Transcript: Health Care Debate

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: As a breast cancer survivor, I came out against these -- these recommendations. Every major cancer organization has come out against these recommendations. The task force language in that bill actually makes sure that prevention -- preventive services like mammograms and colonoscopies and other cancer screenings would be free. The task force recommendations -- the language in the bill...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, Debbie, let me -- let me clarify this...

(CROSSTALK)

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: ... that even more women would get access to...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Excuse me for a second. That -- that is true. But let me clarify a little bit, because under the -- the bill -- and we have -- we have the language, as well. It says that a group health plan and health insurance issuer offering the group (ph) shall provide coverage, but only under -- if the Preventive Services Task Force rates it as an A or B.

BLACKBURN: That's right.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, actually, under the -- under the task force, they said that these mammograms for women 40 to 50 is rated C. So they actually wouldn't be covered. So you have a great expansion for a broad part of the population, but actually, these guidelines would be controlling for ages 40 or 50.

(CROSSTALK)

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: ... task force's recommendations are simply recommendations. They...

BLACKBURN: No.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: They aren't controlling.

COBURN: As a physician who's been...

(CROSSTALK)

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: They aren't going to be -- they aren't going to be binding. They're recommendations.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, but the language here says they...

(CROSSTALK)

COBURN: Here's the question. Here's the question we ought to be asking. Do these recommendations make sense from a cost standpoint? Absolutely, from a cost standpoint, they're right. You look at the statistical analysis, they make sense.

From a patient standpoint, they're atrocious. And that's the problem with a bureaucracy stepping between a physician and their patient.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Can you weigh in on this?

NELSON: Well, absolutely. I -- I worry about a government-run plan that would be subject to recommendations that might be applied universally without respect to patients. I am concerned about that, not that you can't fix some of those concerns, but you can't fix every one of them, and I am concerned that if it's -- if it's turned over -- look, the insurance industry has its own challenges. And -- and many of those can be handled with transparency and by eliminating pre-existing conditions and rescissions and rating based on health and some of the other ratings -- gender ratings.

But -- but we're not going to -- if we can keep as much of it at the state level is as possible, you've got -- you've got patient's bill of rights, you've got all kinds of mandated coverages, and -- and this can be handled on a state-by-state basis. It gets lost in Washington in a big government-run plan, and I don't know what happens.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if you don't have these kind of guidelines, how are you going to get the cost control you were talking about 10 minutes ago?

NELSON: Well, I don't mind guidelines and recommendations, but I don't want them to become the equivalent of rules and law.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: And we can't...

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKBURN: And it says "shall."

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