Midterm Fallout: Obama's Health Care Reform Law Under Attack from Three Directions

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," Nov. 9, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, the president's health care law under attack from three directions -- Republicans in Congress, Republicans states attorneys general, and now some newly-elected Republican governors in all of these states. They're all jumping into the fight.

First, Kansas Governor-elect Sam Brownback joins us live. Good evening, sir. Sir, let me start first with congratulations. I imagine that it's fun (ph). You have -- you are now longer being in the United States Senate. You're moving on to become governor of Kansas, where our secretary of HHS was the governor. So let me ask you -- the health care statute, what are you going to do about it?

SEN. SAM BROWNBACK, KANSAS GOVERNOR-ELECT: Well, we're going to push back every chance we get. I know in Congress, the congressional Republicans are going to be pushing back on its implementation, on its funding. And at the governor's level, I'm going to push back every chance I can here. The people of Kansas don't like this bill. They don't think it's going to improve their health care. They think it's going to be worse for their health care. And they think it's going to cost more.

So what we will do is the things that we're required to do under the law, we will do. But otherwise, we're going to push back. We will push back in legal challenges. The attorney generals across the country are pushing back on those. I will support that. And then we're going to push back on its implementation every chance we get.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you going to direct your state attorney general to join the lawsuit in Florida?

BROWNBACK: Yes. Matter of fact, I campaigned with our state attorney general. We did press conferences together on this issue. He said we are going to push back against this, and it was probably the key issue in the attorney general's race. We had a Republican attorney general candidate that ousted a Democrat attorney general, that was a sitting Democrat attorney general appointed by the current HHS secretary. It was a big issue. The Republican won in double digits in this race. This was the centerpiece issue.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's a little bit like a board game post- election trying to figure out who's going to be joining, who's going to be in, who's going to be out. And there are 11 new Republican governors. Two of those states, though, are already in the lawsuit down in Florida, which leaves nine possibilities. But I'm curious, have you spoken to any of the other Republican governors, whether they're newly elected or whether they're incumbents reelected?

BROWNBACK: I have not on this issue. Now, we're going to have a Republican Governors Association meeting coming up this next week. This will be a center of the discussion, I am certain. All of us are joined together in this thought that this is just not the right thing to do.

Now, the question will be, Greta, because we've got -- so much of this bill is still up in the air as to how it is going to be implemented, is what's going to come down when and what's going to be required of the states? And nobody knows the answer to that at this point in time. Even though the bill was passed, you know, months ago, nine months ago, we still don't know what's going to be required when. That's going to be a big part of the discussion. And a big part of the discussion is going to be how do we push back against this and still comply with the law that we're required to comply with?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the sort of the interesting dynamic of this is a broad -- it's a bill that was written broadly, without specifics, as bills often are, and it then gets farmed out to particular agencies to set the rules and regulations which tell the states what to do and tell us, as American people, what we have or don't have. And I guess what's sort of -- what's sort of interesting about is that this broad-based bill is being sent up to your former governor's agency, HHS, to do a lot of this legwork to determine exactly even what it means.

BROWNBACK: Well, and that's the thing that's so threatening to the public and to the business community and to the American people, is that, OK, you pass this bill, and we still don't know what's in it. And now it's going to be interpreted by an agency of a bill we don't know what's in the bill. We don't understand what's in the bill. And how are they going to implement that?

And that's no way to run a country, in my estimation. It also introduces so much uncertainty into the broader marketplace that it makes people hesitate. We've got a lot of businesses -- there's a lot of cash sitting on the sideline in the United States today, and no small part of it is people questioning what's going to be required in this health care bill and how much they're going to have to fund. One of the things I said during the campaign was that one of things -- one of the best things we could do to get the American economy growing again is repeal "Obama care." And people across Kansas in large numbers agree with that sentiment.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you join the Florida lawsuit -- I mean, as a practical matter, whether you join it or not, is that if the individual mandate is struck down, it'll apply to everybody and it essentially guts the bill because there's no financing. That's really how the financing is gathered to support the health care bill. So you don't really have to join it, except for a symbolic gesture, do you agree with that?

