Will Congress Introduce a Health Insurance Competition Law to Drive Down Costs?

This week on O'Reilly Friday, the topic of health care naturally came up following the release of the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. While Glenn still favors a full repeal of Obamacare, O'Reilly outlined what he believes will be a two-step strategy by Republicans.

"The goal for the Republican Party is to bring down health premiums for the American people because that translates into votes, but they couldn't do it all in one bill because of the filibuster rule, very complicated. So there's another rule that comes up if this passes that says insurance companies selling health will be able to compete in every state, and the Republican party says that will drive down premiums," O'Reilly said.

The first step --- passing the Better Care Reconciliation Act --- removes all the mandates and fines that require employers and citizens to have health care. The next, according to O'Reilly, would be a bill allowing competition among insurance companies to drive down premiums.

RELATED: It’s Here! It’s Here! The Senate Health Care Bill Is Here (And It’s Just Like Obamacare)

"I just don't believe that you actually believe a second of that," Glenn said.

"I'm just telling you what the strategy is," O'Reilly replied

"Oh, I understand the strategy, but I don't believe that anyone in this country actually believes that that is a real strategy behind closed doors," Glenn countered.

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Enjoy the complimentary clip or read the transcript for details.

GLENN: Let's get right to ObamaCare and what happened yesterday.

BILL: Well, I mean, the Republicans in the senate come out with this vision of national health care and right away of course every Democrat doesn't like it. Two things in play here. Number one, it's all about giving free health care to Americans who are poor or sick, and they can't afford their premiums health care. That's what this is all about fundamentally. The Democratic Party wants to give free health care to people who don't have a lot of stuff. And the Republicans say, "No, you can't do that. It's going to bankrupt the nation, skits not fair to the working people who have to support the free health care by their tax money. It's not fair the $20 trillion deficit -- debt. Not deficit. So we'll give you tax credits, which means you'll get refunds if you work. The promise is a lot of people don't work. And we're not going to give you freebies anymore. We're going to cut back on that through Medicaid. So right now Medicaid, which is state run has unlimited payments to people to give them free health care. There are going to be limits on that and the states are going to decide.

So every Democrat says no. No. No. We want the free stuff, so we're going to vote against it. That's essentially what's in play here. All of the other details are so confusing and so crazy, your head will below off, so I'm not -- and I'm not an expert in medical, you know, what's good and what's bad. But the essential war is over giving Americans free stuff. That's the essential war.

GLENN: Right. I got that. But maybe you're only sharing this on your iTunes number one podcast. But the way this is playing out politically, the Republicans have abandoned their post of, "Hey, we don't believe in free stuff, and we don't believe in a government-run program, and they're not cutting -- in some places, they're actually adding to, and they're just reducing the amount of spending. It's not even a cut. It's a reduce the amount of future spending, of future increases.

BILL: Right. Right.

GLENN: And so the question is, is this really even a repeal and replace of ObamaCare? Or is this just window dressing?

BILL: Well, I think that if you look at what the Republicans have come up with, it's a -- it's certainly a different health care law. So you wouldn't have to buy health care, number one. Okay? So right now, you have to or the government fines you. Number two, employers wouldn't have to provide it. Right now, they do if you have more than I think it's 50 -- or 49 employees, something like that. And if you don't, they fine you. So that's gone. And then the other stuff is basically, you know, preexisting conditions. That's still there. Okay? So if you want insurance, and I have a disease, you'll get it. You'll get it.

You know, they can debate it all day long. There are four Republican senators who don't like this bill will vote for it, they say. Rand Paul likely Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson. The Republican party needs two of those to come over. I think they'll get them. They'll make a few tweaks. Because if they don't, then the Democrats will succeed in holding onto ObamaCare. That's what it's all about. So if the Republicans don't pass this new bill, ObamaCare will remain law.

GLENN: So do you think that Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson would be unreasonable to with hold their support?

BILL: Depends what their value system is, you know? If you're not going to support it, then you're giving the Democratic Party a lot of power.

STU: Bill, for example --

BILL: I mean, it's like Lincoln said and Reagan said: You've got to get a structure in place where you can do things going forward. If you continue to say "no" to everything, then the Democrats will make a stunning come back in the congressional elections next year. So they've got to take that into account. I don't think Rand Paul is ever going to come over. I think the other thing will if they maybe make a few tweaks. So I think that there's -- there's a better than 50/50 chance the senate will pass it.

