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. aliou

    I voted for the health care reform with a national health insurance option, that is, to have a public option or the nationalization of healthcare if possible. if not, a strong public option was what I wanted for the very least.

    However, given the savy and brutal opposition from the minority that has termed itself "we the peopple", forgetting that they lost in the presidential election against the Reform agenda or the OBama agenda, and that the majority is still "we the People" in every other democracy, I have come to accept that the dems could vote in reconciliation a "weak Public option". Yet again, the dems have bowed down to the bullies on the right and kicked out any remnant of public option.

    I want to tell everyone out right: if the government and congress does pass a bill that gives the insurance company the assurance of my business or premium without giving me the option to do otherwise than to be ransomed by these thucks in statched collar, I am prepared to go to jail rather than pay be forced to pay insurance or what ever thing to a private business.

    February 28, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Debby

    Nancy, Nancy do you know how foolish you sound. Your party is in big dodo and passing this bill without the GOP will be the kiss of death for your party. I have to say this woman is such a maroon.

    February 28, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. Willa-PA

    The Democrates need to get some b*lls and forget the partisan approach, they are not going to get it, ever...and if the republicans win this year, people would have voted against their well being because it is not the American people republican are for.

    February 28, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Willa-PA

    (Correction)The Democrates need to get some b*lls and forget the bi-partisan approach, they are not going to get it, ever...and if the republicans win this year, people would have voted against their well being because it is not the American people republican are for.

    February 28, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. aliou


    I didn't know that anyone hated America more than Bush and the republicans who took this country to wars unending, killing our soldiers and empovering our country in the process. Further, Bush and right wing nuts are taking advantage of the country's problems to ransom the dems and put more money into the pockets of the rich republicans who are proprietors on wallstreets, small and big businesses and mostly home owners and klunker owners.

    All through the various rounds of healthcare reform, bailouts, recovery, a lot of money are flowing from treasury to republican contractors. None of them is throwing that money out. They take the contracts, get the money, pay as little (in money and number) workers as they can, then use the rest of the money to sponsor tea parties to change the legislation more to their advantage.

    Poor people in all of this don't have a voice because they cannot be heard on TV. They can't pay for ads or travel to various places to hold tea parties.

    So who is winning all this? The minority that has lost in nov. 2008. That is as anti-American as a communist Russian or alqada invasion.

    February 28, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. aliou

    Pelosi has tried her best. Those who need to be voted out are the republicans. All of them. for the 1 year we lost to their blocade.

    February 28, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. She's Crazy

    "The bill can be bipartisan, even though the votes might not be bipartisan"

    Forcing this bill on the voters without the vote of their representatives is not bipartisan.

    Peolis is crazy and she thinks we will accept her new definition of bipartisan.

    Pelosi needs to be replaced as Speaker of the House. She is too loony for that seat.

    February 28, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. stormerF

    Sick of the closed door dealings and favors to bribe Senators for votes,Why would the American People of the other states want to pay for 3 states to get an unfair advantage in Health Care? Do the tax payers of New York want to pay for the 100 million dollar hospital in Connecticut?,Or the 300 million dollar promise to Louisiana? Or maybe the 800,000 senior medicare advantage if Florida? If they do then raise their taxes Now,why wait?

    February 28, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. aliou

    I wish the DEms can recover from their 'begger attitude" and resume the mandate they were handed in the nov. 2008 elections, and vote for a single payer healthcare system. I know they wouldn't but that wouldn't stop me from waiting for such a reform until they have actually voted a bill into law.

    At which time, I would know I can't count on them to do the reform for me and therefore, prepare myself to disregard the law entirely or parts of it that doesn't favor public option.

    February 28, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. stormerF

    Capsaicin,.... Why did she vote to not raise the pay for American Somoians up to the Minium wage then? You know her husband has business with the dole fruit company packing plant in American Somia right? To the tune of around 11 million dollars,and bringing them up to minium wage would cut into his profits. Yea she has the American People in mind ok,Lie cheat and steal as much as you can before you leave office, By the way she also pays her Husband $100,000.00 a year for advice,how about that caring feeling for those tax payers?

    February 28, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. stevegee

    Let's not forget that most Americans have good health insurance, and let's not forget that this country has the best doctors, nurses and hospitals in the world. So why would we scrap that just to cover a minority of people?

    We should focus on improving the current system through common-sense solutions: tax credits for any healthcare expenditure (insurance and direct costs, i.e. doctor visits), encourage healthcare savings accounts, repeal the anti-trust exemption for health insurance companies, allows sales across state lines, and there are many more.

    What ObamaCare would do is increase government-run programs like Medicaid, which is an inept, insolvent mess! It would also raise taxes during shakey economic times, and add significantly to the deficit which is already putting our country at peril for bankruptcy.

