'This Week' Transcript: Christina Romer, George Will, Liz Cheney, Al Hunt, Judy Woodruff and Robert Reich

WOODRUFF: Well, exactly. But -- but I was just going to say, quoting somebody in the White House, a tragedy of Greek proportions if Ted Kennedy's successor is the one -- is the one who was responsible for the death of health care. I think that they -- I do think that they're going to get it. I mean, everybody you talk to, even Republicans, are saying they think it's going to happen.

What they are licking their chops over is that they think, as soon as it passes, they're going to be able to argue it's terrible, that this tax issue, the Cadillac tax, or -- which is the more likely of the two to -- to come out of Congress is going to be so unpopular, but we're -- already, George, the White House is preparing to try to sell this as something that -- that is more positive than what the American people have heard, that people up -- children up to age 26 are going to be covered, children pre-existing conditions no longer an issue, and so on. They're saying there's a lot positive in here that people haven't heard about.

REICH: But, you know, the health care, even if passed, is not going to be effectuated for another three...


REICH: ... and the spin machines, because the public is not going to be able to actually feel any health care reform for three or four years, the spin machines on both sides are going to be in active, active effect immediately upon passage. So I don't think it's going to help the Democrats; I don't think it's going to hurt the Democrats. I think the jobs issue is issue number one.

STEPHANOPOULOS: In the short term, it's going to be who tells the better story over the next nine months.

WILL: I'm not yet sure it's going to pass, George, because the argument between the House and the Senate is not about peripheral matters. It's about how you finance the thing. The Senate says Cadillac tax on the higher value insurance programs; the House says none of that, we want a surtax on the wealthy, which is the Senate won't take, and it passed the House by five votes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And there are 190 House members against the Cadillac tax.

WILL: And then throw in the abortion argument, and then you throw in dear Governor Schwarzenegger, who has 53 members of the California congressional delegation, 34 of them are Democrats, plus two Democratic senators, every one of them voted for the bill that he says is a disaster for California.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is it a good thing for Republicans if this goes down?

CHENEY: I think it's a good thing for the country if this goes down. I think that, you know, the fact that the New York Times itself this morning has come out expressing concern about this issue that Governor Schwarzenegger has raised about the Medicare rolls that these states are going to have to add people to under this bill tells you this is a real concern.

And what I would like to see is President Obama take some questions. And I think the journalists here on the roundtable would agree with me on this. President Obama is not answering questions. He's not speaking out about -- he's not answering questions about the terrorist attack. He's not answering questions about health care. This is a major massive restructuring of the economy. It's been done with none of the transparency he promised, and we now know that both the House bill and the Senate bill will add to the cost of health care.


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