At the last count I heard, this 15,000 -- 1,500-page bill has the word "shall" in it. "You shall do this." "Government shall do this." "States shall do." That's the polite way of saying, "must," 3,425 times.
WILL: And they say this is not government takeover of the health care system? It's preposterous.
SHARPTON: It is government protection of citizens, 50 million people uninsured, with all of the...
WILL: Fifty? The president says 30.
SHARPTON: ... 47, if you want to be exact. I don't have the exact numbers of how many times "shall" is in the bill, so let me be exact with...
... 47 million people uninsured who have not been protected and who, I might add, in the Reagan years, Bush senior and Bush junior years, it just sat there.
I think the fact that this president has been able to move a -- a dialogue forward and different manifestations of a health care package to where it has passed five committees and we're on our way to some kind of movement, here, is nothing short of amazing.
And I think that he ought to be saluted for that. The American people should be protected by the government.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Democrats are convinced that failure here is not an option and that victory will put to rest a lot of the anxiety that people have right now. Yet, at the same time, you're likely to see, if this bill does go through, at least over the next year or so, premiums continue to go up. Yet voters will also, for the first time, say they can't be denied health insurance if they're sick.
So how does that trade-off work?
GILLESPIE: I think -- George, I am stunned by this, I have to say. I always thought, and I've said, you know, before, here, that I thought that they would get to a bill that they could pass that had bipartisan support, that was scaled back, that didn't have the public option.
They have gone whole hog. This bill is a monstrosity. And from a Republican perspective, if you look at the mandates in it, the taxes in it, the cutting of Medicare for seniors, the federal funding of abortion, it is -- I feel like one of those old game shows, where you take the shopping cart down the aisle and try and scoop it all in, in terms of trying to pick out, where do you hone in on this...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes it is rolling toward passage.
MYERS: It is rolling toward passage. And I think, you know, Senator -- what are Senator Reid's motives in approaching the public option this way?
Well, part of it is back-home politics. He's in a very tough re- election. His state supports the public option, so he's taken a more aggressive position.
I don't think anybody believes there's enough votes in the Senate to pass this. So what's the fall-back plan? An opt-in, which brings back Olympia Snowe. I think it's entirely possible that they pass this.
GILLESPIE: But if they vote in the House on this bill, let me tell you, it would be like the BTU of '93. And I've got to say...
MYERS: They're a little smarter about that now.