February 28th, 2010
09:03 AM ET
9 years ago

Pelosi: Health care bill can be bipartisan even without GOP votes

Washington (CNN) - The top House Democrat appears to be signaling that her party has all but given up any hope of achieving meaningful bipartisan support for a health care reform bill.

“Bipartisanship is a two-way street,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declares in an interview airing Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“But let me say this,” Pelosi continues, “The bill can be bipartisan, even though the votes might not be bipartisan, because they [Republicans] have made their imprint on this.”

Pelosi pointed to the fact that the final bill will, in all likelihood, not include a government-run public health insurance option, a provision vigorously opposed by congressional Republicans but supported by liberal House Democrats. Instead, Pelosi tells CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley, Democrats have settled on insurance exchanges as a way to help contain health care costs. That compromise position, Pelosi suggested, reflects an acknowledgement of Republicans’ approach to health care reform.

Reflecting a key provision of the Senate bill passed late last year, the legislative outline released by the White House last week does not include a public option. Asked about the White House’s decision to forego a provision popular with many liberals in the Democratic Party, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the administration made that decision because it did not appear that there would be sufficient votes to get the public option passed in Congress. Although some liberal Democrats in both chambers favor a public option, a substantial block of conservative Democrats in the House, known as the Blue Dogs, do not support it.

In the interview, Pelosi is also quick to suggest that President Obama and congressional Democrats have gone to great lengths to give Republicans an opportunity to weigh in on health care reform notwithstanding fundamental ideological differences between the two parties.

“We went into the legislative process - hundreds of hours of hearings and bill writing and all the rest - where the Republicans made their suggestions,” Pelosi tells Crowley. “We know that one of the reasons we didn’t have a bill in the fall is because the president wanted to give the Senate more time to arrive at bipartisanship in the Senate bill, which he thought might be possible then.”

Pelosi added, “And so what we’ve had is the year of trying to strive for bipartisanship, as I say over 100 Republican amendments in the bill. And the Republicans placed their own bill on the floor, here in the House, which insured 3 million. Our bill insures over 30 million. So we have a different value system here.”

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Filed under: Congress • Health care • Nancy Pelosi • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Gyrogearloose

    "Health care bill can be bipartisan without Republican vote"????

    This sounds like an oxymoron to me.

    February 28, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  2. ib

    What a disgusting woman. She is worse than Obama when it comes to "my way or the highway". I hope the republicans take back the house in Nov. just so she will be knocked off her high horse. If they do then the democrats should blame Pelosi because she is a lot of the reason people are getting fed up with congress.

    February 28, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  3. James

    I just want the same coverage our senators have, no more no less and I would like to see all coverage for our polititions in Washington to be canceled until an agreement is met. I'm sure than everyone would have great coverage at no cost.

    February 28, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. Independent One

    I agree with Nancy, alot that's in the bill are repubs idea....It is time to pass the bill!!!

    February 28, 2010 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  5. tageis

    Pelosi needs to be voted out. She does not know what she is saying. I really think Democrats if they retain power needs to kick her out as Speaker of the House. Could you imagine if something were to happen to the President and Vice President she would become President – That is a scary thought.

    February 28, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. George

    What is the difference between Republicans and Democrats? Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola

    February 28, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  7. Sam Sixpack

    There is nothing in the health care scam for you and, after they steal that 1/2 trillion dollars from Medicare, they're going to pull the plug on your grandmother.

    Just because Bush was a liar doesn't mean Pelosi is honest.

    February 28, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. Fitz in Texas

    What a stuck up self serving woman. Only in it for herself. Her attitude is no one best get in her way or else. Vote this woman out and do us all a favor.

    February 28, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  9. lyn

    Pelosi, you go girl get that health care bill pass with or without the party of NO.

    February 28, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |

    The democrats have adopted alot of the Republican policies in the healthcare bill the individual mandate is A REPUBLICAN IDEA I just dont understand why the democrats dont let the public know this more! actually Sen Grassley is the one that recommended the Individual mandate!

    February 28, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. Jim, Williamsburg, VA

    She is a disgrace to Democrats, the House of Representatives and all who ever supported her. Toss her out on her ear in November.

    February 28, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    Reds like to cite polls about the “majority” of Americans are now against health care reform and “That One” is ignoring the will of the people.

    Those of course would be the same type of polls that cons stated were having a “love fest” with the “socialist” in 2008 when you racists could not believe that a black man was polling better than your loser McCrypt, a small, angry bitter old man.

    Well, as you like to say, the only poll that mattered took place in November of 2008 and a majority of voters sent the “Kenyan born” candidate to run “your country” over the tiresome “let me exploit my time as a POW one more time” candidate.

    The resulting “polling” was a win of 53% to 46% for the "Kenyan".

    A clear majority and with no Supreme Court anointing.

    President “Obozo” ran his campaign on health reform and was voted to the office to do just that. President Obama is now only completely his promise that the 53% majority voted for him to do.

    So, to now quote those same polls as being the foundation to make statements that President Obama is “ramming” health care down our throats is very hypocritical at least. Seems, now that the “liberal MSM’ are “polling” your way, the results are cast in stone.

    So, I say ignore these “con” polls put out by the “big business” communication corporations to con the people with lies, and stick to the 53% poll that voted a great man into office to fix your 8 year debacle of “Voodoo economics“ of running 2 wars and giving out tax cuts to the rich.

