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News on The 700 Club: August 2, 2017

As seen on "The 700 Club," Aug. 2: Trump threatens to hit Congress where it hurts, their health care; Senate confirms Christopher Wray as FBI director, and more. Read Transcript


Well, welcome, ladies and gentlemen,

to this edition of "The 700 Club."

We've got a shocker for you today

in case you haven't heard it.

While you and I and other Americans

have been forced to suffer under that thing called Obamacare,

in order to get it through Congress,

Congress was allowed to be exempted

from some of the provisions.

And the government can give them, each Congressman

and any staffer, $12,000 subsidy against their insurance

payments so it won't hurt them.

And Congress, with all of that hypocrisy,

failed to withdraw and repeal Obamacare.

Why?

Because it would hurt them coming out of their own

pockets.

We're going to tell you how it operates, how they did it,

and what President Trump can do to get rid of it.

It's a shocker.

Wendy.

Well, the president is also working

to get America's economy and businesses growing again.

Dale Hurd brings us that story.

Many have wondered what would happen if American business was

unleashed from the tremendous burden of government

regulations.

It's something President Trump wants to see, too.

The president told small business owners

at the White House Tuesday he's creating an environment where

small business can flourish.

America is on the verge of a golden age for small business.

We're ending job-killing regulation.

These folks know that very well.

And we're really ending at a record place, I'll tell you.

[APPLAUSE]

And pursuing bold tax cuts so that our companies

can thrive, compete, and grow.

[APPLAUSE]

DALE HURD (VOICEOVER): The president also pointed out

that the stocks have been hitting record highs

and unemployment has reached one of its lowest rates

in 10 years.

Another way Trump is pushing economic growth is tax reform.

Senate Republicans will bring a bill to the table

this fall using a fast track reconciliation process, which

would allow the bill to go forward without interference

from Democrats.

And the president is not giving up on health care,

saying he wants a new plan in the Senate.

Over the weekend, he tweeted a warning to Congress.

Trump tweeted, "If a new health care bill is not

approved quickly, bailouts for insurance companies

and bailouts for members of Congress will end very soon."

The president has repeatedly said Obamacare

has to go one way or another.

Let Obamacare explode.

It is exploding right now.

You know, I said from the beginning,

let Obamacare implode and then do it.

DALE HURD (VOICEOVER): Health and Human Services Secretary

Tom Price insisted Trump is just trying

to move the debate in the right direction.

That's why he keeps coming back to this

and saying look, Senate.

Do your job.

Congress, do your job.

It's not clear if Trump's threat to mess with Congress's

health care is real.

But it is clear that when it comes to the fight

to end Obamacare, the president seems determined to win.

Dale Hurd, CBN News.

Well, we've got a shocking story for you today.

Behind the scenes deal.

Obama and the Democrats saying we're

going to impose this iniquitous program on the American people.

But, but we're going to exempt you.

And guess what?

The Office of Personnel Management

was allowed to call the House and Senate a small business.

The House and Senate of the United States

have been classified as a small business in order

to have the employer give subsidies.

With us now from Washington to talk

about this special deal for Congress on Obamacare

is Phil Kerpen.

He's the president of American Commitment

and a leading free monetary policy analyst.

I read about this and I am appalled.

I literally am appalled.

What did they do and how did they make this deal

behind the scenes?

It really is outrageous.

When the Obamacare law was being written,

one of the things the American people were very clear about

was, if you're designing a new health care

system for the rest of us, you need

to be willing to put yourselves in it

to show that it actually is a good system, actually

is quality, actually is affordable,

all these other promises that you're making.

And so they actually did that.

In the law itself, they included something

called section 1312d3d that terminated

the previous employer coverage that members of Congress

had under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan

and required them to go into Obamacare.

It did not provide for any employer contribution.

But as we were getting close to this provision

taking effect in 2014, members of Congress

started going crazy, saying, how could we possibly pay?

This is going to cost thousands and thousands of dollars.

They didn't want to vote to change the law they had passed

because that would have been very damaging for them

politically.

So they went to President Obama.

And they quietly behind the scenes

said, hey can you bail us out of our own Obamacare law?

And President Obama, understanding

that it would have been unseemly for them

to reopen the law and so forth, he said, yeah, no problem.

