Transcript: Health Care Debate

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: We have to make sure that we're not forgetting about the people. And that's what the task force forgot about this week, is that we're not thinking about big, amorphous blobs of -- of people. Making -- these recommendations say that we can trade one life to save the angst and anxiety in a -- a larger group of women, and that's totally inappropriate, but that's also why major experts, medical experts, the cancer society, the colon foundation all came out against this, and that won't be...

BLACKBURN: Well, but still it's a mandate.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: ... controlling in the final legislation.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... going to be changed?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Actually, you know, I would invite you -- I would invite you...

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKBURN: Well, you know what? I think you and I need to work as -- together on a motion to instruct and get this language out of here, because on page 1,318, it does mandate it. It...

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Marsha, first, I would suggest...

BLACKBURN: ... says that the HHS secretary has to do this. So, you know...

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: No, we have different interpretations, but...

BLACKBURN: ... Debbie is right when she says they forgot about people. Indeed, they did. But we have to realize, this group that made this recommendation, this isn't some outside group. This is a part of HHS. And when you look at the...

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: It's an independent group. That is not accurate.

BLACKBURN: ... 118 -- when you look at the...

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: It is not a part of HHS.

BLACKBURN: No, it is a part of HHS.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: No, it is not.

BLACKBURN: And when you look at what is going to happen with these 118 new bureaucracies with 62 directives that are given by the health choices commissioner on what insurance can be offered in this country after 2013 and what is going to be paid, you know that this is the bureaucrat in the exam room. This is how it's going to happen.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Marsha...

BLACKBURN: And this is the first step.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Marsha, there's an insurance company bureaucrat in the -- in between the patient and her doctor right now.

BLACKBURN: This is breast cancer. Well, and people don't like that, and we need to get rid of...

(CROSSTALK)

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: And your bill -- your -- your alternative...

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKBURN: We need to get rid of all of those insurance bureaucrats.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: ... does nothing to...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm going to have to -- I'm going to have to stop this right now. And, Senator, before you go -- and I know this is your least favorite subject -- but Doug Hampton, Senator Ensign's chief of staff, has given an interview to "Nightline" which is going to air tomorrow night, where he says that you were an intermediary between him and Senator Ensign, and I want to show that for a second.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAMPTON: Tom Coburn said, "What I would do, Doug, if I was you is I would have them buy your home, give you $1 million bucks so you could get started over, and that's what I'm willing to help you negotiate."

(UNKNOWN): And what happened?

HAMPTON: John said, "No can do. Not going to happen."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is he telling the truth?

COBURN: No.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Flat no?

COBURN: No.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You did not serve as an intermediary?

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