Transcript: Gen. Casey, Steele vs Kaine

And, Governor Kaine, let me begin with you because it appears that the Republicans -- and a lot of Republicans I talk to are saying that this is going to be a Pyhrric victory for the Democrats, that what you have here on the health care bill is $400 billion in tax hikes, $400 billion in Medicare cuts. And that's going to spark a backlash that's going to haunt Democrats at the polls next year.

KAINE: George, of course, Republicans are saying that. They've been trying to block this all year. They've said that they want to beat health care reform as a way to break the president.

But there's no denying that this was a historic passage last night, on an issue that President Teddy Roosevelt, the Republicans started 100 years ago, that now is moving forward in all the committees, and now, with the House vote of historic importance.

And what this bill does is it provides security for the four-fifths of Americans who have health insurance so that they can't get abused by, really, predatory insurance company practices.

It provides a path to affordable coverage for uninsured Americans for the first time in the history of this country. And then it does significant work to start to break the unsustainable growth in health care cost that is breaking the bank for families and businesses.

We think this was a big and historic win into the week in a great way.

STEPHANOPOULOS: When you hear Governor Kaine talk about, it sounds...

STEELE: Well, it sounds...


STEPHANOPOULOS: ... only one Republican voted for it.

STEELE: ... not. No, look, you know, Teddy Roosevelt probably didn't have this in mind. And certainly, this would have been one of those things he would have hunted on the big -- big range and shot dead.


KAINE: Teddy wouldn't have wanted insurance companies to be running...


STEELE: The reality of it is we don't want the government running things, either. And so -- and that's what this amounts to. This is a government takeover of our health care system. It is unnecessary. Republicans have not blocked -- tried to block this for the purposes of saying no to health care reform. We've been trying to block it to bring some common sense, and so we could sit down and have a discussion.

Republican leaders, in a letter to the president in April of this year, requested a sit-down, face to face, let's talk about your agenda and ours and where we can find consensus.

They're still waiting for that meeting. They've been blocked from putting, I think, real form, into this bill. All their amendments were rejected in committee.

They didn't have the chance to really debate this last night. You're doing this at 11 o'clock on a Saturday night? America's watching?

STEPHANOPOULOS: The debate did stretch...

KAINE: Yes, I mean, George, the debate stretched on -- the debate stretched on for months. The Republicans had plenty of advance notice.

This isn't a government takeover of health care.

STEELE: It is -- it is very much a government takeover.

KAINE: What it is -- it is an effort by the Republicans to just basically shill for the insurance companies.

STEELE: Oh, please. You know that...

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