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CNN "Piers Morgan Tonight" - Transcript


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Joining me now for our "Big Story," one of the leading voices speaking out against the Supreme Court decision, former presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann.

Congresswoman, thank you for joining me again. Let me start by asking you why are you so implacably opposed to universal health care for all?

BACHMANN: Well, of course, we want health care for everyone. But we want it at the cheapest possible price for the American people and for everyone involved. We want the highest possible quality for the greatest number of people.

And part of the problem with Obamacare, Piers, has been that it's absolutely exploded cost. President Obama promised that every American would save $2500 a year on their health insurance premium and just the reverse happened. Their premiums went up by about $2200 so that's a $5,000 swing from what the president promised.

So costs are exploding. We're beginning to see denial of care by the Obamacare board, the IPAB board, and so this is not a very good scenario where we're spending more money and we're getting less for it. And I think that's why it's been very unpopular with the American people especially with senior citizens because Medicare is actually losing $575 billion. It's been cut by that amount of money.

So we still have the same amount of senior citizens if not more so. There's just a lot less money in Medicare. So that's also made it very unpopular.

MORGAN: If it's so terrible, such a ghastly idea, why was the deciding vote taken by a conservative chief justice, John Roberts? Why has he flown against all conservative thinking if that's what it is?

BACHMANN: Well, absolutely no one can fathom why he came up with the decision that he did. To me clearly this was an unconstitutional requirement from government. Never before has the federal government demanded of every American just because we breathe that we have to buy a product that government tells us we have to buy at a certain price that the government tells us we have to pay for it. And of all places insurance companies.

We're forced to buy a product that private insurance companies offer and this is (INAUDIBLE) Americans. We should be able to make our choices, not have the federal government make our choices for us because the good news is we really can have positive health care reform. We can do this and we can bring down the cost of health care and we can make sure that we have affordable, accessible health care for all Americans.

But the current situation won't work. In fact, what a lot of Americans aren't realizing quite yet is that there's over 20 new taxes in Obamacare and just one of the taxes will be a tax on when people sell their homes. It's 3.8 percent. And for many Americans, they'll have to pay in addition to all the other costs at the closing and when they sell their home, the seller will have to pay 3.8 percent of the closing costs to the government for Obamacare.

So if you have a $500,000 house, you'll be having to give something under $20,000 to the federal government just to pay for Obamacare. That's just one of the new taxes that's about to take place.

MORGAN: Do you have car insurance?

BACHMANN: Yes, I do.

MORGAN: Who told you to?

BACHMANN: I have car insurance because I have an investment in my car and I want to make sure that I can hold on to that investment. But car insurance is a very different thing from health insurance. Because no one is forced to buy a car if they don't want to. But here in the case of Obamacare, every American is forced to buy a health insurance policy just because they breathe.

MORGAN: Yes, but hang on. Hang on.


BACHMANN: It's very different situation.

MORGAN: Let me jump in. Let me jump in. You just hit the nail on the head. You talked about buying health insurance. You have to buy car insurance. If you want to drive a car in America, you have to buy insurance, or you will be driving illegally. You will be fined. If you keep defying it, you'll be put in jail.

What is the difference ideologically to a Republican like you that is so opposed to this? What is the difference between Americans being forced by law to have insurance to drive a car and being forced by law to have insurance for their health?

BACHMANN: Well, I said it in the beginning of my remarks. No one is forced to buy a car. You don't have to buy a car. But if you buy a car, you need to be responsible and have insurance. But in America, this isn't a matter of buying something. This is being forced to purchase a product that government tells us to.

This is a tremendously radical decision, Piers, because now we've -- previously we've had choices in health insurance, now we give all of that up. Now all of the powers put in government's hands and government decides exactly what health insurance policy all Americans have to buy.

We don't have a choice anymore. That's just been taken away from us. Now government chooses. It's far beyond that. Now government will be telling doctors what their decisions need to be on health care as well. This is very different from what we've had before. This is a massive loss of our own decision making over some of the most personal decisions in our lives.


MORGAN: Well, it's not -- it's not actually --

BACHMANN: Health care. Now government makes the choice.

MORGAN: It's not that unique. It's not that unique. Only in the sense that it's done at the federal level --

BACHMANN: It's highly unique.

MORGAN: -- because of course Mitt --

BACHMANN: Not at a federal level but of course at the state level a very different thing. Let's play a clip from then governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, in 2006 talking specifically about a health insurance mandate.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: With regards to the mandate, the Individual Responsibility Program, which I proposed, I was very pleased to see that the compromise from the two Houses includes the personal responsibility principles. That is essential for bringing health care cost down for everyone and getting everybody the health insurance they deserve and need.


MORGAN: You can call me bemused of the British isles, Michele Bachmann, but what is the difference?

