March 29th, 2010
02:43 PM ET
5 years ago

Pelosi: GOP used fear to turn elderly against health care bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that Republicans used a ‘campaign of fear’ to get senior citizens to oppose health care reform.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that Republicans used a ‘campaign of fear’ to get senior citizens to oppose health care reform.

(CNN) – Republicans used a "campaign of fear" based on false information to get senior citizens to oppose health care reform, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday.

In response to questions at a news conference in her home district in San Francisco, California, Pelosi accused Republicans of spreading misinformation against Democratic health care legislation backed by President Barack Obama, who made the issue his top domestic priority.

"There was a campaign of fear that was launched (at senior citizens) as soon as the president was elected," Pelosi said.

The reform plan includes cutting the costs of Medicare, the government-run health plan for seniors, by about $500 billion.

During months of debate on the health care bill signed into law last week by Obama, Republicans repeatedly said it was impossible to cut Medicare costs by such a large amount without reducing benefits.

Obama and Democrats say the Medicare cuts involve eliminating wasteful spending and fraud.

On Monday, Pelosi called the Medicare cost reductions "essential" to health care reform, and said Republican claims the bill would cut benefits for the elderly are "truly false."

Polls show the American public remains sharply divided over the health care issue. Pelosi said she believes polls in coming months will show more support for the bill as the public learns more about it.


Filed under: GOP • Health care • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Hawk in texas

    That is what the republicans are so good at. lie,cheat, and steal.

    March 29, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Rethuglicans

    Fear tactics, rethuglicans, I dunz believe it!

    March 29, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Marty, FL

    The benefits from health care should be better understood in the coming months as our seniors see reduced costs and even rebates from the bill, which closes doughnut holes in their coverage.

    Perhaps this is why Republicans dishonestly tried to scare our seniors, because the GOP opposition knew the bill would actually benefit seniors to reconsider which side better represents their interests.

    March 29, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. ran

    As well as the American people in general. We need to make sure that their are no more fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans in office after 2010 and 2012 and 2014 by voting in either a true Democrat or Independent or at least a replacement Republican.

    March 29, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Tony in Maine

    What the President and his advisors want to do is cut into overcharging for services – a $2 IV charged out at $500 for example. A strong system of price controls offering providers a reasonable return for their products or services is not "cuts" to Medicare though it does mean cutting the flow from the teat of the cash cow.

    Providers pay their Senate employees well to keep the status quo. Though K St. influence is on both sides of the aisle, it is most pervasive on the right – hence the horror with which Chinless Mitch viewed this assault on his benefactors.

    March 29, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. KenneyP of Colorado

    I know that if I had not gone out and actually read the bill for myself and only relied on the the opponets said about the bill, I'd be upset about it too.

    It is truely amazing that the Republicans did not have a problem bankrupting this country for a war we didn't need in Iraq nor did the Republicans do anything about the health care for all the years they held power.

    March 29, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. Bubble of Sanity

    And the AARP used fear to try to get them to vote for it. It seems that fear is a favorite weapon that knows no party affiliation.

    If I were a loyal Democrat, I would be as ashamed of Nancy Pelosi as a loyal Republican should be ashamed of Dick Cheney.

    March 29, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. toughlove

    Pelosi is a partisan hack and her, Obama and Reid will all be writing their books on how they almost redefined our country after they're all ousted soon. Now someone will call me a racist.

    March 29, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Jerry

    Sorry Nancy wrong again, Obama said it would save me $2500 per year when in fact it will not. Of course you have you your own bullet proof health care, so we know you could care less.

    March 29, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Dano

    Once the American people get the facts on the health care reform bill in the coming months they'll see how the GOP and the teabaggers lied and distorted the facts to intimidate them. They'll see there are no "death panels" or "government takover" of health care and there will be a very heavy backlash against the liars and the haters in November. Buh-Bye Repubs...Buh-Bye!

    March 29, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. DOBBS RETURNS

    Nancy, this time you have gone too far. Your ignorance of what most
    Americans think is bad enough when you called critics of Obama-
    care "un-American," now your showing how partisan you are. You
    only care about people you agree with and have only contempt
    for the rest of us. Come November you'll see the chickens coming
    home to roost. This is when your ends- justify- the- means philosophy
    will haunt you. So go on name-calling all you want and making your
    sleazy deals to buy votes in the House you cannot get based on
    their merit – – like amnesty for illegals. Sooner or later you will
    suffer the consequences, as your low approval in the polls are forecasting.

    March 29, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. SpringGambit

    How thankful I am that the Tea Party paid activists have been sent back to their GOP fundraising and lobbyists jobs from whence they came, leaving the party movement in the capable hands of the racists, the bigots, and the crabby old seniors, who should know better.

