DONALDSON: That's it. STEPHANOPOULOS: Some insurance reforms come out immediately. DONALDSON: So, if he says, judge me by all of this, we can't judge him, assuming this get passed in some form that we think is going to be passed, until after he is either re-elected or defeated in other matters. ROBERTS: But I do think, getting back to the question of what people took away from this, the liberals do feel like he's going to do a bill; he's going to get behind it. And he is out there now doing this campaign stuff. STEPHANOPOULOS: And because of that, they'll be willing to give up the public option?
ROBERTS: Some of them will and some won't. But they're going to have to do. I mean, it's just a dead issue as far as the Senate is concerned. I mean, Senator Landrieu is representative of 15 Democratic senators. (CROSSTALK)
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... says he's going to keep fighting. ROBERTS: But, you know, do the math. I mean, if you have 15 Democratic senators who say that...
ROBERTS: But, no, but even 15 Democratic senators, you don't get to 50 votes.
WILL: Cokie says do the math. The electoral vote map in the Congress is one thing...
WILL: There's another math. The president says, and Secretary Sebelius just echoed him. She said Medicare's a rousing success. Medicare has a $37 trillion unfunded liability over the next 75 years.
The president says it's an exemplary -- it's a paragon of a program, but so shot full of waste, fraud and abuse, that we can largely fund his new program out of that. And furthermore, Congress will -- it's not true -- Congress will cut $500 billion in benefits from Medicare without affecting treatments. Can anyone believe any of this stuff? STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to get to the reverse of the point that Sam was making, David Brooks. It seems like, if these cuts -- if some kind of bill passes, these cuts are going to start to bite relatively quickly, maybe before millions of Americans actually feel the benefits of this plan? BROOKS: Well, the revenue part kicks in immediately. The benefits part kicks in 2013. There happens to be an election in 2012, right in the middle there, and I've heard some Democrats greatly concerned about that.
The basic -- this is a health extension plan. This is not health reform. He's extending the current system. He is not touching the fundamental incentives of the current system, which are all screwed up and which are a fee for service. ROBERTS: And a fortune.
BROOKS: And costing a fortune. So the idea that, as he said -- as he's going to say in "60 Minutes," that he's going to reduce the rate of health care inflation, well, I don't know any health economist that thinks he's going to substantially do that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, except, don't they believe -- the argument they make, I believe, is that the Congressional Budget Office just doesn't do a good enough job of counting the savings that come from prevention. And they are going to have some incentives for preventive care here. It doesn't a good...
ROBERTS: Except prevention costs more before it costs less. I mean, when you start with prevention, you're starting, talking about screening. And when you start talking about screening people, it costs more initially. Eventually it pays off. STEPHANOPOULOS: So you might see some more savings in the second 10 years, but not in the first?