Transcript: Sebelius, Specter and Hatch

Photo: Kathleen Sebelius, Arlen Specter and Orrin Hatch on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos"


TAPPER: Good morning, and welcome to "This Week." From town halls...

(UNKNOWN): You don't trust me?

TAPPER: ... to the airwaves...

(UNKNOWN): Government should never come between your family and your doctor.

TAPPER: ... a summer seared by the health care debate.

OBAMA: This is not some government takeover. This is not about politics.

TAPPER: Can President Obama get his health care push back on track? Our headliner this morning, the president's top cabinet official in charge, Health Security Kathleen Sebelius.


(UNKNOWN): You are talking down to the American people if you think we are that stupid!

TAPPER: ... caught in the town hall crossfire. Two key senators on health care reform, Democrat Arlen Specter and Republican Orrin Hatch, a "This Week" debate. Then...

CLINTON: You asked my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I'm not going to be channeling my husband.

TAPPER: ... the nation's top diplomat has perhaps an undiplomatic moment. That and the rest of the week's politics with Donna Brazile, Bush White House veteran Ed Gillespie, the National Journal's Ron Brownstein, and Anne Kornblut of the Washington Post.

And, as always, the Sunday funnies.

COLBERT: A death panel is a disgusting plan that I will support only if it's televised and called "America's Got Six Months, Tops."


ANNOUNCER: From the heart of the nation's capital, "This Week" with ABC News chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos, live from the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue. Filling in this morning, ABC News senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper.

TAPPER: Good morning. George Stephanopoulos is taking a well- deserved vacation this week, but no such rest for President Obama, who took to the road with three campaign-style town hall meetings to respond to attacks on Democrats' health care plans, such as false claims that legislation in the House creates so-called death panels to deny life-or-death care to seniors to save money.

And last night in Colorado, the president struck a personal note.


OBAMA: I just lost my grandmother last year. I know what it's like to watch somebody you love who's aging deteriorate. So the notion that somehow I ran for public office or members of Congress are in this so that they can go around pulling the plug on Grandma, I mean, when you start making arguments like that, that's simply dishonest.


TAPPER: Joining me now from Michigan, the president's top cabinet official in charge of health reform, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

Secretary Sebelius, thanks for joining us.

SEBELIUS: Good morning, Jake.

TAPPER: Critics say they're uneasy about end-of-life care measures being discussed within the context of cost-cutting. Can you understand that discomfort?

SEBELIUS: Well, I think end-of-life discussions are very, very personal and very difficult, very difficult for family members, very difficult often for people to confront. My own mother spent 10 weeks in three different hospitals before she died, and I can tell you, it was the most agonizing, most painful, most terrible time for not only me and my siblings, but for my dad.

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