The insurance companies will continue to cherry-pick. The emergency rooms will be crowded. And once again, we will slide into the morass we're in now, where more and more people are uninsured and we don't get the quality outcomes that we should.
With respect to how do you get people to do it, I find this somewhat bewildering. Senator Obama has a mandate. He has a mandate on children. He has talked a lot about requiring people, if they show up to get some kind of health care, like in the emergency room, and they don't have health insurance, hitting them right then to make sure that they get some kind of health insurance.
Well, I don't think you should wait until someone's in distress or sick. I think you should look to sign people up when they come into contact with the health-care system or government agencies.
About 20 percent of the people who don't have health insurance in America today could well afford it, even at the cost that it is, which is exorbitant. So what we've got to do is have shared responsibility. Everybody has to pay something, but, obviously, on a sliding scale.
That's why my health care tax credit...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But let me interrupt you there.
CLINTON: ... and the premium cap will work.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me interrupt you there, because the other night at the debate, you said that you and Senator Edwards bit the bullet on this question...
CLINTON: That's right.
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... of mandates, and Senator Edwards was quite clear in his plan. He said if people still didn't buy the insurance, their wages would be garnished.
And I still haven't heard, if people can afford it and they don't buy the insurance, will their wages be garnished under your plan? Will they have to pay fines?
CLINTON: Well, they don't have to pay fines, George. We want them to have insurance. We want it to be affordable.
And what I have said is that there are a number of ways of doingthat. Now, there's not just one way of getting to that.
I think you can automatically enroll people, and you will then say you've got to be part of this. It's what Senator Obama does for children. Clearly, he has a mandate, and he has a means of enforcing it or at least it appears he does.
And what I have learned over the last many years is that I'm sure the Congress has some ideas about this. But if you don't start with universal health care, if you don't say everybody's going to be in the system, we'll never get there.
And if you look at some of the misleading mailings that Senator Obama is sending out around the country, honest to goodness, it looks like it was written by the health-insurance companies.
It's so reminiscent of old "Harry and Louise" talking about how, oh, the sky will fall if we try to have universal health care.
He's playing right in to all of the arguments against this core value of the Democratic Party.
I will stand on the stage with John McCain and engage in that debate. Why would we want a nominee who leaves people out? And Senator McCain will say, well, I've got a plan and, yes, it leaves people out. So we're even.
That is not the kind of contrast we should be drawing going into this general election.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, yet, Senator Clinton, we actually have that mailing and let me show our viewers quickly what you were talking about, because you referred to it.