'This Week' Transcript: Stephanie Cutter and Kevin Madden


TAPPER: Why do you oppose the Ryan plan?

VAN HOLLEN: The Romney-Ryan plan would immediately increase costs for seniors

by design, it saves Medicare money by providing seniors with a voucher that declines in value relative to rising health care costs. So health care costs are going up, the value of the voucher does not keep pace. Seniors will have to eat that cost, as opposed to the president's Medicare plan, which says we need to contain costs by changing the incentives in the health care system to reward providers for the quality of care the economy provide rather than the quantity of care they provide.

GOOLSEBEE: The thing that makes health care, as an industry of the free market quite different from anything else is the fact that if you allow cream-skimming, it will destroy the free market, because the healthy people will be the ones that sign up and insurance companies will say great, these guys are healthy, we can offer them cheap prices. it's going to leave the Medicare program with all of the lower...

Unknown: But...

Austin Goolsbee: -- lower health, higher cost patients. And you threaten to blow up the entire program.

TAPPER: let me let Neil have a say. Somebody who has a foot in both Washington and outside Washington DC, which strikes you when you hear this debate?

BAROFSKY: now's just not the time to start tinkering with and shredding the most important parts of the safety net. I mean, the middle-class is getting pushed into poverty and the idea of contemplating cuts in Medicaid and food stamps, the things that are keeping people alive. I mean, we're on the brink of third-world nation status in some ways.

And, you know, now is just not the time for us to be contemplating severe cuts for the people that need the help the most.

Grover Norquist: That's what people said about Clinton's welfare reform, they were wrong.

STRASSEL: I just want to go back to what ---

Neil Barofsky: We were in a different (inaudible) even, than we were then in Clinton.

STRASSEL: I want to go back to what Austan said, though, here because this is really important.

What the President has done with his Healthcare Law is creating --- he's creating the system that often says nobody wants, because here's the problem, what they're doing is, they are cutting payments, $716 billion to providers, OK. And the argument on the left is ---

Jake Tapper: That means --- just to explain it a little bit more

STRASSEL: To hospitals, to doctors.

Jake Tapper: Yes, doctors are not going to get reimbursed as much, and that's doctors, hospitals, and nurses I think is at the top of the list.

STRASSEL: So, 30 percent pay cut to hospitals, doctors, whatever --- no wait, the argument, though, here

Jake Tapper: Hold on one second, go ahead.

Jake Tapper: It's actually --- its not --- there are two parts. The reason the hospitals are taking lower payments through Medicare ---

STRASSEL: Lower payments.

Austin Goolsbee: Because they are getting a large increase in the number of paid customers ---

STRASSEL: Possibly.

Austin Goolsbee: Because so many people are getting more insurance.

STRASSEL: Possibly, maybe.

Austin Goolsbee: The second part, are cuts to private insurance companies, not hospitals, not to doctors

STRASSEL: OK, but there are cuts.

Austin Goolsbee: And that's the part I was talking about.

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