A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday morning, October 27, 2013 on ABC News is below.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning. And welcome to This Week.
Health care havoc.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have our Republican colleagues trying to scare everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will the gentleman yield?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I will not yield to this monkey court.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: Obamacare's rollout botched. The new law under fire. Is the president's signature achievement in serious trouble?
This morning, the debate from all sides plus our own expert, Dr. Richard Besser.
Then, former Vice President Dick Cheney out of office still making headlines.
A new revelations of secret spying, the Republican civil war and his daughter's run for Senate. Cheney takes it all on live only on This Week.
Plus, the perils of social media, power players embarrassed. It's all right here this Sunday morning.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, This Week with George Stephanopoulos starts now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello again. A whole lot to get to this morning starting with that awful launch for Obamacare. You're heard about all those problems with the website, now the White House is promising a fix just after Thanksgiving, but is that realistic? What do these early troubles say about the program's long-term prospects? And what does that mean for you and your healthcare.
Two key Senators standing by weighing in on all that, but first, a reality check from our own doctor in residence, Rich Besser.
And Rich, let's start with the basics. Everybody trying to get on this website get the insurance are running into three separate hurdles.
DR. RICHARD BESSER, ABC NEWS CHIEF HEALTH AND MEDICAL EDITOR: That's right. I mean, the website is definitely not ready for prime time. There are three problems. The first, is is probably accessing that site and creating your accounts. Then, some people are getting incorrect quotes and eligibility information, and then that information that's being passed to insurance companies isn't always correct.
These are all big problems.
STEPHANOPOULOS: There are always, you know, problems with technological startups, with network startups, but what does this say about the long-term prospects for this program?
BESSER: Well, you know, if they get it fixed, in six months I don't think anyone is going to be talking about this.
But there are some key factors here, for this to be successful, they have to ensure that young, healthy people sign on. There are only 15 percent of Americans that this website matters for. 85 percent of us have insurance in other ways. But healthy young Americans, we need to get them involved because they don't use the health care system as much. And they're going to provide that financial support for everybody else who's using it so that as they get older they'll have care as well.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, they don't think the web site works. They don't sign on. Insurance premiums go up for everybody. Then next year comes around even if the problems are fixed, the prices are higher so they might not sign up again.
BESSER: That's right.
You know, if you don't have them on board, the financial structure really doesn't work very well. But I think the long-term impact for Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, is going to be very good because there are so many other things that are included: coverage of people who have existing medical conditions, coverage of children up to age 26, free preventive care. And these things are things people, once they get them, they're going to want them -- they're not going to want them to go away.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you still have this immediate problem with the website. The White House now promising to get it fixed by the end of November. Is that realistic?
BESSER: I think it is -- well, the end of November is questionable. If they don't hit the end of November, they're going to have problems with people whose insurance expires at the end of December. And they may have to push some of those deadlines.
They brought in a new executive to oversee this. I think that's a good sign. They have one contractor who is responsible for this. And you have -- the states that have embraced this, California, Kentucky, they're the ones where we're seeing these exchanges are working. So, I think that the model is sound. They just have to get it fixed.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Dr. Besser, thanks very much.
Let's get more on this from the senators. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, Republican John Barrasso.
And Senator Barrasso, let me begin with you. Like Rich Besser, you are a medical doctor as well. Are you as confident these problems with the web site can be fixed?
BARRASSO: I'm not, George.
I'll tell you, as a doctor, I want to make sure that patients can actually get affordable, high-quality care. The web site was supposed to be the easy part of this. So, I see actually this is just the tip of the iceberg of problems with bigger problems to come.
But the Democrats I think are at a point of high anxiety. Americans have been very skeptical about this health care law. But now, George, there is a lot of anger about the wasted taxpayer dollars on this web site, but all about of the waivers that the president has given to business, to unions, to members of congress, the fact that nobody who works at the White House is going to have to sign up on the exchanges. And now Americans are saying, wait a minute, why do I have to pay a fine if I don't sign up, none of these other people seem to have the same problems?
STEPHANOPOULOS: One of Democrats who supports the law, but also is worried about the fact that the website isn't working, is Senator Joe Manchin. He's with us as well, Democrat of West Virginia.
Senator, you're the only Democrat who has called for a full-year delay in the implementation of the -- of the penalty for the individual mandate. Are you willing to hold off on that if the White House actually meets this deadline of the end of November to fix the website problems?
MANCHIN: George, I have been working in a bipartisan manner with Senator Johnny Isakson and trying to put a coalition together of bipartisan senators, which basically says the penalty, the fine of $95 will not be into effect until January 2015. At that time, the fine will be $325.
