Transcript: Health Care Debate

NELSON: No, no. I mean, we could negotiate a public option of some sort that I might look at, but I don't want a big government, Washington-run operation that would undermine the -- the insurance that -- private insurance that 200 million Americans now have.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So Democrats are prepared to compromise again on the public option?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: We're going to sit down in the conference committee and make sure that we can hammer out the differences between the two Senate bills, which we have done in America since the founding fathers wrote the Constitution.

(CROSSTALK)

COBURN: ... three points. One, 61 percent of health care in this country is already run by the government. Name one that works well. That's number one.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I think some would argue Medicare.

COBURN: No, it's highly inefficient, and it's going to be broke in three years. How can you say it's running well?

(CROSSTALK)

COBURN: Let me -- let me finish...

(CROSSTALK)

COBURN: Number two is, this -- this bill creates 70 new government agencies with thousands of new bureaucrats, with -- I'm talking about the Senate bill -- with 1,597 different instances where the secretary's mandated to write rules and regulations. If you think that isn't going to get between patients and their doctors, I have a whole lot of swamp land in Oklahoma I'd like to sell you.

The -- the third point that I would say is we can fix all these problems, but we have a government-centered approach that is already failing instead of a patient-centered approach. And we ought to be concerned about patients, not the government.

And -- and there's 11 studies out as of this morning that said both the House bill and the Senate bill will raise premiums, not lower them. There's -- that includes the Joint Tax Committee and the Congressional Budget Office, as well as nine other independent analyses.

So we -- do we all want to solve health care? Yes. Let's fix the real problem. Let's go after some of the $600 billion to $750 billion of waste that is not applied to truly preventing illness or treating illness...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... I want to focus on one point that you raised, though. The Congressional Budget Office does say that, under this bill, premiums will go up.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, there are different...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're nodding your head, but...

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: There -- there are differences of opinion as to whether or not the Congressional Budget analysis is correct on -- on the increase in premiums. But the important thing here is that I hope we can all agree that we have to get rid of the profit-driven, insurance company-driven health insurance system that we have, where it's insurance company bureaucrats, Senator Coburn, that are getting in between patients and their doctors.

To suggest that this bill will put government in between patients and their doctors is really disingenuous...

(CROSSTALK)

COBURN: ... private insurance denial rate is. Now, think about that. Medicare's denial rate on claims is twice -- it's 6.5 percent. The average insurance is 3.5 percent. I -- look, I've dealt with the insurance industry. I know how bad they can be. I don't want to eliminate them; I want to make them transparent and accountable.

(CROSSTALK)

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: ... Republicans suggest that we should change Medicare...

(CROSSTALK)

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