BACHMANN: Well, again, the compare and contrast couldn't be more stark between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney because when voters go into the polls this November, they can vote for Barack Obama who will keep government health care, which is government control over our lives in health care and what is called a taxmageddon that is coming upon us. The largest tax increase in American history will come to us with Obamacare.

That we know we will have with a second term with Barack Obama versus Mitt Romney who will repeal Obamacare on day one.

MORGAN: Right.

BACHMANN: He wants choice for all Americans.

MORGAN: This isn't exactly --


BACHMANN: And also -- let me just finish, Piers. Let me just finish. MORGAN: I hate to be railed --

BACHMANN: Mitt Romney wants choice --

MORGAN: But I know what you're going to say. But you're all doing --

BACHMANN: Mitt Romney wants choice for all Americans but he also wants -- he wants lower costs in health care for all Americans. We know we won't have that in Obamacare. We will if Mitt Romney becomes the next president of the United States.

MORGAN: OK. Just to get back to how would you crystallize the difference between that clip of Mitt Romney in 2006 and the individual mandate he was talking about in relation to health insurance? What is the ideological difference between that and what Barack Obama has done?

BACHMANN: Well, that's simple. Very simple. Because what Mitt Romney was talking about was one state, Massachusetts. What Barack Obama is talking about is every single American in the nation. Mitt Romney couldn't have been more clear. He said I would never put this program in Massachusetts -- I would never apply this to the entire country. It would be wrong.

He couldn't have been more clear.


BACHMANN: And so that's why I say in November --

MORGAN: Let me -- let me muddy the water.

BACHMANN: The decision will be very stark. Barack Obama will not deviate from this program that's already been proven a failure because again --

MORGAN: If I -- if I may jump in.

BACHMANN: Again the --

MORGAN: Let me jump in and just play you a clip for Mitt Romney in 2009 on "Meet the Press" because he was asked, specifically about whether this he could apply on a national level. His individual health mandate. Listen to this.


ROMNEY: The right way to proceed is to reform health care. That we can do as we did it in Massachusetts as Wyden Bennett (ph) is proposing doing it at the national level. We can do it for the nation. We can get everybody insured. We can get the cost of health care down but we don't have to have government insurance and government running health care to get that done.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: See, I'm even more bemused now because unless I'm going completely mad, he's basically saying that what he did in Massachusetts could be done just as effectively on a national level, isn't he?

BACHMANN: No, that isn't what he said at all. He said that we can have dramatic reform at the national level which we can. That's the good news. The biggest problem with Obamacare is that it will literally send millions of jobs outside of the country because once that decision was announced last Thursday, I will tell you, people all across United States who've run companies made a decision.

They said we have the highest tax rate for companies in the world. We have the worst banking laws in the world in America because of Dodd-Frank. We have very expensive cap-and-trade legislation that was just uphold by the appellate court and now we have the biggest tax increase in American history with Obamacare.

MORGAN: Right.

BACHMANN: And so people who own --

MORGAN: But --

BACHMANN: -- companies are going to send --

MORGAN: But Congresswoman --

BACHMANN: -- millions of jobs outside of the country.

MORGAN: If I could just -- if I could just read this back to you.

BACHMANN: That's the biggest tax we could have.

MORGAN: Let me just read this back to you. I don't think you heard this correctly. Because he said, in relation to reform of health care, that we can do as we did it in Massachusetts, doing it at the national level. What does he mean by that? Because unless I'm going, as I say, crackers, it means to me that he means you could do what he did in Massachusetts, i.e., bringing the individual health mandate that he was heard talking about in my previous clip to a national level which is exactly what Barack Obama has done.

BACHMANN: Well, during my bid for the presidency, I made the repeal of Obamacare the centerpiece of my message. And I've had numerous conversations with Mitt Romney about the issue of Obamacare. And he has said to me repeatedly as he has said on television repeatedly, he wants to seek reform of our health care system because it's broken and in need of reform.

And so what he's saying is on the national level we can have reform but he's also said repeatedly he would not put in place on a national level what they put in place in Massachusetts because what we need is more options, more choices and lower costs in health insurance. That's the opposite of what we're getting already as the result of Obamacare.

MORGAN: OK. Let's take a short break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about how you would handle health care and what you think it would take to get the country's economy going again.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it's saying is that we're not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America just about has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase.


MORGAN: President Obama back in 2009 on ABC's "This Week" saying that his health care mandate is not a tax.

Back with me now with more on our "Big Story," Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

So there we've got an even more bemusing picture involving the president because he says it's not a tax, very firmly. Now it's a tax. He's saying it's a great idea. And of course it was always going to be a tax because that suits them politically.

What do you think? Is this a tax or is it a penalty?

