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FOX "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace" - Transcript: Affordable Care Act Enrollment

Interview

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Location: Unknown

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: SENATOR JOHN BARRASSO joins us. Good evening, sir.

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO, R-WYO.: Thanks for having me, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: You said "cooking the books," his administration. Do you stand by that?

BARRASSO: We do. We still don't know how many people have gone to the website to sign up actually paid so they actually have insurance, not just signed up on the website. That's number one.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you believe the Obama -- and I will get to number two. Do you believe the Obama administration knows that number?

BARRASSO: I believe they do know that number because the insurance executives have said they have provided that number to the White House. And, yet, the White House and Secretary Sebelius told Congress she had no idea to the point that the chairman of the Ways and Means committee sent her a letter saying that your testimony -- they said was at best pervasive and perhaps misleading.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why did she do that?

BARRASSO: Well, I think they don't want to give that number. The reality of this is they had to provide insurance, paid at a certain number. They need seven million people to make the math work and a lot of those have to be young, healthy people. So we need to know, one, is how many paid. How many of those are that young, healthy group who are buying insurance that many of them won't ever use or need. And then finally, the whole purpose of this health care law, the reason that they turned health care in the country upside down, was the president said they wanted to provide coverage to 30 million people, Greta, who were previously uninsured. They cannot give us any information on how many of these people that are signing up actually had insurance before and just got those five million cancellation letters and how many are newly insured for the first time.

VAN SUSTEREN: You heard that tape, Secretary Sebelius saying "Senator Barrasso should rest assured that his constituents finally will have real health insurance for their premium dollars." Are you resting assured?

BARRASSO: I was in Wyoming this past weekend. You know, I travel the state every weekend listening to people. And the people of Wyoming are telling me a different story than what Secretary Sebelius is saying tonight. People are very concerned because, on the exchange, there are limited choices. It is much more expensive. We've had people who had their insurance canceled that was insurance that worked for them that they liked. And I'm getting letters every day and going to the Senate floor with them to tell the American people how bad this has been for these people.

VAN SUSTEREN: Somebody, big time, is not being candid. Either the -- these numbers are there and these people are paying or not, right? Somebody is like -- do you agree, somebody --

(CROSSTALK)

BARRASSO: It's interesting. Your friend, Toby Cosgrove, from the Cleveland Clinic, yesterday on FOX News, on Maria Bartiromo's new show, said he thinks for people that are paying about three quarters of them are paying more than they were beforehand when their policies weren't canceled.

VAN SUSTEREN: When are we actually going to find out how many people -- as the administration says, we are going to tell you on this date, we are going to get this information from the insurance companies so we know how many people paid, how many young people paid, how many we have to subsidize or -- when do we get these numbers?

BARRASSO: I don't know that we will ever get a full accounting. This is one of the least transparent administrations, if not the least transparent administration in the history of the United States.

The other thing that's interesting on the website, they don't even ask when people go to sign up if they have had insurance or if they haven't had insurance before. The number one goal of the president is to insure the uninsured and they don't even ask the question when they designed the faulty website.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, we are less than five hours away from the deadline, when this is, and, of course, even that deadline is sort of squishy since that's been extended for those that have been on the site for some time.

(CROSSTALK)

BARRASSO: Republicans have a better idea. We don't need to go down this road of the Obama health care law. We can give people freedom and choice. Eliminate the mandates that they have to buy government-approved insurance, they have to buy -- and let -- there are ways to actually reduce the cost of care, which is what this is all about, Greta. It it's about patients getting health care.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, nice to see you. Always nice to see you, sir.

BARRASSO: Thanks for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you.


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