STEPHANOPOULOS: Our latest polling shows that there is not majority support for the president's health care plans.
JARRETT: Well, we actually think that there is. And I suppose it depends upon what poll you're looking at. But as more and more word has gotten out about what health care reform is all about, whether it's our desire to make it affordable, whether it's to cover all people, whether it's to make sure that people who have pre-existing conditions don't lose their coverage, whether if somebody changes a job, they don't lose their coverage, if somebody is unemployed they don't lose their coverage.
All of these are extraordinarily important to the American people. This has been an unusual process. It has been open, it has been transparent. Oftentimes the sausage-making in Washington is a little bit off-putting.
But look how far we've come. George, five different committees have approved health care. It's now being debated. And all of those five committees have -- the content of those bills is consistent with what the president put forward.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, you say that all five bills are consistent with what the president has put forward, but the bill coming out of the Senate Finance Committee includes a tax on these high-priced insurance plans.
Senator Charles Grassley, the Republican ranking member of that committee has looked at Joint Tax Committee figures, and according to those figures, it shows that 46 million families making less than $200,000 will eventually see their taxes go up under this plan. That would break the president's promise not to raise any taxes on people earning under $250,000 a year.
So how can you say that's consistent with his plan?
JARRETT: Yes, well, first of all, there are lots of different analyses of the plans, and until we have a final bill, let's hold off prejudging what it's going to do. But the president has been clear, he does not want to impose a tax on the middle class. That's why immediately upon taking office, when the Recovery Act was passed, it provided a tax relief to the middle class, something -- a very big point he made in the course of the campaign.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, then let me press this point, because it's not just Republicans who say this. You've got union leaders like Gerry McEntee and several others have said this is also a tax increase on the middle class. You've got 180 House Democrats who are saying the same thing, saying that that's why they're opposed to it.
So are you saying that the president will not sign this proposal if it does indeed raise taxes on the middle class?
JARRETT: What I'm saying to you, George, is, let's let the process go forward. Let's not pre-judge to the end. There have been so many constructive conversations going on as recently as Friday with the various leadership in both the House and the Senate.
And I think what the president has said is, look, we do not want to have any additional tax burden on the middle class. We want to have affordable health care. We want to make sure that people who have not had insurance before have it. We need to bring down the costs, because that's going to help our federal deficit...
STEPHANOPOULOS: So if...
JARRETT: All of those parameters -- and no, what I'm saying is that I'm not going to leap forward to the end. What we're going to do...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But don't you have to set the bottom line for the...