It will still induce people to get involved, but also give us a time to transition in. And I think we need that transition period to work out the things, and we identified a lot of problems, a lot of glitches.
When I was governor, we had glitches getting up our claims with Medicaid, claims programs started. We worked through it. And we got a system now that's a model of the country. So we know that it can be done.
But we have to work together. There's a lot of good things that help a lot of West Virginians in the bill. If we all work towards fixing something, and if we just can't fix it, then you make a concerted effort to make the changes.
But we need that transition period. And I think this is...
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, you're for the one-year delay no matter what.
So far, not a lot of Democrats have signed on.
Senator Barrasso, I want to that to you, because a lot of Democrats believe that you and your colleagues are actually rooting for the program to fail. What do you say to a constituent when they come to you and say, we want help signing up for Obamacare?
BARRASSO: Well, and folks in my office are going to help any citizen with anything every way that we can. I will tell you, what I want is affordable care for American citizens. And in my home state of Wyoming and Joe's home state of West Virginia, we see that the rates are actually going to be higher. The New York Times front-page story the other day said exactly that, that the law has failed to provide affordable care and coverage in rural America. So that is a real problem.
The president made promises that this was going to be cheaper than your cell phone bill, easier to use than Amazon and you could keep your doctor. People all across the country, George, are seeing that's just not true.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Secretary Sebelius, health and human services secretary -- Kathleen Sebelius is going to be facing some tough questions on Capitol Hill this week.
Senator Barrasso, you have already called on her to resign. Here was her response.
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KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don't work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Manchin, do you think Kathleen Sebelius should keep her job?
MANCHIN: I think Kathleen was a successful as an insurance commissioner in Kansas, she was a successful governor working with both sides of the aisle. She's very capable of bringing people together.
I think it was unfortunate the comment the way it came out.
But with that being said, I'm not...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think she should stay in the job?
MANCHIN: ...of this law.
I think she should stay. And I think she will get the job done. And I think she needs to bring people around her. And I think she can do that.
We have got to move forward. If you want to kill the program, and you start making all of these changes, that will kill the program. All we're asking for is don't have the fine go into place, get market driven -- get market driven products. Make sure you can entice, and through incentives of getting young people that are healthy to join into this.
We are a consumer nation. We have the great entrepreneurs. We can make this happen. But we've all got to be on the same team right now, which is team America, to make things happen.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Barrasso, are you willing to work with Senator Manchin on something like that? Of course you were against the law from the start, but it is now the law of the land. Are you willing to work with him and other Democrats on trying to figure out ways to get it fixed?
BARRASSO: Well, Joe Manchin and I have co-sponsored a number of pieces of legislation about American energy. We continue to work together and our good friends. What he is proposing is a good idea, because one is, it's a law. It's not just the president waiving his magic wand and saying, well, this doesn't apply. Here we'll give these people waivers. We'll let other people out of it. So I encourage Senator Manchin.
But again, that's just the first step. People are getting hit with sticker shock.
You know, we've had people since October 1, George, get letters of denial where they've been -- they're losing the insurance that they have. Then there have been people that have actually been able to sign up for the Obama health care law.
And you talk about Secretary Sebelius and her comments, she's already as of Saturday Night Live last night the laughing stock of America. So she's lost considerable credibility.
And even when she says, hey, things are going better with the exchanges, I will tell you just on Friday in Washington State 8,000 people, because the state exchange wasn't coordinated with the federal database, 8,000 people were told they were going to get higher subsidy than they're actually going to get. Now they're going to have to go back to all of those people and say, no, you're going to even pay more out of your own pocket than you thought you were going to.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Manchin, you get the last word. You seeing any indication from anyone in the administration that they are willing to go along with some sort of delay?
MANCHIN: I'm not sure. I haven't spoken in detail with them.
But I can tell you, if we have a bipartisan group, which we've had before when the shutdown to get it back open. We have seven Republicans, six Democrats and an independent.
George, nobody should be forced to buy a policy that costs more than what they had and is inferior to what they had. Those things have to be worked out.
The new markets that are opening up basically is going to be good, but it has to be affordable. You have to work through this. The transition period of one year is very reasonable and doable. And the fines don't in effect until 2015. We're still working through it.
If you delay it, you're never going to have to really identify the problems and work them out. If you work through this through a transition period I think you can.
John in Wyoming and me in West Virginia, we have a lot of people that benefited so far, but we have more people that need to have affordable health care. It shouldn't be unaffordable or be onerous to them. We've got to work this out. John is very knowledgeable. He's a (inaudible). We can work together as Democrats and Republicans, because we truly are Americans first. That's what we have to. We can't go back to the old system.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Gentlemen, thank you very much for your time this morning.