    The only reason that Pelosi, Reid, and all the liberals want ObamaCare to pass is so that they will have ultimate power and control over the lives of every citizen. This is the land of freedom and liberty, and if this government takeover of our healthcare is successful, the American Dream will be doomed.

    February 28, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  12. John D

    No matter how much spin this BIMBO puts on this bill, IT IS NOT BIPARTISAN! Scrap the bill and start over!

    That SUMMIT was a joke and OBOZO was the big CLOWN with all his preaching. He just kept beating the same points the PEOPLE have rejected over and over again! Democrats are destroying this country with all the spending and taxes and all the new entitlements they want to throw on the couch potatoes who gambled on their health and now need healthcare. I have no sympathy for you. I have worked my entire life and lived within my means and will fight to the death to stop any more of my money going to you bunch of lazy entitlement babies!

    February 28, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. Scott, Tucson

    HUH?? Nancy hop on your jet back to Copenhagen and have yourself a drinking binge weekend at our taxpayers expense.

    February 28, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  14. New Age Independent

    Pelosi is the perfect example of what is wrong with the Democrat party. There is absolutely no viable reason that anyone can support them at this point. They have proven that they do not have our best interests at heart and car only for political power and coin in their pockets.

    February 28, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. Fed Up

    Sure, Nancy. More political lying. Oh wait, politicians NEVER lie. Just like attorneys. That's right. All of the Democrats are attorneys. There lies the problem.

    February 28, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. Think about this though please....

    The United States has the 37th Best Health Care system in the world.

    All Other major industrialized nations have Universal Healthcare except for us.

    AGAIN, 37TH Best.... maybe we can do something to move into the teens.

    February 28, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Gyrogearloose- READ the article or at least watch the clip, not just a headline. The bipartisanship she refers to is that inclusion of their Republican concepts and ideas, in opposed to actual votes.
    There are serveral things about the bill that are true:
    1) We need reform
    2) No one- either side- really know the financial impact on us over 10 years.
    3) Without some sort of reform healthcare prices will skyrocket ( look at the 39% rate increases already announce- the industry's response to the Brown victory)
    4) The plan is in no way "socialism" in any form
    5) No one will have Less coverage
    6) More options will be made available to EVERYONE

    Republicans want a cap on malpractice payouts- The President said that was a possibility, then it was pointed out that is some very rare cases, people's injuries would not be paid for witthe capped amounts.
    Republicans don't want public option beacuse they think it will cost the taxpayer too much and cause a rush to the government plan becuase of the lower cost, hurting the private insurnace company- we don't really know what will happen, only what may happen.
    The Republicans have called for buying accross state lines- this will cause the same result we have in the credit card industry where speical state regulations will make it more favorable to companies to be in certain state- not neccesarily helping the individual.
    An in calling for a smaller package, you leave the individual right where we are with the new credit card rules- nowhere. Allwe got from that was more fees, higher intterst and a ststement that now can scare us every oth instead of letting us live in dinial of what we have done to ourselves- the difference? This is healthcare- this is our lives.
    We need full reform now- not another watered down version of a bill from Washingtion!

    February 28, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. Think about this though please....

    Bipartisan means a compromise of Political and Economical Ideas....

    It doesn't matter that the people who gave the ideas would rather say NOO than support anything supported by Obama, even when they suggest the idea themselves.

    February 28, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. Goodtymes

    Simply put she is Crazy and a Liar

    February 28, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. southern cousin

    She does not make a lot of sense does she. I think the botox seeped in to her brain.

    February 28, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. leonardofru

    Isnt food more important than healthcare ? And arn't tens of millions of people on food stamps? Wouldnt it save a lot of money by seizing all farms, producers, grocery stores, family gardens, etc in the name of CHANGE. And then Obama and BotoxNan can tell each of us what to eat, when to eat, where to buy our eats, etc. ? Come on you lefty loons lets whip up a frenzy and nationalize food productiona and control also.

    February 28, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Artie

    An out of control delusional socialist hag! California and America deserves better or do we?

    February 28, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Bill or Vin from Philly

    This bill is a giveaway to the insurance industry it adds 30 million more policy's, with no competition sounds like a Republican plan to me , WE NEED A PUBLIC OPTION for real insurance reform, we are Democrats a party that is suppose to be for the working people, what happened?????

    February 28, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. joe smith

    look, when her family ran Baltimore like it was their own private business, what would you expect her to say, and continue to say/do

    February 28, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. SammamishCoug

    I find it amazing that these people are ignoring the fact that the majority of Americans are against this bill, not Republicans, but the voters.

    Don't be fooled with the exchanges, it's a smaller version of the goverment option. This will allow the left to attach other provisions down the road.

    What about tort reform and being able to purchase plans from other states.

    Lasik procedures gave down over the years, not up. Why? Because you can shop around and choose. This isn't complicated.

    February 28, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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