And as you mentioned, he directed the Federal Office

of Personnel Management to authorize an employer

contribution for members of Congress

despite the fact there is no such contribution provided

by law.

But they had a practical problem which is the regular Obamacare

exchange does not legally allow and has no logistical mechanism

for an employer contribution.

So what they did to implement this scheme is they said,

we'll have the House and Senate pretend to be small businesses

and we'll put them in the District of Columbia Small

Business Exchange.

And then we'll make taxpayer-funded employer

contributions to cover the cost of premiums

for members of Congress.

And in fact, we learned through Judicial Watch's FOIA

litigation that they filed just two forms certifying

the House of Representatives as a small business with less

than 50 employees, even though it

has 435 members and thousands of staffers,

and the US Senate as a small business

with less than 50 employees, even though it has 100 senators

and thousands of staffers.

And this scheme has continued to this day.

It began in 2013.

It continues to this day.

You and I and all of your viewers

are paying the premiums for health insurance for members

of Congress despite the fact the law said

they were supposed to be in Obamacare like anyone else

without employer coverage.

I'm horrified at the hypocrisy, especially

the Republicans who would not vote together

to repeal this monstrosity called Obamacare.

Is it because they're taking that subsidy too?

And how much is the subsidy by the way

that each guy is getting?

Is that for the Congress, members of Congress,

and each of their staffers?

And how far does that go, that subsidy?

It's for members of Congress and for their staffers.

It is 72% of the total premiums.

So it varies by plan depending on which plan they pick.

And there are a lot of different choices

in the Small Business Exchange in DC,

unlike most of the rest of the country in Obamacare.

And so it varies but it can be as much as about $12,000

for each individual, which is a lot of money.

And it really insulates them from the cost of Obamacare.

And the whole point of this provision

was to make them feel the pain if it didn't work.

Say, you know, I'm a little guy out in the boondocks.

And I've got these enormous premiums

and these huge deductibles which really

make my insurance ineffective.

And you are saying the government

is going to pick up 72% of the premiums of every one of those?

Every staffer, every congressman, every senator.

Every one of them is going to get that kind of subsidy?

Is that what you just said?

They are presently receiving that subsidy.

And in my view, it's unlawful.

And I hope President Trump does end it.

Well, why hasn't there been some outcry?

Is it just so hidden that nobody knows about it yet?

Well, I think there has been some outcry.

You know, everyone I've talked to about it has been outraged.

And it's beginning to get more attention and a little bit

more coverage.

But one of the challenges on an issue like this

is, when both parties in Washington DC

benefit from something, it's hard to shine

a spotlight on it.

You don't have those natural allies

and that natural platform to raise the issue.

And so it's been a bit of a challenge from that standpoint.

Because, you're right.

Republicans and Democrats have been taking advantage of this.

I remember Phil Gramm talked about some group.

He said the public will be hunting them down like dogs.

I think the public ought to go after this in a big way.

But what can Trump do about it?

You say this was this an executive order

from Obama declaring this a small business.

And he can change it?

Can Trump change that?

Yeah.

Absolutely.

This deal was done by a rulemaking at the Federal

Office of Personnel Management.

It can be reversed in the same way.

And President Trump can and should

direct the Federal Office of Personnel Management

to rescind the Obama rule and to issue a new rule that

makes clear that members of Congress

are entitled to no so-called employer contribution

and will have to pay for their own Obamacare premiums.

And I think if he did that, they would

have a very strong incentive to actually get

a repeal and reform bill done because they wouldn't feel

personal relief for their own family finances

until they provide a relief for the rest of America.

Phil, I've read that there are as many as--

I don't know the number--

3,000 states or so, or counties, that

are losing their exchanges, only have one payer.

And many of these insurance companies

are asking for as much as 30% increase in premiums.

Did you know how that affects--

what are the numbers out there in relation

to the average person now?

Well, the number of counties in America

that are going to have only zero or one

insurance company in the 2018 plan

year has now grown to over 40% of all countries,

of all counties in America.

So over 40% of the country geographically

will have zero or one insurance company

left in Obamacare for the 2018 plan year.

And you're right about premiums.