    With summer fast approaching, we as a country can now finally(!) get back to the business of living our lives, irregardless of politics as usual and all it's rhetoric.

    March 29, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. wally

    As soon as the seniors go to their same doctor for their annual physical and find out they don't have to pay a "co-pay", it will hopefully dawn on them that their beloved Republicans lied to them. As soon as they realize that the donut hole is closed for prescription drugs, they will realize the Republicans lied to them. As soon as they realize that they did not lose any benefits, they should run to their polling place an vote for the Democratic congressman or senator in their area.

    March 29, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. David

    I would go a step farther and say the GOP used fear and lies to attempt to get EVERYBODY against health care.

    March 29, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. Paul Ernest Show

    That's putting it lightly. As often, they Republicans use deception, intimidation, misleading information and all manner of falsehood, to get the public to go along with their party. A lot of us are unable to discern facts from falsehood because of our total ignorance.

    March 29, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. MJ

    When Nancy agrees to go on the "Government Health Care Plan" than may be that Seniors will believe that this is good for them. This is not going to happen. Congress has made sure that they are exempt. Seniors should be worried. This is a disaster for our Senior Citizens!
    You will have Government controlling your every visit!

    March 29, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Mr Manhattan

    Pelosi got it right on this one. Millions of people will definitely use it because the amount of people without it is in the millions, so that means millions of people will see the GOP for the lying fear mongering weasels that they are. The wing nut lies that there are provisions to kill granny and that we will all become Communists as a result just lends weight that the GOP have been bought & sold by big bu$ine$$ and insurance companies. I dont know if it will be prevalent enough how good the bill is in just the coming months. If the GOP get back the House & Senate they will definitely scrap the bill. If they dont then most Americans will probably use the govt health care plan and any politician that would oppose it in the next election ( or any election) would face the wrath of the American voter. But I dont know, if we as a nation are that smart. After all we voted Dubya in for 8 years. As Gov Schwartenegger said in the 2nd terminator movie when asked by John Connor if the human race was going to make it. His reply was." It is your nature to destroy yourselves". Without health insurance that can surely happen. Hasta la vista baby.

    March 29, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Four and The Door

    This bill was scary before the GOP even started talking about it. America can't afford the stimulus bill they already passed and we can't even afford the entitlement programs Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that are already running.

    Health insurance is already expensive enough without piling Obamacare onto the system. This was reckless at a time when the federal government needs to be carefully managed to pull the country out of this slump. This will insure the economy and unemployment will stay with America for a generation.

    March 29, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Russ H

    I am not democrat or republican, but Obama, Pelosi and Reid must go. When she thinks, it scares me. It started scaring me when Regan became President up to include Obama. Nothing is there to protect the citizens. All the monies they got for campagins will now have to be repaid. God bless what is left of America.

    March 29, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. A Lady in Raleigh

    Fear and intimidation are the hallmarks of the once-proud Republican Party. Seniors guard their Medicare as they know this is their life line and the R's use this with great effectiveness. As a senior citizen and Independent voter, I became angry with Sarah Palin and her "grandma death squads" and the Tea Party group, many who are collecting Social Security and Medicare have been tricked into standing against the very things that make their lives liveable.
    Never again with any Republican receive my vote or financial support.

    March 29, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. steven

    Its amazing how fear mongers can convince people to vote against their interests. Most of these Tea par-tiers are poor old people who depend on social security and medicaid which are government programs.
    I need to hear one single idea the GOP has come up with in the last 20 years. It's always tax breaks for the rich.
    They always claim to be on the side of the people, like all of us who support health care are not people.
    Please, even the most ignorant should be able to see through these lies, unless of course there is another element in their opposition to OBAMA...which is..read between the line.
    Steven.

    March 29, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Annie, Atlanta

    I can vouch for that. My Mom thought they were going to cut her Medicare benefits (the same benefits she paid for through a lifetime of working, by the way). Anyone else out there as sick of the fear tactics the GOP uses, as I am? Maybe they should just come up with something viable instead? Maybe earn that money we pay them?

    March 29, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. The Calabash Kid

    Yes they did. The GOP told the most horrible set of lies about Medicare – and what's ironic is that Conservatives have opposed Medicare from the day Lyndon Johnson first thought of it until today, and they have tried to repeal it, cut it back, and destroy it any way they could. Death panels indeed!

    Liars.

    March 29, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Pat in Omaha

    Of course they used "fear"....that's all they know how to do!!

    March 29, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. Pat in Omaha

    That, and lies!!

    March 29, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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