    You and your “big business” corporations will get another chance to buy the Presidency in 2012, the only “poll that counts”. This all due to the courtesy of the Red stacked Supreme Court decision to allow corporations which are now “the voice of people” to buy public office holders.

    Gosh, I think I am getting the hang of this CPAC/tea bagger/redneck bashing required in any discussion!

    February 28, 2010 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. Ethan

    One more GOPer decided not to run for re-election. That's one more who wont have to explain why he voted AGAINST the health care reform the American people want and need.

    February 28, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  14. T'SAH from Virginia

    The HATERS here should realize that – "without the PUBLIC OPTION – this IS a RepubliCAN'T bill!!!!!!""" Case and POINT!!!

    A lot of the bill is what the REPUKES want. But what the RepubliCAN'Ts want is to RESTART a bill that they will end up AGREEING wth anyway – THEY just want to get the CREDIT and be able to CAMPAIGN that THEY are the ones who created it!!!! Another CASE and POINT!!!

    It's sickening!!!

    February 28, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  15. Kathy Robbins

    I have read the proposed legislation and watched the summit. Thus I knew when GOP ideas were presented many were already in the bill. I also knew that when the President and Democrats spoke of what the bill contained they were telling the truth and when Republicans spoke of what the bill contained they were lying.

    I have also read GOP legislation known as the Patients' Choice Act and was astonished to discover legislation that included health panels comprised of federal workers (the Dem plan specifically states the panel cannot have a federal employee) and the creation of state "tribunals" that decide malpractice cases with not a whit of reference to citizen constitutional protections. The GOP panel also includes the Secretary of Defense. What in heaven's name does the Secy of Def have to do with health care? Oh yeah, and the legislation contains zilch regarding regulation of insurance companies.

    It's a shame that at the end of the summit Obama had to tell the GOP to "do some soul searching". If the majority of Americans elect a GOP majority in November we the people can kiss this country goodbye. This citizen hopes my fellow citizens wake up to the GOP sham of governing and vote all of them out of office. They do not represent the interests of this country.

    February 28, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  16. leonardofru

    She said that, she really said that ? Oy

    February 28, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  17. leonardofru

    The Progressives have always had the votes to ram this down our throats, so it is a puzzlement to me why they just dont go ahead and do it. Do Nancy. And get you a prepaid bus ticket back to the land of fruits and nuts now because you aint going to be flying a military jet into exile.

    February 28, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  18. Capsaicin

    Democrats compromised far too much already. Single payer should have been discussed, and the public option threat should have been far stronger because it was what really struck fear into insurance company abuses. But given the crap Dems have put up with from the Republicans, and from traitors in their own party, it's now time to get this done for the American people. It aint perfect but it's the step forward we need.

    February 28, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  19. leonardofru

    Kathy Robbins, I too have read the bills and we must be looking at totally unrelated documents. The Progressives have adopted few GOP suggestions.

    February 28, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  20. Marie MD

    Healthcare with PUBLIC OPTION so that we can all enjoy the same health care as those in Congress.
    You think that devil cheney would have survived all his heart ills without the best healthcare? Why should he be the only one able to live a longer life?
    Channel 11 in Baltimore will be showing at 11p the story of a four year old girl (while not having seen it yet) and the loops and bumps her parents are going through t, it sees, to find her 24 hour nursing care. If I were them, I would bring my daughter to the Capitol and see what those in the NO party say about that. The four year old one of them brought in to say that whatever her name is doesn't need healthcare reform is no comparison. That kid HAS healthcare and is rich because daddy or mommy are politicians.

    February 28, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  21. liz

    If republicans were truly fiscal conservatives, they'd be falling all over themselves to pass a single-payor plan. they would realize that that would cut costs immensely for all businesses, and would lower health care costs instantly across the board. they scream about the big 3 of government being medicare, medicaid, and social security. well, if everyone was on medicare, with folks under 65 and healthy paying for it thru taxes that would be lower than what they pay for health insurance now, that would eliminate the need for mediaid. that would be one big federal and 50 state beaurocracies eliminated. smaller government, lower cost, helping businesses and the state budgets crippled now by medicaid costs. healthier population. insurance companies won't go out of business, there are a bunch of other things they can insure. anyone losing their job in an insurance company can receive job training. this is a win-win situation. so people who claim to be fiscally conservative who don't support single-payor are just hypocrites.

    February 28, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. Capsaicin

    I'm sure the hatred venting on Pelosi will be out of control in these comments. She's not the most polished on the surface, she's not slick enough to put listeners to ease, but you have to admit, she cares for Americans who are poor and suffering under the current system, and she has the balls to try to help them. I wish we had more senators like her.

    I wish Harry Reid, in particular, would take a few lessons from Nancy; God knows the country needs help, and the House is actually passing bills we need to move forward while the Senate is struck in Republican and blue dog Dem gridlock.

    February 28, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  23. rob

    She is right... And the majority of Americans DO want this bill passed.

    February 28, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  24. Carrie

    The Democrats would have a better chance if Nancy Pelosi was NOT the Speaker of the House. She does the Democrats more harm than anything. She makes the Democrats look like the party of 'out of touch'...she doens't seem to live in the real world.

    February 28, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. OhioRon

    WOW! The fact that anyone believes the ramblings of this woman is beyond comprehension.

    February 28, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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