PAT: These are just bad bills. That's why these guys -- they're not conservative bills. I mean, how is it possible Republicans can't do better than this?

GLENN: You just said --

BILL: You have to have votes to pass a strict conservative bill in the house or the senate. There's not enough votes.

GLENN: You just said it depends on what their principles are. If their principles are the Constitution, and they find this unconstitutional, and they find this destructive, how could they? I mean because you said it depends on what their principles are. You will give -- if they don't, you will give the Democrats a lot of power.

BILL: Right.

GLENN: Well, that's not a principle. That's a strategy.

BILL: Well, it just depends on how you see it. Because if you're going to allow the Democratic Party to gain or regain power, which they would, in my opinion, then your principles are flying out the window because you're not going to have any chance of enacting them in the first place.

GLENN: Okay. So we have --

BILL: Lincoln I believe was, like, look, I have principles, but I'm not going to sell them out, but it's a long game.

GLENN: Yeah. So I --

BILL: Therefore, I'm not going to get anything done.

GLENN: So I agree with that long game. However, the Republicans have, you know, the GOP has really run hand in hand and tried to convince the tea party that they were -- that they were going to repeal ObamaCare. And then with Mitt Romney, it became repeal and replace. And that was a major shift there. But I think most voters believe that we were going to get rid of ObamaCare, and that's what this president promised. There are people that are suffering all over this country because they can't afford their health insurance anymore. This does not help reduce the cost of health care at all.

When you're looking at the Republicans and the Democrats honestly, what's the difference between the two? 5 percent?

BILL: The goal for the Republican Party is to bring down health premiums for the American people because that translates into votes. But they couldn't do it all in one bill because of the filibuster rule. Very complicated.

So there's another rule that comes up if this passes that says insurance companies selling health will be able to compete in every state, and the Republican Party says that will drive down premiums. That can't be attached to this bill because if it were, then there would be a level of acceptability that's 60 votes in the senate. I don't know why it's a rule. Okay? But if you do it separately as a separate law, then it's only the majority. Okay? So that's why they didn't attach that. So it's a stair step.

First we get this bill passed. All right? That knocks out all the mandates, knocks out all the tax stuff, and puts in place a structure that ObamaCare is pretty much done. And then we pass the bill about insurance companies competing, which drives down the premiums, you see?

GLENN: Oh, my gosh. I just don't believe that you actually believe a second of that.

BILL: I'm just telling you what the strategy is.

GLENN: Oh, I understand the strategy. But I don't believe that anyone in this country actually believes that that is a real strategy behind closed doors.

BILL: You don't believe that if this passes, that the next step would be to introduce a health insurance competition law? You don't believe that will happen?

GLENN: Nope, I don't.

BILL: Why not? Why wouldn't it?

GLENN: Who's talking about it besides those four? Besides those four --

PAT: Besides the holdouts, those are the only ones talking about it.

GLENN: Who's talking about that? There's no desire for that.

BILL: Trump made a big deal out of that. Trump made a big deal out of that in his campaign. That was, like, one of his major issues that there should be competition.

PAT: Not making a big deal about it now.

STU: Making a big deal about repealing health care and making the government pay for everyone.

On Thursday's radio program, Grace Smith and her father, Andy, joined Glenn Beck on the phone and provided a first-hand account of Grace's refusal to wear a mask at school.

Smith, 16, began a maskless protest after her school district in Laramie, Wyoming, decided to implement a mask mandate. As a result, Grace received three suspensions, was issued two $500-citations, and was eventually arrested.

"How long were you in jail?" Glenn asked.

Grace said was taken to jail but was never booked nor was she was placed in a jail cell.

Glenn commended Grace's father, Andy, for raising such a "great citizen" and asked if it was Grace's idea to protest. Andy said it was Grace's idea, explaining that they took the position of arguing on the grounds of civil rights rather than the efficacy of wearing a mask.

Grace has since withdrawn from public school and started a home school program. She also told Glenn that she will continue to fight the school district, legally.

You can donate to Grace's legal fund here.

To hear more from this conversation click here.

Disclaimer: The content of this clip does not provide medical advice. Please seek the advice of local health officials for any COVID-19 and/or COVID vaccine related questions & concerns.

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