In this Fox News Sunday Show With Chris Wallace: Gov. Chris Christie on reelection, political future, advice for GOP; reaction to ObamaCare rollout from outside the Beltway
WALLACE: More than 3.5 million Americans have now received cancellation notices for their health insurance because of ObamaCare. The president apologized to them this week, but what are folks outside of the Beltway saying?
We’re going to hear from two of them.
Steven Curry joins us from Chicago. Cade Joiner is in Atlanta. They’re both businessmen who have lost their healthcare plans.
With us here in the studio is Ron Pollock, executive director of Families USA, who is working closely with the White House on the rollout of ObamaCare.
Steve, let’s start with you and we want to put the letter that you received from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois canceling your current policy. You were paying $877 a month for your family of four with the $3,500 deductible. The new plan is $512 a month but with a $12,000 deductible.
Steve, as a small businessman who doesn’t qualify for subsidy, what’s your reaction to what’s happened to you?
STEVE CURRY, LOSING HEALTH PLAN: Well, let me mention — good morning, Chris — I want to say a little bit about that. The $500 policy that you’re looking at is a shortened network than I had before. So, actually, it’s not the same network I can use.
So, if I was to pair up the networks and have a policy that is comparable to mine, there is none. My out-of-pocket for my family is $3,500 and everything else is paid at 100 percent. The closest thing I could find that’s comparable as they say was $12,000 out of pocket for my family. So, there is a huge difference in there and I looked through all of the different plans.
And either you pay a lot more in premium like 60 percent more in premiums and have more out of pocket, there’s absolutely nothing that’s even close to my plan as I’m going to have now. WALLACE: OK. Let’s bring in Cade. You were canceled by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and you say that to get a new policy, after you were called, would cost you 60 percent to 70 percent more in premiums.
CADE JOINER, LOSING HEALTH PLAN: Yes, Chris. I’ve had my policy in effect for over three and a half years and received a letter in the mail stating that it was going to be canceled. I called around and found out the same policy would cost me almost $500 a month, and I just found that non-acceptable.
I’m a small business owner. I have eight employees. I have to make payroll every week and that sort of increase is just hard to manage.
WALLACE: Well, as you both know, President Obama apologized this week directly to people like you who lost your policies, who lost your, your insurance policy. Let’s look at what the president had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Even though it is a small percentage of folks who maybe disadvantaged, you know, it means a lot to them and it’s scary to them. And I am sorry that they, you know, are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Cade, your reaction? What do you think of the president’s apology?
JOINER: Well, he is right about one thing. It is scary. But it’s only scary because he has made it that way by changing the rules in the middle of the game.
Now, we were told countless times if we want to keep our current insurance, we could. And that was just not true, as I found out.
This president forced the piece of legislation out that wasn’t ready for primetime. He pushed it through Congress and now, he’s pushed on the American people. And the real victims are people like Steven and myself.
WALLACE: All right. Mr. Pollock, let’s bring you in.
Now, the president in his, quote, “apology” said that these policies that folks like Steve and Cade and a lot of other people in the individual market have are sub-par. You have called them Swiss cheese because you say there are so many holes in them.
So, explain to these two guys after you’ve heard what they had to say, I know you don’t know the details of their plans — but why this is a good deal for them.
RON POLLOCK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FAMILIES USA: So, I don’t know —
POLLOCK: — either Steven or Cade’s specific situation. But there are several thing that is are going to be significant improvements.
So, first, as you said, a lot of these policies are like Swiss cheese policies. They are insurance that doesn’t insure. Give you two examples that are very significant, so many of these insurance policies have annual caps or they may have life time caps on how much they will spend out if somebody has a major illness.
Now, obviously, that’s something people want really protection for. If they have a major accident or major illness, they don’t, all of sudden, want to be in a no insurance zone. So, that’s an area where these are sub-far policies.
But another thing that’s really important here is that the vast majority of people who have private individual insurance, they will be eligible for substantial subsidies.
POLLOCK: For a family four like I think Steve —
WALLACE: Well, wait a minute, you heard these guys say that it’s going to cost them more, not less.
POLLOCK: Not —
WALLACE: We’ve heard stories like that across the country, Ron.
POLLOCK: Yes, clearly for those people who aren’t eligible, say, for subsidies, it could be —
POLLOCK: — that they would pay more. But these subsidies reach very deeply into the middle class. Not just the poor.
