This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," September 24, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Are Democrats about to ram through health care reform, no matter what? Well, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel says health care reform will be passed by Thanksgiving, and the bill will be bipartisan, even if Republicans don't vote for it. Now, wait a second. How is it possible it can be bipartisan if Republicans don't vote for it, too?
Joining us live is Dick Morris, author of the book "Catastrophe." And Dick, before I get to you, I referred to the two young people who -- who smoked out ACORN as "goofy young teenagers." I didn't mean to be insulting to them. I just want to tell the viewers that. And I meant it more by the way they were dressed and that ACORN was just so ridiculous in falling for it, but they certainly were ambitious and have done it. And I've said my piece. Now I apologize for that.
All right, now, is this bill bipartisan?
DICK MORRIS, DICKMORRIS.COM: No, of course, it's not. There's some chance that one Republican senator, Snowe of Maine, will support it, but that doesn't make it bipartisan. Rahm Emanuel said this bill is going to pass by Thanksgiving, and I'm not sure that this particular turkey is going to pass by Thanksgiving.
VAN SUSTEREN: What -- why would he call it bipartisan? He said something to the effect that if there were no Republicans voting for it, it would still be bipartisan. I guess his thinking is, if some Republican ideas were incorporated into this bill, that that would reflect a bipartisan bill.
MORRIS: Yes. You'd have to ask Rahm what he means by calling it bipartisan. It's ridiculous.
But the real question as to whether this bill is going to pass or not by Thanksgiving or any time is whether the people that are being gutted in this bill, the people that are being hit over the head and clobbered, speak out. Now, as this bill has become better known and has been reduced to print and has been publicized, more and more is coming out about it.
First we learned that half a billion -- half a trillion dollars -- half a trillion dollars -- would be cut from Medicare, a 10 percent cut in Medicare, the only social program this administration is cutting. And the elderly are getting horribly hurt by this.
Then we learned that the uninsured, the people who are supposedly getting this benefit, are going to have to cough up 15 to 20 percent of their income for premiums, co-payments and deductibles before the subsidy kicks in. Obama says that's affordable. Doesn't sound very affordable to me.
And now the coup de grace! It turns out that in six years, the average American family is going to have to pay a 40 percent tax on their current health insurance premiums. Right now, the threshold is going to be $23,000, and by 2016, the Congressional Budget Office says that will be the cost of an average health insurance policy. So instead of paying $25,000, you're going to have to pay $35,000, $10,000 extra courtesy of Obama.
So if the people who have health insurance, the people who don't have health insurance and the elderly get smart about this thing and start hollering and yelling and calling Congress and writing them and going -- pushing this hard, they can kill this bill. But right now, I sense a complacency. I think people think this thing has already been defeated. And I think that there is not the energy level that there needs to be to stop this monstrosity from passing!
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, as -- as is often, I'm sort of one beat off on this in looking at it, and which now (INAUDIBLE) and I'll tell you something that distresses me, is that one of the ways that this bill is going to be paid for is that it is estimated that there's $500 billion worth of fraud that we're going to clean up and we're going to get that cash. Can you explain to me, like, if there's $500 billion of fraud, why aren't we looking for it now? How about last week, a month ago? I mean, what are these other members of Congress doing? Where's our Justice Department! Why don't we at least get the jump on it and start cleaning up the fraud! Why doesn't Waxman have hearings on fraud, or anybody -- any other Democratic chairman? I mean, if it's there, why are we waiting until Thanksgiving to think, like, Maybe we'll pay with this with -- with fraud money we recoup?
MORRIS: Great point, Greta. The Medicare cuts I deal with at some length in our book, "Catastrophe." And you can go through that. But let me just summarize. A hundred and fifty billion of it is going to be cut in the Medicare Advantage program. Now, one third of the elderly voluntarily sign up for this because they like the idea of one person, one agency who knows all about their health care and can coordinate all the treatment.
The other part of it is going to be cutting reimbursement rates to doctors. Now, those reimbursement rates are currently scheduled to be cut by 21 percent next year. This cut would be on top of that. So if you're going to tell a doctor who's now getting $65 for an elderly person office visit that they're going to get $40, and then maybe $35 or $30, how much time are they going to spend with the patient? What kind of medical care is that going to be?
And you're talking -- just to give you a rule of thumb, we spent $500 billion this whole year on Medicare, and that's the amount they're going to cut over 10 years. It's as if this whole year's spending was taken out. It is outrageous what he's doing to the elderly!
VAN SUSTEREN: And I got to go. And for all those people who complain we don't have Democratic members of the Senate Finance Committee on this show, just so you know, any member -- any Democratic member of the Senate Finance Committee is invited. I'll even go the person to interview. So I don't want any complaints about that.
MORRIS: Greta, I...
VAN SUSTEREN: This -- I got to go. Yes?
MORRIS: I wish that people -- go to DickMorris.com and find out how to fight this bill. The point about this is that they are absolutely gutting the care to the elderly, and the elderly...
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, I got to go...
MORRIS: ... need to stand up and fight on that.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... or I'm going to get -- I'm going to get -- I got to go because we got to get to a commercial break, Dick. But thank you very much.
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