And now to the latest on the NSA spy scandal, (inaudible) report says the government's secret program to listen in on foreign leaders, including our allies, was even bigger than originally thought and it comes after the German chancellor lectured President Obama this week when she found out that the U.S. has been tapping her personal cell phone.
ABC's chief foreign correspondent, Terry Moran, has been tracking this growing controversy.
Good morning, Terry.
TERRY MORAN, ABC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, George.
Well, the hits just keep on coming from Edward Snowden's Niagara of leaks out of the NSA. And the damage to U.S. interests and the image of the country abroad just keeps growing. The German interior minister is now calling for an investigation, saying that if the U.S. tapped German cell phones on German soil, it broke German law and quote, "those responsible must be held accountable."
MORAN (voice-over): On the mall in Washington, (inaudible) protesters speaking out against NSA's surveillance, including the man who sparked it all, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, still stuck in Russia.
JESSELYN RADACK, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT WHISTLEBLOWER: He asked me to deliver this message to you. We are here to remind our government officials that they are public servants, not private investigators.
MORAN (voice-over): Snowden's cascade of shocking leaks have many close U.S. allies infuriated. Just (inaudible), a German newspaper that the U.S. embassy in Berlin was a secret listening post spying on German government officials and business leaders. And it was just one of 80 similar NSA and CIA listening posts around the world.
All this, after reports that the U.S. was tapping world leaders' cell phones, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Merkel personally calling Obama, labeling it "a grave breach of trust."
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can tell you that the president assured the chancellor that the U.S. is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor.
MORAN (voice-over): The White House didn't address whether Merkel was spied on in the past.
According to a report in British newspaper, "The Guardian," the NSA was listening in on 35 world leaders as early as 2006.
Friday, Hillary Clinton, until recently the nation's top diplomat, weighed in.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Trying to go up to the line of what is appropriate surveillance and security measures and not over the line is something we need to have a full comprehensive discussion about.
MORAN: It is true, as many as have said, that as long as there have been allies there has been spying on allies.
But, George, what has so deeply shocked some of America's closest partners around the world is the depth and the breathtaking extent of NSA activities in their countries. You get the sense they feel they have been digitally invaded by the NSA and their sense of the violation of their privacy and the invasion of their citizens' privacy is profound, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And they're pushing back hard. OK, Terry, thanks very much.
STEPHANOPOULOS: With that, we turn to the man who held so much power when this program began, former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Thank you for joining us.
DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good morning, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- Mr. Vice President.
So we just heard Secretary Clinton right there, said it's important to go up to the line but not over the line.
Did this program go over the line?
CHENEY: George, I wouldn't -- it's been five years since I was involved in classified information and I wouldn't want to discuss it, anything that I was involved in or that I had knowledge of in the past. That would be totally inappropriate for me.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But can you say generally whether this program was valuable or not? CHENEY: Well, I can say that the capability of the United States government, on a broad basis, to collect intelligence that's important to the United States, saving lives, et cetera, it's nothing new without talking about specific details, which I'm not, or specific targets.
It's something that we have been involved in for a long time. And the -- I think the unfortunate aspect of it is that Mr. Snowden has, in fact, divulged a lot of information which is damaging to the United States.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And once that information is revealed, are we at the point now where the program is creating more harm than benefit?
CHENEY: I can't say that. Again, George, I have been out of the loop, so to speak, all I know is what I read in the newspapers and hear you guys talk about on Sunday.
I -- so I'm not current on the current status on the program. I was when I was in the White House and also when I was Secretary of Defense, a consumer of intelligence from all around the world, and it was important that we collected and it was --
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're saying, bottom --
CHENEY: -- conduct of our policies.
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- bottom line, without revealing the details of the classified information, this was a valuable program?
CHENEY: I'm not talking about a specific program; I'm talking about our overall intelligence capabilities are important to the security of this nation and need to be preserved.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We're also facing critical negotiations right now with Iran over their nuclear program; you were deeply involved with that as well.
And there's about to be a showdown with Congress over that. Congress is prepared to vote, the Senate, as early as next week on more sanctions, tougher sanctions for Iran. The chief United States negotiator, Wendy Sherman, came out this weekend and said, no, she wants a pause in sanctions.
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WENDY SHERMAN, UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE: We think that this is a time for a pause to see if these negotiations can gain traction. The Congress has its prerogatives. We don't get to control Congress.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: How would you advise Congress to respond?