ROBERTS: One of the things, one of the stars that is aligning is that the Senate has now invested a great deal of time and effort in this question. And as you well know, that takes on a life of its own. They don't want to have done this much work on something and then have it go to waste.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So even if they're opposed, senators like Chuck Grassley and Bob Bennett ...
ROBERTS: And there are ways to get to them. The question of getting from here to there ...
DONALDSON: In reconciliation, of course, you just have to have it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You just have to get to 50 votes. Realistically, that's going to be very hard to do. The administration even though they're allowing says they don't want it to go down to that.
WILL: The big principle obstacle is the president, because there is a bill in the Senate, it's the Wyden-Bennett bill, Wyden, liberal Democrat for Oregon, Bennett, Utah, the reddest state in the union, conservative Republican, they have a proposal that gives the left a mandate. Everyone is required to buy health insurance. It gives the right to fact that they will with their tax credits and tax subsidies and all the rest buy it from private providers. You could get 70 votes for that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it also includes the John McCain proposal to take away some of the tax deduction for employer provided health care.
REICH: Yes. That's the fight.
WILL: But I think if you got it to the floor without the so- called public option, that is the government competing inherently unfairly against these private companies.
REICH: That is -- that is the key to making this work, according to many Democrats. To have a public option.
ROBERTS: One of the things that's happening now is that as a result of even having that on the table, the health insurers are saying, wait, wait, regulate me, regulate me. Please, regulate me. Stop me before I sin again.
DONALDSON: Let's talk about politics. Can the president who has temperized (ph) now a lot of his positions, but can he give up on a public option?
ROBERTS: I think he already has.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to move on to something else. I think Cokie was talking about the insurers. I think this week insurance companies and other health care providers who were very much against the Clinton health care proposal come around and say they're ready to get to the table right now on this.
ROBERTS: As long as there's not the public option. That's what they don't want to have out there.
REICH: Well, the parallels to 1994 are in everybody's mind. A jobless recovery combined with a question of whether you get health care. Remember what happened to Clinton. And also every Republican in town is dreaming of 1994. Could we do it again? Could we destroy health care with a jobless recovery and make the Obama administration look bad.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Not if the insurance companies say they want to play, and if they do ...
WILL: I want to move on to one final number, more than 80 percent of Americans are very satisfied with their health care plan.
ROBERTS: They're not satisfied with the cost, however. And the fact that insurers get to make the decision about whether you get treated or not. And doctors have reached the point where they have really had it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That is the debate right there.