TODAY   |  September 30, 2013

O’Reilly: Republicans should not budge on healthcare

Fox News host and author Bill O’Reilly tells TODAY’s Matt Lauer that to avoid a government shutdown, Republicans and Democrats should extend government funding for the next three or four weeks and work out a better plan, emphasizing that the healthcare law needs to be tweaked. 

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> the host of the o'reilly factor on fox news and the author of a book called killing jesus. we'll talk about that. good to see you.

>> is it really? is it really good to see me? come on.

>> it's always good to see you. come midnight, is the government going to be up and running or shutdown?

>> i don't know. this is why people don't like national politics because these pin heads -- there's sincerity on both sides but they should get something done. they should extend the government funding for three to four weeks and sit down and hash this thing out. that's what should happen. that's not hard.

>> they should get something done. every expert you talk to says this will be bad for the country, both sides know that, and yet here we are standing on the edge of the cliff again. washington is addicted to crisis, why?

>> well, the democrats have to stand by their guy president obama and that's his signature achievement but if the president were thinking clearly he would say, you know what, we may have some things to iron out here. i still stand behind obamacare and i want the healthcare but we might have some problems here. so let's give the people an option for a year. you don't have to sign up, if you want to you can. problem solved .

>> by the latest count there's been something like 40 efforts in the house to get rid of obamacare or defund it and as john mccain said last week we fought a great fight. we lost that fight. the supreme court has upheld obamacare as constitutional. do you think the republicans should move on?

>> no. it's a bad deal for the folks. that's absurd.

>> it's the law of the land .

>> they can tweak it lauer. they can tweak it and make it better. right now it's hurting the economy. doctors say they're going to quit. nobody knows what they're going to pay. here's the solution, you want to sign up, good, sign up, starting tomorrow. if you don't, we'll give you a year to shake it down. that's the solution. and the republicans would buy into that.

>> taking obamacare out of this for a second and getting back to this addiction to crisis in washington, do we play into this as members of the media? do we fan the fire?

>> we have to report what's going on but the politicians use us, but i don't like to be put in with you lauer.

>> sorry to do that with you.

>> ted cruz is a great example. he wants to be president so he's the first term senator from texas. how does he get well-known? he gets this. he blows it up. everybody knows his name. everybody is paying attention to him.

>> we cover it.

>> now he's a leader in the republican party for conservative people. people use the system and they're smart enough, cruz say smart guy , to know how to do that. not saying he's not sincere. he is but he's certainly exploiting the situation. so there you have it.

>> despite what you think it is good to have you here and you'll come back in the 8:00 half hour and we'll talk about your new book "killing jesus".

>> you'll like it.

>> i have liked it.