BRAZILE: George, I do believe, at the end of the day, that issue is going to be resolved, because the White House is clearly engaged at this point, whereas before they took -- they had a hands-off approach, let the committees handle all of the details. Now that we're -- we're at the -- the final leg of this -- this jigsaw puzzle, the Senate Finance Committee, the White House will be working side by side with Reid, Baucus, Dodd to produce a leadership bill that meet all of their -- the goals that the president stated from day one, which was to make it deficit-neutral, to bring down the costs, more choice in competition, and if you like what you have, you can keep it, if you don't have anything, you'll have more -- more options.
Now, that said, I do believe that this issue of reducing the overall costs of the Medicare expenditure, that is -- that is a contentious issue. Should we tax the -- the Cadillac plans? Should we give more tax credits to the middle class so that they can afford health insurance? These issues will be resolved, but I'm confident, at the end of the day, the president will have something on his desk by Christmas.
WILL: Donna, they have been -- Congress has been required by law to cut Medicare since 2003 and always puts it off. What makes you think they're going to cut it now?
BRAZILE: I do believe this administration, working with Congress, it's on the table, George. It's on the table.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that -- that -- that could end up being politically perilous for Democrats going into next year. But I wonder, Nicolle, to flip the question around, you saw the ad by the DNC right there.
WALLACE: It looks like a tryout reel for "Dancing with the Stars."
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, a lot of former...
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... a lot of -- a lot of serious former Republicans all saying, "Get behind this effort." Isn't there some political peril for the Republican Party in being seen as not part of this process?
WALLACE: Well, I think it exposes the degree to which the Democrats have successfully mischaracterized the Republican position on health care. All Republicans are not against reform; they're against this reform.
And I think this health care debate has brought Obama down to Earth. His numbers came down to Earth when the American public started to seriously contemplate an expanded role of the federal government in their health care.
And I think what's happening in Washington is certainly a focus on -- on the Baucus bill, but what's happening in America is increasing anxiety, not decreasing anxiety, about an expanded role for the federal government in the way they receive health care.
HUFFINGTON: But that -- but that anxiety is really the anxiety about what's happening in people's lives and the anxiety about where this administration put its priority, in terms of how much we gave to Wall Street. There is an opportunity cost in everything.
The fact that we gave trillions to Wall Street in order to save Wall Street -- there has been no connection to the real economy. Remember...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the White House is -- and I think they would concede that. But what does the president do about it now on health care?