So, for a family of four, Stephen was saying for example that he has a family of four. For those families, these subsidies reach all the way up to $94,200 in annual income and these were thousands of dollars. Now, not everybody has income below $94,000.
WALLACE: Let me bring Steve in.
Steve, your reaction to that.
CURRY: Ron, we’ve actually done an extensive research on these subsidies, and if you really dig down to it, they aren’t that substantial. Anything over 250 percent of a family poverty level, the subsidies go way down on the premium and there is no cost sharing subsidies under or over 250 percent. So, when you say that there’s going to be subsidies, it’s not there.
And to also say that’s Swiss cheese, my policy had a $3,500 deductible and had paid 100 percent of everything. There’s only four things they did not cover apart of the minimal essential benefits — that was maternity, pediatric dental, extra chiropractic benefits and mental health care extra benefit. Other than that, it paid for everything. Everything.
WALLACE: Well, let me just interrupt here for a second because this gets to one of the key points and I think one of the reasons that people are so upset, Ron, and that is Steve happens to be a benefits specialist and financial planner. He’s pretty sophisticated in all this stuff. But whether it’s him or whether it’s Cade or whether it’s anybody else, they have researched it. They’ve figured out their family finances and with their family needs. Why do they need you or why do they need President Obama telling them what is good for them?
POLLOCK: Well, they don’t need me. That’s for sure. But what they need is to make sure they have insurance that truly insures.
Now, I don’t know Stephen’s policy, I take him at his word that he’s got what he thinks is good coverage. The overwhelming majority of people in the individual market have really lousy coverage.
CURRY: Ron, that’s no true.
POLLOCK: This is the Wild, Wild West of coverage.
CURRY: Ron, that’s not true.
POLLOCK: It is true.
CURRY: Twenty-five years and we don’t sell a substandard policy. I’m telling you. It is not true.
POLLOCK: Unfortunately, most people with private individual coverage have substandard policies and moreover, these policies deny coverage to people with preexisting health conditions, they charge discriminatory premiums when people are sick. They terminate coverage when people get sick —
WALLACE: But again, and I want to bring Cade into this. I mean, how do you feel — because this is the argument, here is Washington, and Ron Pollock works with the administration, he doesn’t work for the administration, telling you what’s good for you?
JOINER: Well, Ron, I had a good policy that I was happy with. I did a lot of research in 2010, and it was affordable for me. To get this letter in the mail especially after the assurances that the president is giving us is just completely unacceptable.
I’m a small business owner, as I said previously, and I’ve got other expenses that have to be met. I’m trying to help grow the economy by adding new job, and having to pay more for my insurance, that’s going to limit me in that factor.
POLLOCK: So, one of the things — one of the things that we have seen with the individual insurance market is that premiums have risen very significantly with each passing year, on average, in the individual market, they have increased 15 percent. There are a lot of insurers all before the Affordable Care Act that dropped out of coverage —
WALLACE: But you’re not hearing — with all due respect, sir, you are not hearing these two guys saying they are quite happy with what they have. They are both small businessmen. One owns his own business, Cade, the other works in a small business — they like what they had and now, Washington is telling them what to do.
POLLOCK: So, Chris, I’m not going to say and I don’t think the president is going to say now that there aren’t some people who may find that what they had before that they like, that they don’t have that anymore. That obviously, the president has made that clear.
For the vast majority of people, they do not have — they either don’t have coverage. We’ve got 48 million people in the country without any health insurance whatsoever, they can’t afford it. They have been denied coverage by an insurance company. That needs a big fix.
WALLACE: And that’s a worthy goal.
The question is, do people like Steve and Cade who pay their bills, who — creating jobs, that they need to get nest over to solve the problem of the uninsured.
Let me ask you specifically — when the president apologized and he was apologizing to people like Cade and Steve, who are going to lose their policies. He said he would try to find an administrative fix to help them. But he can’t un-cancel their policies, can he?
POLLOCK: No, he can’t — he can’t change that. And, in fact, there are lot of insurance companies that go in and out of the market all the time. And there is nothing either prior to the Affordable Care Act —
WALLACE: So, how can help them?
POLLOCK: Well, I’m not sure what is going to be offered.
Right now, the most important thing for the president to do is to make sure that the Web site works so that people can actually go online and find other plans that are going to be helpful and they now will have a choice of plans that will not be substandard —
WALLACE: OK. Let me — which brings us to the last thing I want to get into, Cade, how you gone on — have you tried to get onto the ObamaCare Web site to see if maybe there’s something better there for you? Or, are you thinking —
JOINER: Well, first of all, let me say — I’m not eligible for any type of subsidy, as he talked about earlier.
