FOX "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" - Affordable Care Act Implementation


Date: Nov. 13, 2013


VAN SUSTEREN: And Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy joins us. Of course, he is on that committee.

So what did you learn today?

REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: Not much. Five minutes isn't long to unlock the histories of the universe. I still can't tell you why they went on October the 1st. That's not the law. That's an artificial date that Kathleen Sebelius picked. We weren't ready to go on October 1st. We spent offer a half a billion dollars. We've had 30 months to get the web sight up and running. And Todd Park is supposed to get it fixed in less than two months. I know this. I'm not convinced about the security. And all of that is accessing the website. Once you get on the website, if the enrollment numbers are right, two-thirds of the people who window shop decided to go somewhere else.

VAN SUSTEREN: It's interesting. Today, there's a conference call that Secretary Sebelius had with anybody in the media who wanted to sign on. She was talking about the numbers. The numbers are worse than anyone ever thought they could be. But she said repeatedly, not just once but repeatedly, she said the marketplace is working and people are enrolling. She seemed quite content. And she added that she expects enrollment to grow.

GOWDY: You and I were in the courtroom a lot. I think some folks, if you repeat something to yourself enough, you begin to believe it. She would be the only one in the western hemisphere who thinks this is working, if she really believes that. Of course, her job is on the line. This is her legacy, if you believe in legacies. It's not working. Actually, in a round-about way, the best thing she has going for her right now is the fact that people can't get on the website. That was one of the promises. The other promise, about being lower premiums, better coverage, people are going to also find out that they were mislead and deceived when it comes to that.

VAN SUSTEREN: You talked about the fact that she keeps repeating that the marketplace is working, people enrolling. The president kept repeating -- we stopped counting at 26, when we had him on tape saying, you could keep your insurance, if you like it, you can keep it. Others said they found more and there may have been more. He kept repeating that, too. We played the soundbite where he knew people were going to lose it back in 2010.

GOWDY: Yeah. There is a difference between negligently misstating a fact as you perceive it and intentionally deceiving your listener because you want to obtain an advantage. And I would like to believe that he didn't know it was untrue as it is when he said it but -- but --

VAN SUSTEREN: So they just didn't understand. You prefer to think that he just didn't understand his own legislation?

GOWDY: I would like to think that the leader of the free world would not mislead people solely to win an election.

VAN SUSTEREN: How much --

GOWDY: But I'm also not naive enough to believe that.

VAN SUSTEREN: How comfortable would you have -- let's assume you are right. How comfortable are you with the fact that, if he did mislead, he didn't understand his own signature legislation, and what was going to happen to so many people?

GOWDY: All the more reason not to have a piece of legislation this large and the more reason not to make transformative changes in our culture on a purely political vote. Not a single Republican supported this.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what's going to happen now? What's realistically going to happen? There's a bill this week with Congressman Upton.

GOWDY: Right. And the Senate will be in a dilemma whether or not they want to take it off. A lot of these Democrat Senators who are up for re-election are going to push Reid to take it up. In the past, he has not shown inclination to take up House bills. It's going to be the dominant issue in 2014.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't understand. Even if Congressman Upton's bill is taken up, I don't know how you can force insurance companies to reinstate policies they have already canceled. And even if you could -- I mean, obviously the federal government can do that to an insurance company. I think it's illegal. Even if you, could the insurance companies have to get permission from the states. We're up against the clock. I mean, I don't see how any of this -- I think this is fanciful talk.

GOWDY: I'll leave with you a quote from Edgar Allen Poe, "What a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to deceive."

When you base a campaign on something that is demonstrably false -- if you like your health insurance, you can keep it, period -- and then it begins to unravel, you have got a couple of options. You can admit to people that you lied, which he has not done thus far, or you can look to Congress to bail you out.

GOWDY: I'm happy to bail my fellow citizens out but I'm not going to bail him out.

VAN SUSTEREN: But that's -- oh. Forget the political aspect. Some people out there in the middle of like chemotherapy and they have gotten the notice at the end of the year their policies. What can you policy do for that person? I mean, forget -- I don't have any sympathy for the politicians who find themselves in a mess. I do care about these citizens who are really scared tonight and worried. What can you do for them?

GOWDY: I wish I had a good answer for you. I cannot answer that question other than, the person who loves to say elections have consequences and he is right. One of the consequences should not be that your fellow citizens are punished, even folks who voted for him. If I can bring relief to people despite the fact that we warned them ahead of time this is not going to work, I will do it. But we are so far down this train track now. You are right. You can't tell insurance companies what product to offer. You can't go back and re-offer canceled policies. So this is what happens when you base a campaign on a fundamental lie.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it's deeply disturbing to me. It's sort of a -- you know, sort of the drama goes on here in Washington. But outside Washington, there are people who are really scared and really suffering and terrified of the consequence. But I guess he says he is going to look at all the options. Let's hope he has some.

GOWDY: I hope he does.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman, thank you. Always nice to see you, sir.

GOWDY: Thank you.