Transcript: Sebelius, Specter and Hatch

Eight out of ten Americans are basically pleased with the – with their health care insurance. They'd like to improve it. They'd like to make sure that they have guaranteed issue and that people with pre- existing health care problems are taken care of. And we all want to do that.

And 64 percent of them say they'd prefer that over a government plan. And yet we're just pushing like mad to get a government plan here.

TAPPER: Seventy-nine percent of the American people do say, though, that their premiums are too high, they pay too much.

HATCH: Well, we all agree with that.

TAPPER: We only have a -- we only have a couple minutes...

HATCH: We all agree with that.

TAPPER: We only have a couple minutes left. I want to get both of you to weigh in. What needs to be done to contain health care costs, Senator Specter? What tangible things need to be done to bring costs down?

SPECTER: Just an introductory comment, with Orrin's filibuster. I would use this program to invite Senator Hatch back to the bargaining table, back to bipartisanship. Senator Hatch is a very smart, experienced fellow. I've worked with him for a long time.

Directly answering your question, what can we do to bring down costs? Many things. First, National Institute of Health Research,which I have pushed, cuts down on the mortality in many lives.

Secondly, examinations, early detection on cancer. I was thebeneficiary of early detection on cancer, which has solved my problem.

But, third of all, having a doctor examine so that you don't getinvolved in chronic ailments, which are so debilitating. Next, there ought to be criminal prosecutions that result in jail sentences, not just a fine on Medicare or Medicaid fraud.

TAPPER: And, Senator Specter, I...

SPECTER: And also the...

TAPPER: I have to interrupt you. I'm sorry. We only have aminute left...


TAPPER: ... but I want to see if Senator Hatch will take you upon your offer to come back to the bargaining table before we go.Senator Hatch?

SPECTER: I want to see, too.

TAPPER: Do you want to -- do you want to go back to thebargaining table and make this bill better?

HATCH: I'm always ready to go back to the bargaining table.Heck, I've probably helped pass more bipartisan health carelegislation than anybody I know, Hatch-Waxman, Hatch-Dodd, Hatch-Kennedy. You know, we've just had one bill after another, and theywork. And the main reason they work is because we rely a lot on thestates.

Utah is not Massachusetts. We don't want the Massachusetts planimposed on Utah. Massachusetts is not Utah.

TAPPER: I have to cut you off there, Senator, but we look... HATCH: So I would make it work...

TAPPER: ... but we look forward -- we look forward to you joining the bipartisan conversation. That's what we do here at ABC.

We bring people together. Senator Specter, Senator Hatch...

HATCH: That's great.

TAPPER: ... thanks so much for joining us. We really appreciate it.

SPECTER: Jake, that's -- Jake, that's -- that's your answer.Bring Senator Hatch back.


SPECTER: We'll have some bipartisanship and solutions. HATCH: Well, I'll try to get back, if they'll open it up and (inaudible)

TAPPER: All right. Thanks to both of you.

The roundtable is next, with Donna Brazile, Ron Brownstein, Ed Gillespie, and Anne Kornblut.

And later, the Sunday funnies.


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