul Ryan said. And I think his statement on the difference of philosophy hit at the core of all of this, because we don't think Democrats are evil creatures or anything that hate America or something like that. We all know we have the same goals, we have the same ends, but we have different means to achieve those ends.
And I think Paul Ryan hit on precisely how the Democrats don't understand that the ramifications of the means that they choose could adversely affect Americans.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you see this as a step forward or did you see this as a disappointment or even sort of as a staged operation?
LOESCH: Staged operation, and it was a step forward because I think the people were actually represented. I don't think they've ever been able to take part because alternatives have never been considered before, especially primetime like that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Dana, thank you as always.
And now to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Katy Abram joins us live. Katy, what did you think of today?
KATY ABRAM, ATTENDED SEN. SPECTER TOWN HALL MEETING: What did I think of today -- there are actually a couple of things that surprised me. The first was when, I think it was Eric Cantor, had a huge stack of the bills, about 2,400 pages. Obama said it is very complex and we need to have those bills, it's a very complex issue.
This is the United States Constitution. This runs the whole country. So, I'm sorry, we don't need a monstrosity as big as that.
Another thing that I thought was interesting was when John McCain and Obama had their little exchange. McCain had said that the American people don't want this. And Obama has truly shown that he is completely disconnected from the American people when he said the opposition has a different view on that.
It makes me wonder if there's a little bit more to this than meets the eye. I know President Obama is very tight with SEIU and I know SEIU has some issues with their pensions. I just wonder if this is another bailout, to be honest with you.
VAN SUSTEREN: I take it you didn't vote for president Obama? From what you say it sounds like you didn't vote for him. Is there anything that you agree with him on, anything that you think he's done a good job on?
ABRAM: Honestly, I think that the idea of making health insurance more affordable for businesses is a great idea. But I think that his thoughts -- thought pattern is a little off.
The smartest way to make businesses be able to afford health insurance for people is to lower their taxes. It's as simple as that. We have a home business, and if you could lower the taxes that would take such a burden off people right now. We would be able to, you know, buy insurance for our employees.
VAN SUSTEREN: We only have 20 seconds left. Do you think President Obama cares about you?
ABRAM: You know what, I look at it this way -- any senator right now who has been doing a dog and pony show with any Americans showing them without health insurance, you know who ends up helping them? Their community when they find out about them, not the government.
VAN SUSTEREN: Katy, thank you, as always.
ABRAM: Thank you.
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