"Face the Nation" transcripts, July 1, 2012: Speaker Boehner, Senators Schumer and Coburn, Governors Walker and O'Malley
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (overlapping): He-- even though, the President had tried to admit for, you know, over a year that it wasn't a tax and nobody believed it and now we know it. But it-- it's getting in the way of employers hiring new workers. Because of these increased costs of government-run health insurance and the fact that, if they don't, they have to provide a tax, so employers--
NORAH O'DONNELL (overlapping): The White House says for employers if you have twenty-five or fewer employees, you actually get a tax benefit. If you have fifty or fewer employers, you don't have to provide them health insurance. So how is that hurting small businesses?
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: Well, when we talk about small businesses, under the-- the federal government's definition of small businesses, those five hundred and under. When you're talking about a lot of businesses, the majority of businesses in America would fall within that category and-- and-- and-- we're raising their cost to no end and what's going to happen is most Americans get their health insurance through their employer. Now, a lot of employers are just going to pay the tax and dump their employees into these health exchanges. Well, they are not going to be able to keep their health insurance that they have. Remember, the President said if you like your health insurance, you can keep it. It's not true.
NORAH O'DONNELL: But when I talked about some of the specific provisions, you said you want a common-sense approach. But why not be specific about exactly what kind of protections you want to provide individuals? You won't be specific. Why not say--
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (overlapping): We-- we--
NORAH O'DONNELL: --you would prevent discrimination of--
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (overlapping): We've outlined.
NORAH O'DONNELL: --preexisting conditions?
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: We've outlined a number of provisions last year allowing employers to-- or-- the American people to buy insurance across state lines. Why wouldn't we allow small businesses to group together for the purchases of buying health insurance? Why wouldn't we deal with one of the big cost drivers in-- in health care and that is medical malpractice reform that results in almost one out of four tests being ordered by a doctor as unnecessary only to protect themselves from being sued? These are kinds of common-sense steps that we can take.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Why not, then, if you like some of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act, why not work with it rather than ap-- repeal the whole thing.
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (overlapping): No, no, no.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Even Mitt Romney said--
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (overlapping): No, this has to be-- this has to be ripped out by its roots. This is government taking over the entire health insurance industry. The American people do not want to go down this path. They do not want the government telling them what kind of insurance policy they have to buy and how much they're going to pay for it and if you don't like it, we're going to tax you. It has to be ripped out and we need to start over, one step at a time.
NORAH O'DONNELL (overlapping): And so you say so-- so-- so to heck with all these provisions like additional preventative care for children, for women--
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (overlapping): All of them. All of-- we can-- we can replace. While we replace this, we can have a common-sense debate about which of these provisions ought to stay and which ought to go.
NORAH O'DONNELL: So all those people who have preexisting conditions, you say we're going to get rid of this and then at some point we'll deal with it?
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: Listen, I've already outlined we believe there's a better way to provide access to high quality health insurance in a different way than we have in Obamacare. We believe ours will work just as well at much less cost to the American people.
NORAH O'DONNELL: It's clear you oppose the individual mandate and yet your Republican nominee Mitt Romney came up with an individual mandate and proposed a tax penalty in Massachusetts. Does he have a credibility problem?
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: Listen, Governor Romney, just like all the rest of us Republicans in Washington, are going to work to repeal Obamacare and our resolve is stronger than ever with the passage or with the approval of the Supreme Court.
NORAH O'DONNELL: But he was for it before. Doesn't he have a credibility problem?
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: Yeah, this is an issue that was in Massachusetts. That's in one state. That's why we have fifty different states. They are laboratories of democracy. Governor Romney understands that Obamacare will bankrupt our country and ruin the best health care delivery system in the world.
NORAH O'DONNELL: The facts are that the penalty in Massachusetts under Mitt Romney for not buying health insurance was twelve hundred dollars. The penalty under the President's health care law at its highest rate would be about seven hundred dollars. The Massachusetts tax penalty was more restrictive and more punitive than the President's.
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: Listen, look, listen, Governor Romney believes, as I do, that this law has to be repealed. That this is--
NORAH O'DONNELL (overlapping): It doesn't matter what he did before?
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: This is far-- this is far more than anything any state had ever comprehended or even tried to do. This-- this law is making health insurance more expensive, it's making it harder for employers to hire new workers and taking away from the American people their choice of the health insurance they want and the doctor they choose.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Do you think this is going to be an issue in this campaign?
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: It certainly will be.
NORAH O'DONNELL: Why?
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