STEPHANOPOULOS: That's true in the short term. The long term argument, Sam, is that, by having it -- bringing these people into the system, combined with some kind of a public health care insurance option, you're going to get more efficient; you're going to control costs?
DONALDSON: I agree with the president. Without a public option, the insurance companies would have rolled us once again. And they can do what they want.
Cokie, if it doesn't happen before the August recess in the Senate, I don't think it's going to happen. And that's why I think the president now, who's put his prestige behind this initiative, has got to throw in everything he's got this month and in early August.
DONALDSON: He doesn't have to be a dictator, but he has got to say to his party, I want this, this, and this.
STEPHANOPOULOS: No more hands-off?
DONALDSON: And they have to do it with 51 votes on reconciliation. They have to do it that way, or it's not going to be done.
BRAZILE: And the cost of doing that can be a high price because not only are more people going to be uninsured, but the premiums continue to rise at a rate that most American families cannot afford to even stay healthy and buy into their own health insurance. So I think Congress will get something done. But I agree with Sam, it may be 51 votes and not a bipartisan compromise.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The problem with that reconciliation argument, you talked to other Democrats, like Kent Conrad, the senator from North Dakota, they say this reconciliation crisis wasn't designed for major policy reform like health care.
DONALDSON: It wasn't.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you really can't get the policy changes you that need through that bill, you'd have to pass two different bills and that's also difficult.
George, let me bring you in on these investigations. This headline this morning in "The New York Times" about Vice President Cheney ordering the CIA not to tell Congress about the secret program begun in 2001. We don't really know what the program was, some kind of a counterterrorism program but we know it never got it off the ground.
WILL: Here's what Bob Woodward's "Washington Post" says about the program. It quotes a former senior intelligence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity says "the program remains hardly secretive." He said "the program remained in the planning stages and never crossed the agency's threshold for reporting to the administration and congressional overseers."
But furthermore, the law, to which Cokie referred, 1947, establishing the CIA says indeed Congress must be kept informed unless -- and there's a huge asterisk. It says unless, "to the extent consistent with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources."
WOODWARD: I can't tell you how shocked I am, the idea that the CIA would withhold disclosing something.
STEPHANOPOULOS: On direct orders of the vice president?
WOODWARD: Well, it had to be on the authority of Bush. I mean, the vice president, powerful as he was, was not the president. And they would not do it unless Bush backed them up on this. The question here is, how do you keep secrets? You know, if you look at the news, this, and Eric Holder is going to have an investigation of interrogations now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A very narrow prosecution in the investigation.