July 26th, 2009
09:32 AM ET
14 years ago

Insurance industry has had a 'long enough time,' Pelosi says

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The top House Democrat says she is standing by her support for a public health insurance option as part of a broader overhaul of the nation’s health care sector.

“No, no, no, no,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union when asked whether she had softened her position on the public option.

“The president has said he believes the public option is a way - a way to keep the private insurance companies honest. But he said if you could find another way to do this, show it to me.”

Pelosi also rejected the idea of using a trigger to kick in a public option three to five years after passage of any health care reform bill.

“I think the private insurance industry has had a long enough time to have a trigger. We know what happens left to their own devices,” the California Democrat said.

“This is about having an alternative to give much more leverage to the individual. And the president has said if you like the insurance - insurance that you have, you like your doctor, you can keep it,” Pelosi also said.

Filed under: Health care • Nancy Pelosi • State of the Union
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Chris

    For our government to develop a healthcare plan that cost less and gives better coverage is a great idea! For them to throw everyone into a plan that simply makes the working Americans pay for those who do not plan to work (usually for their entire lives), but yet get free healthcare is not the American way. Everyone needs to learn to work, learn to take care of themselves, learn to take care of the elderly (as in the infirmed or the retired), in other words they need to contribute or maybe get out.

    July 26, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. JonDie

    The insurance companies should either a) cover everybody, including let people in the system take their insurance when they change jobs or b) shut up and let the president set up a public program to enroll people the insurance companies won't take.

    July 26, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. Kathy S. Cloughn

    Reps and Dems let's work together on this and get it moving. Health insurance was in teddy Roosevelt's Progressive Party platform...what's taking so long? Politics, $$$$$, insurance companies? We all know the answer to that...all of the above!

    July 26, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. SD, Michigan

    I haven't thought much of Nancy Pelosy till now....I'm amazed, she really wants the public option. Good for her, she's got my donor money.
    Just get the other Congressmen in line! Democrats I mean, the Republicans are just useless, if not obstructing.

    July 26, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  5. Southern Gentleman

    I do not believe in tort reform and I will tell you why. If I die at the hands of some quack doctor, my family better get rich. Myt life is worth more than $2 million. The GOP is agauinst American lives with that Tor Reform crap. Less money from the insurance company when I die by a mistake???

    July 26, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. Larry

    I couldn't agree more Nancy. We've been held hostage to the insurance companies long enough.

    Pay your premiums and get little to nothing in return. And it's gotten worse over the years.

    July 26, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. tcaudilllg

    There is no alternative. The oligopolies in the health industry will not play fair... they must be forced to act competitively. Left to their own devices, prices will just keep going UP, UP, UP! And we certainly can't subsidize them, or they'll take every dime we've got! Their leaders have no sense of right or wrong... to the extent people give them an inch, they will take miles if not explicitly told that they can't.

    July 26, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  8. Kenyan Wonder Kid

    This "leader" of the House is clearly bereft of brain cells. What we really need is a way to ensure that these loony left politicians are honest. Now THAT is impossible...

    July 26, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  9. katiec

    The insurance companies have posted their biggest profits ever.
    They deny, cancel insurance for those who need it most. They, the drug companies, hospitals etc have had complete control over our health care for far too long. They have resorted to greed and power
    over quality, integrity.
    Public option would make insurance companies become competititive. Republicans, what is so bad about that. We pay the highest health costs in the world, yet rank 37th in care and performance. Thousands upon thousands have to file bankruptcy due to medical costs, and, we would be appalled on how many die because they cannot afford medical attention.
    It is beyond time for big business controlling us and our country, making crucial decisions for us, to END,
    We need health care reform, public option NOW!!

    July 26, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  10. Neilz

    The first time any American walks into a doctor's office, clinic or hospital, the immediate response of the staff is to judge the prospective patient as either a liability or an asset. If they are judged an asset, they get the care they need. If they are judged a liability, they experience various degrees of rejection and care rationed based not on need but by the perceived ability to pay.
    As long as private insurance companies and for-profit healthcare providers are allowed to dictate who, in their view, is privileged enough to get the care needed, there can be no real healthcare reform.
    Patients in need deserve to be treated like human beings, not like commodities.
    Pelosi is nothing but a tool in Obama's plan to keep insurance companies and for profit providers in control of healthcare.

