'This Week' Transcript: WH Senior Advisor David Axelrod and Sen. Lindsey Graham

AXELROD: The polls are split, Jake. I mean, one of the interesting things that has happened in the last four or five weeks is that if you look at -- if you average together the public polls, what you find is that the American people are split on the top line, do you support the plan? But again, when you go underneath, they support the elements of the plan. When you ask them, does the health care system need reform, three quarters of them say yes. When you ask them, do you want Congress to move forward and deal with this issue, three quarters of them say yes. So we're not going to walk away from this issue.

The biggest thing, though, is -- and this is the way Washington measures these, by how it will affect the election, how it will affect the president. The question is how will it affect the American people. We know what's going to happen if we don't enact it. We saw in California, 38 percent rate increase just announced. In Illinois, up to 60 percent. We know that 10 million more people will lose insurance in the next 10 years if we don't act. We know small businesses, there is a new study coming out that says a third of small businesses that currently give insurance to their employers are going to have to drop it in the next decade if we don't act. We know what's going to happen if we don't act. So the real question is, will the American people win or lose, not how it affects the politics of this town.

TAPPER: And act this week. If it does not work this week, is that the last chance for health care reform?

AXELROD: Well, I believe it is going to happen this week. I think we're going to have a vote, and the American people are entitled to an up or down vote. We don't want to see procedural gimmicks used to try and prevent an up or down vote on this issue. We've had a long debate, Jake. It's gone on for a year. The plan the president has embraced and has put forward is one that takes ideas, the best thinking from both the Republican and Democratic sides. This marketplace where people can buy insurance who don't have it today, a competitive marketplace -- that's an idea that both sides embrace. The place where we don't agree is on whether there should be some restraint on insurance companies and whether they should be allowed to run wild. We believe there should be some restraint, some on the other side don't think so.

TAPPER: One of the things that the president has acknowledged the American people don't like about the bill as it exists right now, the Senate bill with all the special deals that are in there for individual senators to win their vote. The president has directed the House and Senate to remove those from the fixes that you guys are creating, but some members of the Senate and the House are pushing back. They want those deals. Are you ready to pledge that none of those deals or any other deal that other members may be trying to get as this is being pushed through the House, that none of them will be in this final bill?

AXELROD: Well, the president does believe that state-only carveouts should not be in the bill. There are things in the bill that apply to groupings of states who satisfy -- for example, in Louisiana, the -- what has been portrayed as a provision relating to Louisiana says that if a state, if every county in a state is declared a disaster area, they get some extra Medicaid funds. Well, that would apply to any state that--

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