JOINER: And I have looked a little at the page. But I’m sort of caught between a rock and a hard place because it’s little more money than I can afford to pay every month and I don’t have the subsidy. So, I’ve got to make a tough decision. And that decision may end up being potentially paying the fine and not taking coverage at all. I’m a 34-year-old, very healthy, never had any health care problems. So, I may just gamble.
WALLACE: So, you are saying you may just ignore the individual mandate, pay the penalty, which is $95 in the first year, and a guy who had health insurance is going to go without?
JOINER: Yes, that’s a very good possibility, Chris.
WALLACE: Steve, what about you? Have you gone on the Web site? What are your thoughts?
CURRY: No, my situation is that I’m going to have $9,000 more out-of-pocket this next coming year just because of this change. So, that’s $9,000 I don’t have to spend in the economy anymore. So, that’s a problem.
Secondly, I’m going to carry coverage because I have two kids and a wife. And I believe in my coverage prior. But, yes, now I’ve got to make choices because it’s $9,000 more. And we’ve — to go on Healthcare.gov it doesn’t make sense for people who aren’t going to get subsidies.
The policies in Illinois are the same on the exchange and off the exchange. So, if I’m not going to get a subsidy, I don’t have to go to that Web site. I only go to that Web site if I have to get a subsidy.
WALLACE: Gentlemen, we are going to have to leave it there.
Ron, Steve, Cade — thank you all for joining us today.
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I’m Chris Wallace.
Election 2013 is in the books, leaving Republicans convinced running against ObamaCare is the key to victory.
KEN CUCCINELLI, R-VA., ATTORNEY GENERAL: This race came down to the wire because of ObamaCare. That message will go out across America tonight.
WALLACE: In New Jersey, a landside victory for Republican Chris Christie.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J.: I did not seek a second term to do small things. I sought a second term to finish the job. Now, watch me do it.
WALLACE: We’ll talk to Governor Christie about his reelection and whether he’s now running for president.
Then, damage control over ObamaCare continues, as the president finally apologizes.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am sorry that they, you know, are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.
WALLACE: But is that enough — after all the promises, if you like your plan, you can keep it?
We’ll go outside the Beltway to hear from real people losing their coverage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have increased the deductibles and sometimes increase the premiums as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It wasn’t going to well over $400 month. It just wasn’t going to work at that high price.
WALLACE: And we’ll get to question one of ObamaCare’s big supporters, Ron Pollack of Families USA.
Plus, our power player of the week, “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade on George Washington’s secret spy ring.
Could we have won the war without them?
BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX & FRIENDS: I don’t believe we would have.
WALLACE: All, right now, on “Fox News Sunday.”
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
Well, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won re-election by a landslide this week. We’ll talk with the governor in a moment.
But first, chief political correspondent Carl Cameron with a look at Christie’s record and the challenges he will face if he decides to run for president.
CHRISTIE: I want to say thank you for making me the luckiest guy in the world.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): It was an easy reelection. The real work was during and after Superstorm Sandy, and Chris Christie earned some of the highest favorable ratings in the country, positioning himself for a 2016 presidential bid.
Christie’s chumminess with President Obama during last year’s presidential campaign raised GOP eyebrows. Some questioned his loyalty.
His reelection campaign was designed as a deliberate to right versus left gridlock in Washington.
CHRISTIE: Everything we’ve done has been a bipartisan accomplishment. See, as long as you stick to your principles, compromise isn’t a dirty word.
CAMERON: Christie cut New Jersey taxes but the state’s 8.5 percent unemployment rate is still a point higher than the national average. He’s cultivated relationships with Jersey celebrities not known for close ties or shared values with the right. The cover of “Time” calls him the GOP’s elephant in the room. The interior headline uses a Springsteen hit for a company pun.
CHRISTIE: The next president of the United States, Governor Mitt Romney.
CAMERON: Christie was passed over for vice president last year in part because of potential fallout from his days as a lobbyist and as U.S. attorney, with the reputation for lavished travel spending.
Gruff and unapologetic, he snapped at reporters, politicians and the public repeatedly.
CHRISTIE: When you conduct yourself like that in the courtroom, your rear end is going to get thrown in jail, idiot.
