'This Week' Transcript: John Brennan, Reps. Hoekstra, Harman, Sens. Collins, Lieberman

I think the question, though, that I think they're asking is, in the long run, does this internal pressure on the -- on the Iranian government make them more or less likely to want a deal with the West on -- on their nuclear program?

In the short run, clearly, it's strengthening the hard-liners, but in the long run, it may -- as -- as George is saying -- provide some opportunities for additional leverage and pressure.

SANGER: That was a good point here, which is that the more pressure the U.S. puts on, it's conceivable that the Iranian government could -- could determine that a confrontation with the U.S. might be a way of unifying the...


SANGER: ... and distracting from the issue.

MORAN: All right. Let's -- let's come back home for a moment. On December the 24th, probably the most important issue was the health care bill. And Congress is coming back for a conference on that bill.

There was already some political talk out in Hawaii about this. Rush Limbaugh went to the hospital. And as he left, he had this to say about the health care he received.


LIMBAUGH: The treatment I received here was the best that the world has to offer. And I -- I -- I -- based on what happened to me here, I don't think there's one thing wrong with the American health care system. It is working just fine, just dandy.


MORAN: Now, the delightful irony about that is that Hawaii mandates that employers provide health insurance to their employees. But do there -- is there going to be a deal done here by the State of the Union, as President Obama wants?

TUCKER: I believe that there will be. I believe that Democrats desperately want a bill. I believe that they will keep their fractious 60 people in place, although there is increasing pressure on people like Ben Nelson.

Ben Nelson was one of the last people to come to the table for the Democrats. He has felt the need to put up an ad defending his decision. He's getting all kind of pressure at home in Nebraska, including, ironically, he cut a last-minute deal. There's a little pork barrel in the bill -- in the Senate bill for Nebraska. They don't have to pay the increased Medicaid costs. Interestingly, a lot of Nebraskans are saying, "Well, we don't want that. It looks -- makes us look like we're greedy."

But I think even Nelson is going to stay in place, and I think they'll keep their 60 votes.

MORAN: What do you think, Ron?

BROWNSTEIN: What Rush was saying -- Limbaugh was saying was -- was great, except for the 47 million people who don't have health insurance.

TUCKER: And as wealthy as he is.

BROWNSTEIN: And -- and -- and don't have access. I do think in the end they do have to make a deal and -- and reach a bill. The Democrats have -- you know, this has been a very difficult hill to take. The -- the political costs of it are obvious. The approval rating of the president, the kind of ideological polarization around the size of government, there have been a lot of costs to get to this point.

It is further, we should point out, that any president has ever gotten. No universal coverage bill has ever passed either chamber. To be at this point and not get to the finish line would be almost unimaginable.

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