'This Week' Transcript: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

BRAZILE: There's a lot of policy, Matt. The fact that women are paying much more than men for the same coverage, and just because we have, you know, certain biological needs that may need attended to from time to time. That's unfair. Pre-existing conditions. If George wants to defend these insurance companies denying people health insurance because they have a pre-existing problem and they can't find coverage, kicking people off the insurance roll simply because the insurance company decides, and not the patient or the doctor. Look,

Look, I think the Democrats will be able to defend this bill. They will be able to tell the American people that it is going to lower their cost, improve coverage for people without health insurance, and it helped businesses, small businesses who cannot find health insurance for their employees. So this is a good approach, and I hope the Democrats get it over the finish line soon, so that we can walk and chew gum.

DOWD: Torie, politics or policy on insurance companies at this point?

CLARKE: Oh, you can make a sweeping generalization about everybody, but this very conversation is emblematic of the part of the problem, which is everybody focuses on a different piece of it. And I think the majority of the American people out there are not quite sure what we're fixing anymore. Is it access? Is it cost? What is it? And the more confusion, the more they say, boy, I don't know if I really want this right now. And the Democrats are going to suffer from a lack of managing expectations. They keep making these promises, and fairly or unfairly, say the bill passes, the American people are going to say next week, where is my change? Are my costs coming down? Do I have more access to my doctor? They are not going to see changes that quickly even if it passes. And that is going to be a heavy price to pay between now and November.

REICH: Some of the changes will happen quickly. Small businesses will have access to exchanges. They'll be able to have more bargaining leverage. There are many things that Americans will be able to see, and I think Democrats will be able to point with pride at getting health care done.

But I agree with you, Torie, that in the short run, after this is enacted, there is going to be some confusion, and Republicans are going to do everything they possibly can to saw the seeds of even more confusion.

DOWD: Well, let's turn to another speed bump, as opposed to votes on health care, another speed bump that I think has gotten in the way of the Democrats, which is this slew of scandals that have come out, all seemingly based in New York, with a governor who is in deep trouble, two congressmen, including the chairman of the Ways and Means, Charlie Rangel, is in trouble. Donna, has New York become the new Louisiana? With political corruption?


BRAZILE: Is it Illinois? Is it Georgia? I mean, you know, when it comes to corruption, corruption is a bipartisan problem.

This was a bad week for Democrats when it comes to ethics. Mr. Rangel rightly stepped aside. He's a great man. I have enormous respect for him. He's a war hero, but he did the right thing by stepping aside. Mr. Massa, I think, is also doing the right thing. He went to -- his staff went to Steny Hoyer, one of the leaders in the Congress and said, hey, we've got a problem. Mr. Hoyer said, you have 48 hours to fix it. Meaning go to the Ethics Committee. He did that.

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