CAMERON: Pro-life and opposed to same sex marriage, Christie did not veto a gay marriage law in New Jersey this year, and has few ties to the Tea Party. That could put him in a disadvantage in 2016, in the early voting states dominated by ardent social and fiscal conservatives against Tea Party darlings like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Michael Rubio and others.
CAMERON: Christie is credited with quite literally uniting Jersey in a storm. But united Republicans across the country is much different and a lot tougher, especially considering the divisions between the Tea Party and the GOP establishment right now — Chris.
WALLACE: Carl, thank you.
And we are joined now by the newly reelected governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie.
Governor, congratulations and welcome back to “Fox News Sunday.”
CHRISTIE: Thanks for having me, Chris, I am happy to be here.
WALLACE: Governor, how interested are you in running for president in 2016?
CHRISTIE: Well, Chris, what I am interested in doing is being the governor of New Jersey. And the fact is we’ve got a lot of things to do, a lot of things to focus on. And I know everybody is going to be speculating about what may come in my future and lots of other people’s future in our party, but the fact is, I’m focused on being the governor of New Jersey and being the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and I think those two jobs will keep me pretty busy over the next year.
WALLACE: All the same, you did some things on Election Day that national Republicans could only dream of, and let’s take a look at those.
You won 57 percent of women, 51 percent of Hispanics, and 42 percent of Democrats, and you said the reason is because in New Jersey, you worked with the other side to get things done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: I know that if we can do this in Trenton, New Jersey, maybe the folks in Washington D.C. should tune in their TVs right now to see how it’s done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Governor, what do folks in Washington, especially Republicans, need to do differently if they want to start winning more elections?
CHRISTIE: Well, I think it applies to everybody, Chris, because as I’ve said before, I think there is plenty of blame to go around in Washington to both parties. The fact is that they need to get the job done. That’s what people want.
And what our election was about was a record that showed that we can get the job done — 143,000 new private sector jobs, reformed pension and benefits, slowed the growth of property taxes, cut business taxes $2.3 billion, you know, reformed teacher tenure.
These were all things that we got done in New Jersey, with a Democratic legislature, got them done in a bipartisan way. So, what I was saying on Tuesday night, what I’ve been saying all along is that you can govern with the principles that I have — reforming tenure, cutting budgets. We spent less, Chris, in fiscal ’14 than we spent in New Jersey in fiscal year ’08, in actual dollars.
I mean, we did all this in a bipartisan way, working across the aisle, getting things done.
That’s what people in New Jersey want. I said — which the election results show from last Tuesday. And that’s what people across the country I think want as well.
WALLACE: Governor, if — and I know it’s an if — you do run for president, you are first going to have to win the Republican nomination, and the knock against you, which you know, is that from some parts of the party is that you are not conservative enough.
So, let’s do a lightning round, quick questions/quick answers on some of your positions.
First of all, do you still favor comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship?
CHRISTIE: Chris, what I favor is fixing a broken system, and the fact is that everybody knows the system is broken. And what Congress needs to do is get to work, working with each other and the president to fix a broken system that’s not serving our economy well, not serving our country well.
WALLACE: You also support some gun controls. Why?
CHRISTIE: Well, listen, Chris, I think that when you look at what we’ve done in New Jersey, we want to control violence. And some of that may involve firearms, but a lot of it doesn’t.
In fact, my focus has been on making sure that mental health is done in a much more aggressive way in New Jersey. Every time we see one of these incidents happen across our country, it is almost exclusively with a deeply disturbed person at the helm, and what we need to do is be much more aggressive about how we deal with mental health issues in this country. So I am for violence control.
WALLACE: But gun control is part of it.
CHRISTIE: Well, it can be. And in New Jersey, I’ve signed some of those measures, but I’ve also vetoed measures that I thought were overreaching and not consistent with Second Amendment rights.
So what it is is looking at things, these things case by case, to see does it make common sense, does it control violence?
We need to not pander on these issues. We need to have adults in the room who make decisions based upon controlling violence in our society.
WALLACE: You called Ted Cruz’s effort to try to stop ObamaCare by shutting down the government a, quote, “monumental failure.” You called Rand Paul’s opposition to government surveillance, quote, “dangerous.”
Meanwhile, Senator Paul this week took a shot at you for ads that you’re running on New Jersey television or ran, post-Hurricane Sandy. Take a look at his comment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: People running for office put their mug all over these ads while they are in the middle of a political campaign. In New Jersey, $25 million was spent on ads that included somebody running for political office. You think there might be a conflict of interest there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Governor, what do you think of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul?
