Transcript: Sens. Durbin and Kyl

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, Senator Durbin, you heard Senator Kyl right there. He says that no public health insurance plan, I hear a no on any kind of revenue enhancement. So is a bipartisan deal really possible? And how necessary is it? DURBIN: Senator Kyl is not ready for change and I guess that's his position. But most Americans are ready for change. They want to keep the health insurance that they have, if it's good policy. But they want us to fix the things that are broken in this system.

When Senator Kyl says he is opposed to any kind of government-run health insurance, is he opposed to Medicare? That covers 45 million Americans today, another 60 million covered by a government plan called Medicaid.

I mean, the fact is overwhelmingly, three out of four Americans say we should have a choice as Americans of a government-run insurance plan. It's a choice we can make voluntarily. It brings competition in the system.

The resistance to this idea comes from the health insurance companies. Those private companies that are making a fortune in profits today, denying coverage to individuals, fighting with our doctors about the cure that we receive.

There should be competition...


DURBIN: We should keep them honest.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... the talks did at first bog down this week and then seem to pick up again towards the end of the week. Is it still possible for the Senate to pass a bill by the president's deadline of the August recess?

DURBIN: Yes, it is. And I'm glad that President Obama went overseas for critically important meetings with world leaders. Now I'm glad that he's home. He's going to be rolling up his sleeves. We've already been in communication with the White House.

He wants to get this job done. And that means the Senate should move in an expeditious way to finish our committee hearings, bring this bill to the floor before the August recess.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm going to ask Senator Kyl that question as well. But let me broaden it out as well, because there has been a lot of talk this week also about the stimulus and whether or not it has really helped the economy.

You told -- you put out a statement earlier this week, you said that the stimulus ought to be canceled. But your own governor, Republican governor of Arizona, has talked about the successes of the stimulus in the state of Arizona, pointing to 24 highway projects creating 6,000 jobs, a weatherization program creating 1,500 jobs, a series of programs for child care and education that have all helped the state of Arizona.

So why do you want to cancel a program that your own Republican governor said has helped your state? KYL: Well, I don't want to leave that health issue without, first of all, reiterating the fact that Republicans very much want reform, but not on the backs of the American people with the kind of taxes and potential rationing of care...


KYL: ... that would result. There is no chance that it's going to be done by August. President Obama was right about one thing. He said if it's not done quickly, it won't be done at all. Why did he say that? Because the longer it hangs out there, the more the American people are skeptical, anxious, and even in opposition to it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that ties into the complaints you've made about the stimulus.

KYL: That then -- yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that brings us right back to that.

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