    July 26, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Fed UP

    Do any of you people really believe the federal government can manage anything without it going in the toilet? Look at history. Look at why Social Security is in trouble. Medicare, Medicaid or Fannie and Freddie. They have stolen all the funds.... These people could not plan a picnic. The only thing Pelosi is for is what's going to make her and her husband richer. Look at her voting record on Samoa and tariffs.

    July 26, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. Ryan

    once this is passed, be prepared to wait in line a lot longer. woo hoo!

    July 26, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  13. Obama only creates TAXES

    AND DICTATOR PELOSI SPEAKS, should we trmble now,

    July 26, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. Willy Brown

    Change is coming in 2010 and 2012, Nancy.

    July 26, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. Amazingoly

    Yep, we sure need 70 or 80 more government departments to monitor the government controlled health plan. Yep, bigger government is the answer to everything – not! Insurance companies, doctors, hospitals will start shutting down if this bill is passed as is. Why can't they just come together (both parties) and construct a much more simple plan that everyone can understand, AND not include all the proposed new government departments. A smaller government would help, for starters.

    July 26, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  16. Back to Simple Life

    Boy – George and Dick did such a good job (for insurance and big oil companies).

    July 26, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  17. The Deficit Speaking

    Why do Pelosi supporters think that all rich people are Republicans? That's another lie that the liberals want you to think. As an Independent, I am amazed at some of the comments by people who think they are going to vote Dem to GET BACK at the rich people. Rich people are rich because they worked harder or are smarter than you.

    July 26, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  18. Salil

    "But he said if you could find another way to do this, show it to me.”

    And Pelosi is pretending that there isn't another way, when there absolutely is. All we need to do to make the health care system cheaper and more efficient is to remove the dilution of responsibility and cost, thus rewarding people who eat right, stay healthy, and live risk-averse lives. The notion that someone who works hard to exercise, eat good food, who stays off drugs and doesnt sleep around should have to pay for someone else who nevers works out, eats McDonalds all day, uses meth, and has a risky sex life, is absolutely un-American.

    July 26, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  19. God bless America

    Health care reform is all about ALLOWING MORE CHOICES, cleaning up the red tape, making it easier for patients to obtain their own records, and making these insurance companies honest.

    The plan is still very much in formation (they are trying to figure it out still). Anything you feel uncomfortable with can change, but you have to educate yourself on the plan and let your congress know exactly what change you want to see in the health care system.

    Again, DON'T THINK YOU WON'T HAVE ANY CHOICES- this is CRAP the GOP is trying to scare everyone with. This reform is all about freedom to make choices.

    July 26, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  20. zuq

    Without choosing any sides, think about the following questions? Are your insurance rates going up or down? Are you receiving better care year after year? If you answered favorably to these two fundamental questions, then you should be happy. If you have not, you should demand change. These insurance companies are throwing fake ads out there because they are making hand over fist.

    July 26, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. Right Leaning Independent

    I am pretty sure that 2 1/2 years of rule by Dems should be enough time to realize that you have not been able to achieve anything that you claimed you could except spending like a drunken sailor. Obama's stimulus plan that would save us from high unemployment and deep recession has done nothing but add debt to our country and his plan to save the Auto industry has done nothing but funnel billions of taxpayer dollars to the unions only to see them(auto companies) file anyway. What a pathetic group we have in Washington!!

    July 26, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. 60's survivor

    I believe in what the government is trying to do with health insurance for American citizens. it needs to be done now. it's been put on back burner way too long! we need to think humanely. not always $$$$$. this is a christian country. WWJD?? ha. I guess now we want to separate church from state right!!??

    July 26, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. kishen c.rao

    more than long time to steal...the nation...ok,time to fix health care...guys...wake up...say, god bless the nation, the USA.
    fix immigration too...

    July 26, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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