CHRISTIE: Listen, you know what, Chris — what I am not going to get into is the Washington, D.C. game that you’re trying to get me into. I’m the governor of New Jersey, and I’m focused on getting things done, and I think that’s why we got 61 percent of the vote on Tuesday night, because I’ll work with anyone and everyone who is willing to work with me, consistent with my principles, and the principles that were just affirmed by 61 percent of the voters. Less government spending, business tax cuts, 143,000 new private sector jobs, reformed pension and benefit system, reformed teacher tenure.
You know, the rest of this stuff is just the game that gets played in Washington, which is why people hate Washington, D.C. That kind of garbage is why people don’t like it, so I’m not going to get into that.
WALLACE: Governor, as you know, there is a new “Politico” book out about the 2012 campaign called “Double Down,” in which it reports that Governor Romney decided not to choose you as his running mate because of too many, quote, “red flags,” and what they talk about are spending too much as U.S. attorney, your work as a lobbyist for the securities industry, steering government contracts to donors and allies.
Your response, sir?
CHRISTIE: Well, you know, the only person who hasn’t said that is Governor Romney, who has completely refuted what they said in the book. He did it immediately after the book came out.
So, again, this is part of the parlor game of Washington, D.C., which has nothing to do with my record in New Jersey or what I’ve done in New Jersey. And we’re proud of that record, and I’m going to continue to work really hard over the next four years as governor of New Jersey to make sure I continue to bring people together and accomplish things like lowering taxes, increasing private-sector employment, shrinking the size of government — all the things that are so consistent with the principles of my party.
WALLACE: “Time” magazine has your silhouette on the cover of the magazine this week, along with the headline, “The elephant in the room” — and I got to tell you, Governor, more than any other question people wanted me to ask you how you feel about that.
CHRISTIE: Oh, who cares? I mean, seriously. I’m on the cover of “Time” magazine, you know? It is certainly not the first weight joke that has been thrown my way over the course of the last four years, Chris.
CHRISTIE: So you know, it doesn’t matter to me. I haven’t seen the issue yet, I’ve just seen the cover. I haven’t read the issue yet. It does not matter to me, it really doesn’t, and if you’re going to be bothered by that kind of stuff, then you don’t belong in public leadership. They can say whatever they like, it’s fine by me.
WALLACE: Now, maybe it’s the election victory, because you seem very even-tempered this morning, but I think it’s fair to say that over the course of your career, sometimes you have a little bit of a short temper.
And we have to ask you, again, and this is a presidential question, do you have the patience for you call it the garbage, the parlor game of being picked apart by other politicians, being picked apart by us in the media for two years if you decide to run for president?
CHRISTIE: Listen, I’m the governor of New Jersey, and if you don’t think that being governor of New Jersey tries your patience, then you haven’t spent enough time in my state, Chris.
I am absolutely confident in my own ability to lead, and obviously so are 61 percent of the people in the state of New Jersey, who reelected me on Tuesday night. And they reelected me because of a record that we’re really proud of, and because we’ve brought people together.
You know, at the end of the day, Chris, here’s what the people in Washington, D.C. don’t understand — if you want to win a vote by that kind of margin, if you want to attract the majority of the Hispanic vote, if you want to nearly triple your African-American vote, you need to show up, you need to go into those neighborhoods, you need to campaign in places.
I’ll give you a perfect example, Chris. I did a town hall meeting while I was governor about a year and a half ago in the city of Irvington, New Jersey, in Essex County. I got 4.7 percent of the vote there in 2009. There were more people in the church I did the town hall than voted for me in 2009.
That’s the way the Republican Party will make themselves more relevant to a much broader group of folks. And the fact is that that’s exactly what Ronald Reagan would have done, and did do, when he was campaigning for president. I did that campaigning for governor because I believed it is what’s right to do as governor when you represent all the people, not just the people who vote for you. WALLACE: Governor Christie, thank you, thanks for coming in today. Always good to talk with you, sir, and please come back.
CHRISTIE: Chris, thanks for having me on. It’s great to be on “Fox News Sunday.” It’s a great program.
WALLACE: Thank you, sir.
Up next, the impact of ObamaCare on real people who are losing their health insurance. What do they think? We will give them a chance to confront a key advocate.
And be sure to follow us on Facebook and share your favorite moments with your friends.
Source: Fox NewsMore Series for You: