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. Puff the Magic Dragon

    A person's medical treatment should be between them and their doctor, period. Insurance companies have no right to interfere in medical decisions made by medical professionals. Perhaps if they were all non-profits, and instead of having to pander to Wall Street, things would be different.

    July 26, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. rand

    What is so aggravating is the public realizes why health care reform is taking so long. The nay sayer politicians are controlled by the insurance companies who contribute so much money to their campaigns. Until there is campaign reform, so many politicians CANT vote their mind or pay attention to what their constituents want.

    As far as trying to work bipartisan. That's an oxymoron. So far, every attempt to reach across party lines has been a joke. The right seems to vote against anything the Left and the President are trying to achieve. It's time for the Democrats to grow more of a backbone and unite to get SOMETHING accomplished.

    July 26, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. susie

    The Democrats have been in control of Congress since 2006, what have they accomplish? They are part of the recession problem, especially the Community Reinvestment Act which started this fiasco.

    July 26, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. chris

    The more Pelosi runs her mouth, the more she proves she does not have a clue!

    July 26, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. catmom

    Where have some of you people been for the past eight years? Someone please tell me exactly what did the Republicans do for the American people for the past 8 years? And please don't tell me that they kept us safe considering the 9/11 happened on their watch. Republicans never completed a thing during their eight year reign. They never considered health care and never will. They left two wars and an economy in shambles. Energy cost higher than it has ever been, housing out of control, schools in shambles abused prisoners, wire tapping..... Now you want us to believe they have all the answers? pulease, If Republicans have any answers what have they been waiting for? When will they impart their wisdom?

    At least we now have a President willing to do the hard work. Willing to work for the every day American rather than corporate America. What happens he is vilified at every turn. And to think some of you think Sarah Palin is the answer. Pitiful

    July 26, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Limbaugh is a liberal

    That 'trigger' was passed ten years ago already. Repeatedly! We are waaay past negotiations. Health insurance companies have already way over inflated their prices. In the past ten years they have already destroyed the well being of thousands of businesses and millions of families. And they dare accuse of alternate plans doing that? Have you noticed people always blame others for the crimes they themselves have committed? The current health industry does exactly that. It is THEY who have the over-priced bureaucrats who keep denying you needed services! But then again the public is told to only criticize government, and to never question private business. This is just hypocritic double-standard!

    July 26, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. Peggy in Texas

    Once again the fear mongering of the republicans does seem to be taking hold, unfortunately. They had EIGHT years to do ANYTHING - now we are all living with the consequences of their policies. We don't need tort reform. We need insurance reform. Do not allow insurance companies to cover "punitive damages" and see how quickly these lawsuits come under control. No lawyer is going to want to even touch medical malpractice or product liability if the insurance companies are not allowed to cover these any more or at the very least the verdicts be capped.

    July 26, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. chris

    The minute that even ONE politician stands up and says that they will forfeit their health care program and opt for the one that is being forced down our throats, I might reconsider… but until then… NO WAY!

    Anyone think THAT will happen??

    That should tell you something!!!

    July 26, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. jm

    I love this woman! Clearly it's time to take power away from the corporate elite and allow U.S. citizens to cooperate for the benefit of the "general welfare" of our nation's health. Thanks for speaking up, Speaker Pelosi–stay with it.

    July 26, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. democrat no mas

    If the public plan does for our clinic's doctors what Medicare and Medicaid have done then nobody gets to see the doctor of their choice. We have to limit government plan patients because we'll go broke if we don't. We can all have something like medicare, but it will cost you as much or more than today's health insurance plans. Fix and regulate private insurance, forget another beauracracy that's destructive, not constructive.

    July 26, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. jeff

    The insurance companies have been denying coverage, raising premiums for no reason, and no coverage if you have been sick in the past. They insurance companies brought this on themselves.

    July 26, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |

    GET HEALTH CARE APPROVED NOW!!! Every day that goes by the cost get higher. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!

    The people of the most powerful country in the world should have a health care system that works.

    I am tired of all the REPUBLICAN posters that keep telling LIES about the COST. IT WILL NOT RASE TAXES!!


    It will give you more choices. It will prevent the cost of health care from getting too high for small business to afford to cover their employees.

    But then maybe you are all so rich that the cost of a hospital visit will not bankrup you.

    July 26, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. Jadie

    Thanks to the Insurance lobbyists kissing Geroge Bush's fat butt, the Insurance industry has raped the American public. The Republicans depend on re-elections campaign funds donated by Insurance companies, why else are the Repblicans fighting sooo hard to defeat heathcare reform. Wake up America!!!

    July 26, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |

    One point must be made the current health care system FAILED!! We can't aford to do nothing any longer. REFORM is needed NOW!!!

    Every day that goes by the cdost go up. I hear all the NEGITIVE posts here and after reading most of them it is clear they must be people that are paid by the Republicans because no one I know would say stupid things like that for free.

    FIRST no one will be forced to change insurance companies if they are happy with what they currently have!

    Second: The government system is just an optin for those that need insurance but can't get coverage from the "FREE MARKET" system that exists now.

    Third" If health care reform is not passed soon on one will be able to afford health care unless you are one of those earning over one million a year. I am sure they could afford one or two percent more taxeds to make the reforned system work.

    July 26, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. Neutralizer

    Pelosi why you make it a habit lying to the American people? Insurance, PHARMA, associations of Hospitals and doctors are LOBBYING right now for all of you DEMOCRAP LIARS to pass your socialize medicine. We ain't dumb, DUMMY!

    July 26, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. Dave in Illinois

    The Democrats continue to count on Obama's "the sky is falling" speeches to drive healthcare reform without clear information on how to fix it without bankrupting the economy other than the usual promise of cost savings. Harping on the fact that healthcare costs will continue to increase if nothing is done doesn't present a solution to the problem. And demonizing Republicans and fiscally conservative Democrats who point that out sounds like narrowminded paranoia, not bi-partisanship.

    July 26, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. Debby

    I can see it all now if they pass this government controlled health care bill. You won't get the quality of care, so everyone will be running back to their private insurers for it, only to find out that their premiums will have gone sky high vs. when they had to pay a little extra for the better care. Instead of getting 3 tests for a diagnosis on heart disease or cancer in your private plan, you will only get one since Obama thinks tests are a waste of money and the government probably won't pay for it. I'll stick with my own health care thank you.

    July 26, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Neutralizer

    We don't need socialize medicine, what we need is TORT REFORM. Put a CAP on MALPRACTICE lawsuit.

    July 26, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. Unworthy News

    I agree with Ms. Pelosi, we have been talking about healthcare forever in my opinion. We need to make a decision not keep this going for another year. If Republicans don't want to get in the mix then they need to move over and let Democrats pass their bill. The "Blue Dog" Democrats that are cozing up to Republicans to defeat the effort should say so on national tv. But if nothing gets done this year these same Democrats will be feeling the heat in 2010. Politicians were elected to make American lives better not take money from lobbying corporate groups to protect corporate interest, in 2010 all these politicians with ulterior motives (GREED) will be feeling the heat. I have a list and I'm checking it twice.

    July 26, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. Dawn Ada, Ohio

    OK haven't we figured out by now that Insurance Co. have had the last 50 years to self regulate and they did NOTHING!!! Unless you count repeatedly receiving huge profits when people wait to get care, because they were denied because some moron behind a screen, with no medical degree, says that something is experimental, when it has been being used for 10 years. And this is what the Republicans think is the BEST HEALTH CARE IN THE WORLD???? But then again this is the party that elected Reagan who started this mess with deregulation and then Papa Bush who did nothing and then his son who helped to finish this country off. The more I think about it the more I think that the last 3 Republican administrations were trying to destroy this country from the inside out.

    July 26, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. william gair

    Exactly, insurance companies had their chance (many times) they blew it over and over again. Time for a change. What do they think we are? Stupid? Get us government option Nancy and get it for us now!

    July 26, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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