They've already on average more than doubled in the four years

that Obamacare has been in effect.

And we're looking at an average increase again of about 30%

on top of them already doubling in most places.

And so, this thing is really breaking down.

The insurance companies can't make it work,

which is why they're fleeing.

And for the limited insurance companies that are left,

they're basically telling their regulators, look.

You need to give us another huge premium increase

or we're going to leave also.

And so the whole thing is sort of in meltdown right now.

And that's why it's so bizarre how much denial there

is in Washington.

They seem to think this is optional,

but it's not optional.

This is mandatory work that they've

got to get done for the American people.

In the average policy, the deductible

is what's killing people because they

have to pay up to that deductible

for they can start getting insurance.

So how does that work?

And how much are those deductibles?

Now the deductibles have also risen pretty dramatically.

And so you're looking at a lot of policies

now in the exchanges that have deductibles of five, six,

$7,000 in some cases, which means even when

people are paying very, very high premiums, you're right.

They're not able to access those benefits.

They're still out of pocket when they actually

have medical needs.

And there a lot of stories out there

about people who are foregoing needed medical treatment,

even though they're notionally insured because they

can't afford those deductibles.

And this is one of the central features

I think of the replace bill that they've

got to get done is they've got to have help for people

to pay for those deductibles in the form of expanding health

savings accounts so that people can put

their own pretax money away to pay for those deductibles,

as well as assistance.

I believe the form that the subsidies take in a new bill

should go directly into those health savings accounts

so lower income people will have that money

to save for their deductibles.

And they can save it across years as well.

So if you have a healthy year, you can save that money

and use it the next year when you might

need it to pay for deductibles

Phil, thank you for the work you're doing.

We really appreciate it.

Phil Kerpen.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think it's

time the American people rise up and scream to Congress.

You know, John McCain stood on the floor of the Senate

and made a speech.

And everybody said, this the most wonderful speech, what he

said about unity and harmony.

The truth is he voted as the killing

vote that prohibited the Senate from any kind of repeal.

Even the skinny bill was cold.

But he ran as a senator in the election in Arizona

on the ticket that he would be the one to repeal Obamacare.

That was his platform.

Then he gets up there and makes that speech.

And everybody had tears in their eyes at how wonderful it is.

But it was fraudulent.

I mean the whole thing is fraudulent.

And ladies and gentlemen, something's

got to be done if there was ever somebody--

You know that movie about the man that how mad he was?

Well, you get that mad.

72% of their premiums are being paid by the federal government

under the fiction that the Senate and the House

are small businesses.

They deal with trillions of dollars

and they're small businesses under the Office of Personnel

Management.

Now I recommend that you write your senator and say listen,

I am mad.

And if you are going to get a 72% discount or at least

subsidy on your premiums, I want it on mine, too.

I want the same thing for the American people

that you guys in Washington and your staff are getting.

And I think it's time you yell really loud.

Get on the phone.

And here's the number to call and jam up the phone up there.

It's 202-224-3121.

And, of course, they call that the SOB.

That's the Senate Office Building.

202.

There it is.

Ring that phone and tell those people you are mad.

This is horrible.

They get a 72% premium on their health insurance

and you have to pay it all.

And the premiums have gone up in some states as much as 100%

and more and climbing.

And now they want 30% more across the board.

That's what's happening.

And what he said, doesn't that horrify you?

It really is a shocking story.

I hadn't heard this.

And it really is appalling.

It's appalling.

I mean this is the real goods.

72% subsidy.

And they slipped it in and Obama said, OK, buddies.

We're going to take care of you.

Go ahead and stick it to the American people.

But we'll protect you.

Who wants that kind of thing in a democracy in America?

It's no wonder those people wanted to change.

Now let's make Congress behave themselves.

Oh, Trump's got it.

Take the pen, Donald.

Mr. President, sir.

And do it to these guys and make them behave.

Once that they begin--

as Ronald Reagan said, it isn't necessary

that they see the light.

But do they feel the heat?

Let's put some heat on them.

Please.

Let me give you that number again.

Write it down and pick up the phone and call Washington.

Say, I've had it.

You must give up your congressional subsidies

on health care.

There it is.

202-224-3121.

Get on the phone and call up and say I'm mad.

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