BACHMANN: Well, it's very clear from the legislation it was not called a tax. President Obama didn't call it a tax. Nancy Pelosi didn't call it a tax. Harry Reid didn't call it a tax but the effect of this is that we will have the largest tax increase in American history. Why? Because it's a requirement. So we have all of the law professor arguments from the Supreme Court but the real pragmatic practical issue for all of your viewers tonight, Piers, is that people are going to pay a lot more for their health care.

They're going to get a lot less in return unfortunately but the biggest tax of all will be that millions of jobs are about to be shipped overseas because of this but what's even more concerning to me is that millions of Americans are going to be thrown off their employer sponsored care because companies can't afford to pay for it anymore and then people will have to go out into the private market and spend on average $20,000 for a family policy.

I'm a -- I'm a tax lawyer. That's what I did for a living. People receive their health insurance from their employer tax free but now they'll have to go out and buy it with after-tax money. This is going to be a very different America with this decision. One that won't be -- won't bode well for people in the future. That's why I know and have every confidence that Mitt Romney will repeal Obamacare on his very first day in office. MORGAN: Part of the problem for the Republicans is that you're all saying it's a tax as are many Republicans but Mitt Romney today has come out through his spokesman and said very clearly it's not a tax, the mandate. It's a penalty. So there is a real divide there over the language that's being used by your party.

Which is it? Is it a tax or as Mitt Romney says a penalty?

BACHMANN: Well, I've already answered that question. I said that the language of the statute does not refer to it as a tax nor did the leading Democrats that were pushing this bill. But John Roberts and liberals on the Supreme Court called it a tax. It doesn't matter. That's something for law professors to argue.

What does matter to your viewers is what it's going to mean for them and the bottom line, Obamacare is going to mean very expensive health care denial of services but it's also going to mean the biggest job tax we've ever seen because millions of jobs are about to be shipped overseas.

That's not what I want to see for people. I want to see health care reformed so that costs can go down and we can do all of that. I have a very simple bill that I have on my Web site at, and it's real simple. Let every American buy any health insurance policy they want anywhere in America, let every American pay for that health insurance with their own tax-free money and then have true medical malpractice reform.

That doesn't cost the taxpayer a dime but it drives down the cost of health care for every American. It gets the bureaucracy out of it but it puts choice in the hands of your viewers. Today government holds all the cards. Government gets to choose what's in our health insurance. Government has control over what the doctors' decisions are and government chooses my doctor.

That's not what I want for my 81-year-old mother or my 87-year- old stepdad. I want them to own their own health insurance. I want them to choose their doctor. I don't want some government bureaucrat to decide if my mother gets health care or not. That's not what I want for future of the CNN viewers.

MORGAN: Let's turn to a couple of tweets from Rupert Murdoch who, in many ways, is a leading light of the Republicans. He said he met Romney last week. "Tough O'Chicago pros will be hard to beat unless he drops old friends from his team and hires some real pros. Doubtful." He then clarified, "Romney people upset at me. Of course I want him to win. Save us from socialism. But he should listen to good advice and get stuck in."

Has Mr. Murdoch got a point? Do you think?

BACHMANN: I think that American people are seeing the very clear contrast between Barack Obama's failed policies and Mitt Romney's expertise and know-how. This is what people know about Mitt Romney. He's a very smart individual.

MORGAN: I don't think that is a point Rupert Murdoch is making.

BACHMANN: Very savvy and he --


BACHMANN: Well, again I think --


MORGAN: I was asking you about the specific point he was making, which is -- if I could just finish. Just the specific point Rupert Murdoch is making which is that Barack Obama has tougher, better people around him than Mitt Romney and that could cost Mitt Romney the election. Do you agree with that?

BACHMANN: I don't agree with it at all because if you look at Mitt Romney's history, very smart guy with a very optimistic savvy message and people know that they can trust him on dealing with the economy. If you look at his life's history, Mitt Romney has accomplished a lot. He's been extremely successful via his own smarts and also the fact that he surrounded himself with the best possible people.

MORGAN: Finally, if Mitt Romney was to call you after this interview, in fact, you know, did a very good job there, Michele Bachmann, and I've missed you on the public stage. I think it's time you came back at a high level. I'd like you to be my VP. What would you say to him?

BACHMANN: Well, one thing I know about Mitt Romney he's made excellent decisions in the past when it comes to running organizations. And I have no doubt whoever it is that he chooses to bring in as his VP it will be a highly competent person who could step in at a moment's notice and assume the responsibilities at the White House. I have absolute trust and faith in the decisions that Mitt Romney will make as president.

MORGAN: Are you being vetted at the moment?

BACHMANN: Well, that's something for the campaign to answer on. That's not -- that's not for me to make that decision and that announcement.

MORGAN: That is not, as we say in the journalistic trade, a denial, Congresswoman.

BACHMANN: Well, again, I'm just looking forward to seeing the country turn around and to seeing the economy improve and that's something that I trust Mitt Romney to do. And he can do it very well.


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