February 28th, 2010
09:03 AM ET
8 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)

    Bugs Pelosi is from the democrats planet of Mars, or is it Uranus. I think it is the later. Talking points is all I read. Bush bashers will use him at the end of Bama's reign in 3 years as a continued excuse. If you dem posters would get some non partisan information coming direct from Washington government analists, you would still be in denial when learning the economics and political agenda of dumbo ears is socialist, completely contrary on the foundation principles of this country. I weep for you entitled leeches.

    February 28, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. DA

    How about CNN post online for everyone to see who both Democrats and Republican has the big Insurance industry in their pockets!! I think it is time to see who is actually talking to the American people through their elected Officials!!

    February 28, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. Anonymous

    I can see it on Nancy Pelosi. She Has the Mark of the Beast on her Forehead and also on her Hand. The mark of the beast on your forehead is when you accept the Anti-Christ through blind faith. The mark of the beast on your hand is when you accept the Anti-Christ through gifts. People Obama is the Anti-Christ that you have all read about. You have been warned.

    February 28, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  4. OhioRon

    It is difficult to take many of these comments seriously due to poor grammar, horrific spelling and uneducated ramblings of most of the posters. I think that the Democrats are counting on people listening to and believing the "mainstream " media sound bites that are broadcast to make it look like the "minority" party is holding them up when they had a super majority and could have passed anything that they wanted......but didn't. Nancy, don't blame the GOP for the disarray in the Democrat party.

    February 28, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  5. dtboy

    The party of "NO?" So, one should aways say "YES?" What a major play on words. Nancy is a power hog, masquerading this bill as morality, yet proposing immoral methods to implement, such has higher taxes and forced participation. I don't want the government in control of my health. True freedom is freedom from other men, not adversities.

    February 28, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |

    Cheers to the 4 posting after my last. People that get it.

    February 28, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. Shibumi

    Whatever this old gas bag is smoking, I want some of it. Can I use my WIC stamps?

    February 28, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. Jim

    What they should call this bill is the Slavery reparations act of 2010, since the Demographics of all uninsured americans show that 92% are african american. I do belive everyone should have health insurance, but do it like the rest of us, pay for it.

    February 28, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. hmmm...

    With logic like that there is no need for such a large government. We only need one person who will be in charge of the military and incorporate one idea from his opponents and claim bipartisanship without the wastely time and cost of elections. Is this person truly that ignorant to believe a well educated society will belive that? I guess we have a new term, 'conveniently ignorant'.

    February 28, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. hmmm...

    my extramarital affair is bipartisan because during a heated argument with my wife about such a situation she said she hoped the filthy cheater would at least wear protection. I incorporated that idea into my affair my affair so I guess this is OK to do as it is bipartisan.

    February 28, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. Anonymous

    "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."

    What part of the Dems have been in total control all of last year do you not understand? If you want to place blame there's no choice but to put on the Dems. Just because the Repubs have disagreed doesn't mean they held up action last year. The Dem leadership had to make special back room deals and work like crazy just to get a lot of their own party to go along with the bills. And it appears we could see the same reluctance in the House to sign on to this latest effort.

    I do agree with one thing and think it's appropriate with a modification- vote out all of the Repubs AND Dems.

    February 28, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. Steve

    I don't see why there can't just be simple reforms without an entire "overhaul." The system isn't 100% broken. Fix medicare so seniors can afford their prescriptions. Take care of insurance companies that want to charge outrageous premieums for pre-existing conditions. Tinker here tinker there but don't just start from scratch. Its not nessecary and we can't afford it!

    February 28, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. Republicans are the biggest blockade since the Cuban Missile Crisis

    Republicans block everything that doesn't fit in their FAT wallets. Passing health care reform would mean a loss of Insurance lobby money to their fabulous fundraising bank accounts.

    February 28, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. OhioRon

    How are the Republican blocking anything. Dems have a huge majority. They can pass anything they want.

    February 28, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. OhioRon

    They know if they pass this without GOP support and it bombs.... they have no one to blame. They may still blame GWB to shift it off of themselves.

    February 28, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. jsmith

    I always thought I was a Democrat, but I dont blame everyone for my issues, I dont demean people and I dont demand you totally agree with me to be bi-partison. I dont even want a big Government takeover, actually I think the federal Government is way to big and shamefully spending money. Im registered as a Democrat, but in November I will vote every Democrat out of office I can. Its time for a big time out for the Dems, and I am no longer part of a pary thats been taken over by progressives.

    February 28, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Keith in Austin

    Let me get this straight, " Bipartisan without Republican votes?"

    Queen Nancy is an elitist socialist and why Progressive Democrats will be replaced in droves this November.

    She is overwhelmingly out of touch and the personification of an oxiMORON!

    February 28, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. For American


    Monopolies (OIL, INSURANCE) à Create a bunch of PUPPETS so called REPUBLICANS -à FAKE labeled themselves as CONSERVATIVES -à MINGLE into Christian Churches à BRAINWASHED the fearful evangelicas on PRO-LIFE and ANTI-GAY in order to get VOTES à PUT the OIL, INSURANCE in control of the economy and drain every American’s pockets. GET IT or PAY.

    February 28, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. annie against biased news

    So pukelosi is trying to blame the republicans for this government run health care/ government takeover of our liberties/government violation of our constitution even though the republicans keep saying NO. Somebody explain to me exactly how that works.

    February 28, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. WASPMM

    You Republican conspiracy theorists (party of just say no) don't get it. If you soc's have both party majority plus mister "transparent" at the helm, how could we block anything? I have to toss you a wow, and we allow you to reproduce?

    February 28, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. leftisloony

    as california races to beat greece to insolvency, the loony lady from california sits upon her perch and expounds on value systems and morality.........the democrats EXCLUDED republicans while the house and senate formulated these oppressive bankrupting bills........and then they couldn't even muster enough votes from DEMOCRATS to get them passed........the reason, the majority of Americans do NOT want this debt exploding bill shoved down their collective throats as the democratically controlled congress now threatens...... most americans support insurance and tort reform...... ie no preconditions which prevent one from obtaining insurance, no loss of insurance with loss of job, catastrophic coverage with no ceiling, malpractice reform, etc........and most Americans support helping to cover the uninsured........( and the NUMBER, 30 million uninsured is up for debate, but thats another story....what i can tell you is that in over 25 years working in healthcare, not ONCE have I seen an uninsured patient denied urgent care )................
    what most Americans don't support is a bill that is so over the top in terms of governmental control and threatens to throw our entire economy over the cliff while we're all hoping our economy pulls out of this death spiral that still threatens us .....this endless debate over future taxes, spending and a healthcare bill that the majority CLEARLY does not want has created a cloud of UNCERTAINTY which has stopped economic recovery in its tracks........have a nice day

    February 28, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. OhioRon

    Whomever is moderating this site should do so in a timely fashion!

    February 28, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. Mike1952

    Far left loon speak. You can be against something yet still be for it. What an intellect! No wonder the dems put her in charge, she's a mindless twit at best.

    February 28, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. Mollie

    Republicans act and look like stubborn first grade brats.

    February 28, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. j

    WE NEED A PUBLIC OPTION!!! I don't care if there is any Republican or Conservative support so long as a good health reform bill is passed. Get rid of the anti-abortion clauses. Add in the anti-trust clauses. Get rid of the tax on those fortunate enough to have a strong advocate to get them good health care (why should they be penalized). Get rid of the mandates.

    February 28, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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