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NBC "Hardball with Chris Matthews" - Transcript: Republicans

Interview

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MATTHEWS: Congressman Pallone, when winter comes, you like to have a heater. If your heater breaks, you want to get the heater fixed. You don`t say you don`t like heaters.

REP. FRANK PALLONE (D), NEW JERSEY: Exactly.

MATTHEWS: The Republicans are making that ludicrous charge now. We don`t need heaters because this one is broke, or they broke for a week or two, or a month or two. So, therefore, we`re offering a program called no heaters, and winter`s coming.

It seems they get away with crazy talk. They don`t have a plan for health care. They haven`t had one since -- Nixon was pretty honest in pushing an employer mandate back in `74, during Watergate. That was basically knocked down by the Democrats. They don`t even think -- how are your colleagues that are across the aisle from you, sitting at committee, how do they walk up to the constituents and say, we got this little problem with the Democratic plan -- and they don`t have any plan at all for health care and people do (INAUDIBLE) health.

PALLONE: Well, I think a lot of them, if they`re the Tea Party right wing, Chris, just don`t believe the government should assist or help in any way with your health insurance. And that`s an ideological point of view which I don`t share and I don`t think most Americans share.

But, you know, that`s one group. But the group that are, you know, scaring people and giving the impression that somehow you shouldn`t participate in this program, you know, they`re not being fair, because they don`t have an alternative.

And, again, I can`t stress enough, you know, this is private insurance in a competitive market. The federal government, you know, can`t force an insurance company to sell a lousy plan that nobody`s going to buy because the insurance company has to make money. So, that`s why they`re canceling these lousy plans and say, here, we`re going to offer you something better because they`re competitive. If they can`t sell it, they can`t make any money. I mean, it`s just capitalism at its best.

MATTHEWS: You`re great.

PALLONE: And there`s no socialist ideology here. This is pure capitalism.

MATTHEWS: Well, I`m falling in love with New Jersey. You guys have been so great.

Thank you so much, U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey, and Nancy Metcalf. We`ll have you back again Ms. Metcalf for more of expertise on the consumer impact on this whole thing.

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