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

DOWD: One of the things, the other thing that I think Republicans have raised is a concern about the expansion of the deficit by this bill, and Representative Paul Ryan, who was at that summit--

SEBELIUS: Right.

DOWD: -- spoke about that, and talked about the sort of budget shenanigans in his view that are being done to make it look better than it is. And so, let's watch that tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: The bill has 10 years of tax increases, about half a trillion dollars, but ten years of Medicare cuts, about half a trillion dollars, to pay for six years of spending. Now, what's the true ten-year cost of this bill? In ten yeas, that's $2.3 trillion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOWD: Is he right about that, that you're basically saying we're going to have ten years of revenues, (inaudible) six years of cost, and that makes the bill look better than it is?

SEBELIUS: Actually, he's absolutely wrong about it. The neutral, nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says just the opposite, that there is about $150 billion, $130 billion in savings the first ten years. But then almost $1 trillion in deficit reduction. In fact, most of the savings don't even kick in until after 2014, after the bill has expanded. They go out the full two decades. They look at all the spending, all the savings.

And I would say, Matt, that the Congressional Budget Office is very conservative in the savings. They really don't say prevention and wellness efforts save any money, and we think that saves a dramatic amount.

DOWD: But doesn't the Congressional Budget Office only make those assumptions and that analysis based on what they get? And so if the legislative leadership tells them to analyze this according to ten years of revenue and six years of expenses, they put out a bill that says it makes it -- it saves on the deficit?

SEBELIUS: What we're both talking about and what Representative Ryan referred to is the first decade, where some of the implementation strategies are measured as people have demanded, you know, look at the costs first before you add new people. That's exactly the way the bill is structured, but then they look at the second ten years.

So the notion that somehow we have tricked the American public -- I mean, when you look at 20 years and they say the first ten years is $130 billion worth of deficit reduction, the second ten years is a $1 trillion. This is hardly a gimmick.

DOWD: Well, one final controversial thing that has to be resolved, as you know--

SEBELIUS: There's not just one final--

(CROSSTALK)

DOWD: One very important, I think, controversial thing, is that a few votes -- Representative Bart Stupak has talked about the need that the Senate bill has to include abortion language that was in the House bill, to prevent federal funding of abortion and an expansion on services. He says he carries with him 11 votes. Can you pass a bill or can the president pass a bill and the Congress pass a bill without those votes?

SEBELIUS: Well, the goal is the same. The president has said from the outset, we don't want to change the status quo on abortion funding. Neither the Senate or the House bill has any federal funding for abortion, none. Yes, abortion services are provided, and people will pay out of their own pockets, in both the Senate and the House, but they do it in slightly different ways--

DOWD: Is Representative Stupak wrong about this?

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