Transcript: Health Care Debate

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, what's important to focus on, George, is that there's far more that we have in common between the two bills than our differences. And while some of the differences are significant, all Democrats, whether it's a Senate Democrat or a House Democrat, are committed to health care reform and making sure that we can cover the people in America who are uninsured -- about 31 million or 36 million individuals are covered by both of these bills -- make sure we can provide security and stability to those who don't have health insurance, and that's really been -- that's been really underexamined.

We have, you know, about 85 percent of Americans who have coverage, and every year, whether you're a small-business owner or an individual, they have skyrocketing insurance premiums that this bill will get a handle on, both bills, and making sure that we can bring down and control costs.

And with all due respect, Senator Coburn, both of these bills will bring down costs and control costs and make sure that simply by getting rid of insurance companies' ability to -- to drop you or deny you coverage based on a pre-existing condition, creating insurance exchanges so that we can pool individuals and broaden the number of people that are covered and bring down the cost of their insurance, making sure that -- that folks have the ability to have their premiums set not based on gender, which causes women to have a 48 percent on average higher premium, but making sure that we have just a few items that are rated by insurance companies to bring down their costs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You hear that case, yet not a single Republican in the House voted yes.

BLACKBURN: And with good reason.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Actually, I take that back. Congressman Cao from Louisiana...


STEPHANOPOULOS: ... one Republican.

BLACKBURN: And -- and -- and with good reason for not voting for it. We had a Republican alternative that actually would have brought down the cost of health insurance. CBO scored both plans. They said that our Republican alternative would have brought insurance costs per family $5,000 per year less, would have brought those costs down, and that is $5,000 less than the least expensive Democrat proposal. Now, we all agree...


BLACKBURN: ... there need to be reforms, that we all agree there need to be reforms in health care. But we know that putting this government-run health care that leads to a government takeover, it doesn't work. There is no test case out there that they can point to, no pilot project they can point to where a government-controlled health care system has brought down the cost, increased the access, taken care of those with pre-existing and chronic conditions, allowed portability, dealt with malpractice reform. Those are things we as Republicans are for, and unfortunately, their bill does not achieve what they are saying they want to achieve.

Look at what has happened when you look at the cost of Medicare. It has skyrocketed. What is it, 700 percent...


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