BROWNBACK: Well, I think there is some symbolism to joining it, Greta, but I think it's also a statement. It's a statement that the American people don't want this bill. And it's a statement in that this bill, while the taxing on it starts in year one, the implementation doesn't start until year four. There is still political time to push back against this bill being implemented and for it to be repealed before it is fully implemented. That's the key zone that we're in now. And that's -- there's a lot of political moments within that zone which I think is important for states to express this, express it broadly, express it in lawsuits, express it in the court of public opinion.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thank you, sir.

BROWNBACK: Hey, thank you, Greta. Good to join you again.

VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you.

OK, Florida has a new incoming attorney general, Pam Bondi, someone you've seen here often. And when she takes office, Bondi will really be smack in the middle of the fight between more than 20 states and the feds over health care. So what's her plan? Florida Attorney General-Elect Pam Bondi joins us live. Pam, you ready to get into this fight over health care?

PAM BONDI, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL-ELECT: Oh, I'm ready, Greta. In fact, I attended the oral arguments already when they were held in Pensacola. And I'm ready to go, and I'm so proud that Florida is leading up this lawsuit with 19 other attorneys general who have joined in it with us. And then, of course, Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia has his own lawsuit going.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so have you played the sort of political board game and even taken a little bit of look at what states you might be able to go out and hustle to join with you because I assume, although legally, it doesn't make a difference, it sort of strategically or politically makes a difference if you can get more on board.

BONDI: Well, and it does. And I mean, we're the only system of federalism in the world. And I think what this does, if we -- and we are going to have a majority of the states joining in. And I think it's going to vindicate our Constitution and what our Founding Fathers believed that our system should be made of.

But yes, and you're right. You called it a board game, Greta, and that's exactly what it is. It's amazing. Here's what I've learned. Forty-three of our states have elected attorneys general. OK, so out of those 43, we think we're going to having joining in the lawsuit Oklahoma, Ohio and you just spoke to Kansas because they now have new Republican attorneys general who defeated Democrats in those three states.

So we have those three that will be joining in, who were elected. Then you look at Wisconsin. Wisconsin has always had a Republican attorney general. However, they needed a Republican governor, who Scott Walker was just elected. Now Scott Walker can have his Republican attorney general join in the lawsuit. OK, so there's one more.

Then we've got something interesting going on in Wyoming. The governor appoints the attorney general there. So we have a new Republican attorney general in Wyoming. If you go down to Maine, Maine is very interesting because the attorney general in Maine is elected by the house and the senate, and now they have swept it. They have a Republican house. They have a Republican senate. And they have a Republican governor. So Maine is potentially will join in the lawsuit.

Then last but not least, we have California. And the last I checked - - I know that's still pending. I checked a couple hours ago. Your numbers may be more current, but Cooley (ph) was up by 36,000 votes the last I checked. So if you look at the whole board game, we could have a total of 28 states joining in this lawsuit.

VAN SUSTEREN: Although I don't think Governor-Elect Jerry Brown (INAUDIBLE) going to be too happy if his AG joins your lawsuit. So that may be another interesting dynamic. But tell me, in terms of the 20 or 21 that are currently in the Florida lawsuit, are you losing any? Are any going like -- have any of them gone Democrat so that now they're going to file motions to dismiss themselves?

BONDI: None. None. We are staying 20 strong in Florida and with Florida leading. And of course, 19 others have joined us. And then Attorney General Cuccinelli in Virginia is continuing on with his lawsuit. So we have not lost any. And if anything, we are certain we're going to gain a majority of the states in our country who believe that this is unconstitutional. And I need to point out that one of the states who's in with Florida, Louisiana, their attorney general is a Democrat. And he is fighting this with us.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that -- as far as you know -- and I know you're just getting your feet wet on this, although you were in Pensacola and you've been monitoring it. Is that the only Democratic AG you have is Louisiana in your lawsuit?

BONDI: So far, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: And so as I understand it, mid-December you have your next hearing. And we still got -- and we actually expect that a decision will be coming down from the federal court in Virginia on the motion for summary judgment -- which is a little bit different because they have a specific statute in Virginia which says no individual mandates, so it's a little bit different. But they may actually get a decision before your next court date, which will sort of be an interesting dynamic.

BONDI: That's exactly right. They probably will, Ken Cuccinelli says. Our arguments are going to be heard December 16th here in Florida, the motions for summary judgment. And the judge most likely will rule within 30 days on those motions.

VAN SUSTEREN: Pam, thank you.

BONDI: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, we'll be watching very carefully. Nice to see you.

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