'This Week' Transcript: Vicki Kennedy, Jack Lew and Paul Ryan

STEPHANOPOULOS: I do want to get to that, but I imagine Senator Kennedy would have been surprised like so many were by the fact that the deciding vote was cast by Chief Justice Roberts.

V. KENNEDY: You know, I don't think he would have. I think he felt very strongly in health care reform. He had studied this issue for more than 40 years. He believed in it. He believed in its constitutionality. He had looked at it in every way. And I think he would have been pleased, but not surprised.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And right after the decision, you received a call from Speaker Pelosi saying Teddy can rest.

V. KENNEDY: Yes. Yes, it was a lovely, lovely call. She fought valiantly for health care. She led the House of Representatives beautifully in fighting and championing health care for all Americans. She's -- really was a real, real heroine in this battle.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You mentioned how the senator would be looking to the struggles ahead. And I want to read a little bit of a letter he wrote to President Obama shortly before he died, where he gets into that. He was quite optimistic.

Here's what he said. He said, "I came to believe that soon, very soon, affordable health coverage will be available to all. And while I will not see the victory, I was able to look forward and know that we will -- yes, we will -- fulfill the promise of health care in America as a right and not a privilege."

But he did also refer to the continuing struggles. What do you see as the biggest struggle going forward?

V. KENNEDY: Well, I think that it's -- we're seeing it right now, really, and it's just continuing to go and implement the law, for all of us to come together. But when people look at each individual provision, it's wildly popular. These are rights and benefits that the American people embrace and are excited about. Families can go to sleep relaxed and happy knowing that their children who have asthma or diabetes or allergies are covered by insurance and aren't barred because they have a pre-existing condition.

Seniors know that that so-called doughnut hole, where they didn't have coverage for prescription drugs, is now being filled. We now have preventive care coverage where there's no out-of-pocket payment to get mammograms or colonoscopies or to have cholesterol screenings. These are important benefits. And as people know more and more about these, as they reap these benefits, they embrace them, and it's a very, very exciting day in America.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This week will mark the 20th anniversary of your wedding to Senator Kennedy.


STEPHANOPOULOS: How are you going to mark the day?

V. KENNEDY: Well, I think privately. Privately.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, thank you for joining us today, and congratulations again.

V. KENNEDY: Thanks, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And let's get a little more on the policy and the politics with White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew. Thanks for coming in this morning.

LEW: Good to be with you, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congratulations to you, as well. But as you know, the president's opponents have already seized on the ruling by Chief Justice Roberts that the health care survives because the payment it requires is -- is considered a tax, not a penalty. And they are putting millions behind that message in key battleground states. I want to show it right here.


(UNKNOWN): President Obama promised us his health care law...

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