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

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?

SEBELIUS: Well, I think Representative Stupak has worked as a member of Energy & Commerce. He wants universal health care. He wants health reform for the people whom he represents. I think we'll continue to work on getting this done. He shares the goal with the president, that no federal funding will be provided for abortion.

DOWD: Do you think a deal can be done that does not include the language he wants, but something in (inaudible), is that one of the things that can be considered?

SEBELIUS: I think the Senate bill, actually, has a different set of words than the amendment that Representative Stupak had in the House, but confirmed by legal scholars and various people that it does exactly the same thing. There are no federal funds for abortions. But I think that if that does not satisfy the congressman, the conversations will continue. But certainly, his goal and the president's goal are the same -- do not change the status quo on abortion.

DOWD: Well, lots of interesting issues to resolve and a deadline that the president set for March 17th, trying to get the House to pass the Senate bill in the House before he leaves on his foreign trip. I appreciate you being here. Thanks for coming.

DOWD: We're joined now by the Senate Minority Leader, the point person for the Republicans, Republican Mitch McConnell. Thanks for coming.

MCCONNELL: Good morning. Glad to be with you.

DOWD: Well, in the last few months, Republican have been very successful at winning some elections. Democrats have also taken on quite a bit of water on health care and politically. But we found an interesting graphic that I'd like to talk to you about. This graphic shows who does the American public trusts on health care. 49 percent say they trust President Obama; 37 percent say they trust the Democrats in Congress; and only 32 percent say they trust Republican leaders in Congress. And if you're in third place on this, even though things are politically in a good place, why is that?

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