Transcript: Sens. Chris Dodd and Lindsey Graham

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me bring it Senator Graham in on this. Republicans seem to be digging in, Senator Graham, on a couple of big issues. On the issues of taxes to pay for health care, on the issue of a public health insurance plan. But let me show you this "New York Times" poll that's just out this morning showing 72 percent, 72 percent of the public supports a government health insurance plan and 57 percent of the public is willing to pay more taxes for universal health care. They seem to be ready for the kind of change that Republicans are fighting.

GRAHAM: Well, it's just not Republicans, George. The reason you're not going to have a government run health care pass the Senate is because it would be devastating for this country. The last thing in the world I think Democrats and Republicans are going to do at the end of the day is create a government run health care system where you've got a bureaucrat standing in between the patient and the doctor. We've tried this model -- people have tried this model in other countries. The first thing that happens -- you have to wait for your care. And in socialized health care models, people have to wait longer to get care and the government begins to cut back on what's available because of the cost explosion.

The CBO estimates were a death blow to a government run health care plan. The finance committee has abandoned that. We do need to deal with inflation in health care, private and public inflation, but we're not going to go down to the government owning health care road in America and I think that's the story of this week. There's been a bipartisan rejection of that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you call it a death blow. Let me just press that point. Are you saying now that Republicans just as we saw in the stimulus where I think only three Republicans voted for the president's stimulus package -- if there's a government run health insurance plan, are Republicans going to vote on that against this package?

GRAHAM: I don't think it's just going to be Republicans. You've got Senator Conrad talking about a co-op. You've got other Democrats running away from the government-run health care where the bureaucrat stands between the doctor and the patient. I think this idea is unnerving to the members of the Senate and will be to the public when they understand what it means, that you'll wait longer to get treated and you'll get health care the government decides for you, not that of your doctor. So yes, I think this idea needs to go away and replace it with something maybe like Kent Conrad's proposal.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Now Senator Dodd, I think that Senator Graham talked about the public there. We just saw that hole. But his read of the Senate seems pretty accurate right now. You have not only Republicans but several of your Democratic colleagues, including the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Baucus saying the public option isn't going to fly in their committee. They want something bipartisan and that can't include this public health insurance option.

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