CNN "CNN Newsroom" - Transcript


By:  Ben Quayle
Date: June 27, 2012
Location: Unknown


Arizona Congressman Ben Quayle is one of those Republicans rooting for that to happen. Congressman, welcome. Thanks for coming on.

REPRESENTATIVE BEN QUAYLE (R), ARIZONA: Yes, thanks for having me.

BALDWIN: Let's say -- and this is a what if game that we have to play today -- let's say that the Supreme Court grants your fondest wish, totally striking down ObamaCare. What concrete plans to Republicans have to put legislation in its place?

QUAYLE: The one thing that we're going to wait and see what the decision is, but looking at some of the proposals and some of the things that I would like to see is to see real market-based reforms.

Because we did need healthcare reform, but I don't think ObamaCare was the right answer to the problems that we had.

So if we actually make sure that we're allowing people to buy insurance across state lines, making insurance attached to the person rather than the job, allowing states to have pools with pre-existing conditions, a number of proposals that I think will actually drive down costs and increase access.

And, if it's truly market-based, then we'll actually see competition driving down the price and actually increasing the level of care.

BALDWIN: So you do have plans to pass legislation. You mentioned folks with pre-existing conditions to not discriminate against them. Do you have a plan for that?

QUAYLE: What I would like to see is actually allowing the states deal with that where they can put together a pool for people with pre- existing conditions or chronic conditions who can't afford health insurance, but they can go into a state-level pool. Those are the types of things that have been proposed and talked about.

But really we want to have the conversation with the American people. We don't want another 2,000-page bill to go out and not talk to the American people and tell them that we have to pass it before they learn what's in it. I think that should be what we do.

BALDWIN: We'll get a little preview of that conversation right now. The question is when, the timing of this. Is it before the election, after the election, Congressman?

QUAYLE: I think we're going to first see what comes out of the Supreme Court tomorrow. We've got 10:00 a.m., I believe, tomorrow morning is about what time they're going to be doing it.

So we'll see what they do, if they actually rule the whole law unconstitutional or they just do pieces of it. We don't know, can't determine that from oral arguments.

But once we get that, then we can take it to Congress and see what we can do. I personally would like to see the whole law ruled unconstitutional, so we get a clean slate to actually address the health care problems that we need to address.

BALDWIN: Let me run through a couple of the benefits from the plan that people are already seeing. More than three million young people under age 26 added to their parents insurance.

More than five million seniors got prescription drug benefits under Medicare. We mentioned pre-existing conditions. Sixty thousand people with pre-existing conditions were able to get coverage.

If all of that, if you get your wish, you want the whole thing struck down. You want Congress to have a clean slate. What then do you do for those people who are getting this help now?

QUAYLE: I think that we do push through legislation that actually abides by the Constitution that will be market-based in driving down costs and increasing access. I think that you allow the states to have more flexibility within Medicaid. These are the types of things that I think the Republicans can get behind. We don't have one plan in place, but we'll wait to see what the Supreme Court says.

BALDWIN: You don't have any plan in place?

QUAYLE: No, I said that we don't have one plan. There's a number of different plans that are out there. Once we see what will come out of Supreme Court then we'll see which plans will be working within the framework that the court provided. We don't know if they will scrap the entire law or not, and then go from there.

But there's already a number of plans out there. I was looking through different healthcare bills. There's close to 100 that deal with healthcare reform that are from the Republican side. Those are the things we'll look at to put together a bill that actually does what needs to be done to reform our healthcare system so that it reduces costs and increases access.

BALDWIN: Let me ask Congressman Quayle about immigration because I know Romney is not giving a position on President Obama's executive order on immigration that came down from the DHS a couple of weeks ago.

Now, the whole "show-me-your-papers" law, that's what it's really called in your state that the Supreme Court now has upheld. This is Arizona. Is that because he's weak on the issue, he being Mitt Romney?

QUAYLE: I think that Governor Romney and all of us should be talking about the fact that the president doesn't have the authority to do what he did. He's bypassing Congress, trying to write laws via non-action on laws that are on the books. This is a horrible precedent. BALDWIN: But don't you wish -- Congressman, this is your state. You have an opinion. Are you frustrated Mitt Romney really doesn't seem to, at least publicly? It's been very vague.

QUAYLE: I'm just can state what I believe. I think that all of us should be very up in arms about what the president has done, what Secretary Napolitano did yesterday by taking way the cooperation with ICE and the local law enforcement agencies with Arizona. That's just ridiculous.

BALDWIN: Congressman Quayle, forgive me for interrupting again, but I'm asking about Mitt Romney, not the president, Mitt Romney.

QUAYLE: I've said that I would like the see Governor Romney come out and be more forceful on how the president actually went about this, went against the constitutional foundations that our country was founded on.

BALDWIN: But he's running for president, so let's take away what he thinks the president should do if he wins. Shouldn't we hear concrete plans from him?

QUAYLE: No, but I think that when you're talking about what the president did, I think that Governor Romney and everybody here on Capitol Hill should be talking about it, as well.

If we have a president that just is going to basically make up laws as he goes along, we don't have a separate and co-equal branches of government anymore. This is a horrible precedent to set because then you'll just have a president that continues to disregard Congress and how our laws are made and actually executed.

BALDWIN: The senate tried to pass the DREAM Act in 2010. This was a piece of bipartisan legislation that got blocked.

QUAYLE: It got blocked on a bipartisan basis, I believe. They couldn't get it through when they had complete control of the House and the Senate. The DREAM Act is fundamentally flawed.

We do need to find a solution to these issues, but that one is not the right solution and I think what the president has just done is just really just disregarded the Constitution and separate but co- equal branches of government. That's not the right thing to do. I think everybody should be talking out against that.

BALDWIN: Speaking of the Constitution, you mentioned it. At 10:00 tomorrow morning, we'll see how the Supreme Court comes down on the constitutionality of ObamaCare. Congressman Ben Quayle, thank you.

QUAYLE: Thanks, Brooke.


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