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)
  1. larry

    February 28th, 2010 11:45 am ET

    Let me get this straight, " Bipartisan" without Republican votes?
    screw the GOPers. If they are gonna act like six year old brats, send them bed without dinner...just like you would ANY six year old brat. Obama biggest mistake is that most of the GOPers are interested in cooperation...there GOAL is obstruction,I say let them boil in their coldron and get on with returning the American dream to ALL Americans, not just the fat cats. Boner....,you are just another corrupt pol whom is worth the powder to blow you to hell. KICK BUTT Mr. president...those schmucks aren't interested cooperation.... onlyl OBSTRUCTION.

    February 28, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. Ron

    Say there Nancy, have you not seen the polls ? We don't want what you're selling.

    February 28, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. jules sand-perkins

    The Progressive entitlement demanders will say that any lie is true, and that any illogical statement is correct to get us to give them their daily bread.

    February 28, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. T'SAH from Virginia

    @She's Crazy
    The bill can be bipartisan, even though the votes might not be bipartisan"
    If YOU look at this statement, what it really means is – the RepubliCAN'Ts have a LOT in this bill already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you watched the summit, YOU would have realized that!!!! Therefore, passing the bill WITHOUT them – still means they are PART of it because a lot of what they wanted is in it.

    MORESO, the PUBLIC OPTION was NOT in it and that is the main part of the bill that SHOULD HAVE been in it – REPUBLICAN'TS WON ON THAT!!!

    @Old White Virginia Female
    YOU are RIGHT ON!!

    February 28, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |

    From a quick scan, i believe the majority of the posts here have a sound understanding of what truly is going on and like the majority of Americans in all polls, do not believe in the content nor means of creating this socialist bill. I will sleep soundly, wake in the morning, go to work, pay my taxes, live within my means, hold my self responsible for my well being and thank God I live in a country that allows me. For those that believe the government owes you the above, and belive in Stretch's dellusions, give up your toys, your vacations, or things that are wants and not needs, or better yet, get a job and hold your self responsible first, not me. I owe you nothing.
    Would much rather live in a world of choices...not one of being governed with no choices. It is called freedom.

    February 28, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. bacspartus

    Prove this theory: (A) Are democrats Ignorance to the facts in front of them? (B) Are politician a bunch of Scammers? (C) Both A and B.

    February 28, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. Sue

    jules sand-perkins:

    See my post right before yours.........

    I said/asked the exact same thing.

    They are making the mistake of thinking that the majority in the country are as blind, clueless, and gullible as the Obama drones.

    February 28, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Michael W Kinney

    The American people overwhelmingly want this bill. why not just spank their little blubbering republican obstructionist buts and send them whimpering in a new direction?

    February 28, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Tax Payer

    It you don't have a job, if you don't pay taxes, or if you are one of the 30 million that are going to benifit from this bill shut up and quit milking the system. Also I bet your a Democrat.

    February 28, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. Wes410


    This is easy logic to follow here: The bill is not specifically sponsored by republicans but still contains an admitted 80% of content agreed upon by republicans. When it passes, it will contain numerous examples of republican initiated ideas. That's what Pelosi is saying and no republican lies can dispute those cold hard facts.

    February 28, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Charles W. Skinner

    MP – You misunderstand (or misrepresent) the concept of "Reconciliation." I think a civics lesson is in order for the readers of CNN, to make sure everybody understands the difference.

    The process of making sure that bills from the House and Senate are the same is called "Conference." A committee from each body meets, they mark up differences in the bill, decide which language they are going to use, and then the House and Senate vote on the conference bill. That bill is then sent to the President. If conference fails, the bill dies.

    "Reconciliation" is a process where BUDGET items are allowed to be voted on without procedural hurdles (no filibuster, limited debate, limited amendments, etc..). It is limited ONLY to budget and deficit reduction measures, which is why it won't work for most of the Health Care "Reform" bill currently as drafted. The process does NOT allow for the creation of most of the bureaucracy that the Democrat party has said is essential to reform.

    February 28, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Al P.

    Are some of you people blind ? What does it take for you to realize the Party of NO represents the insurance industry. They even took out the prohibition on "Pre-exisiting conditions" from their bill. How much do they have to do to make you believe they don't represent the middle class. They say they don't want a public option because it creates big government but they really don't want it becuase it creates meaningful compitition with the insurance industry. If that isn't enought how about their relentless selling point concerning "Tort Claim Reform" even though they know it does very little to reduce costs. How about their relentless claims of cutting Medicare. Those cuts from Medicare Advantage effect very few seniors and will take billions of subsidized profits from the insurance industry. Wake up America and see the true colors of the Party of NO. They want the President to fail by hoping that more people believe their lies and misinformation.

    February 28, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. amwa

    Health care is needed. Fat cat Republicans don't want it. No 1 they are in the pockets of insurance companies. No 2 they do not want President Obama to succeed. It is quite obvious they haven't read any thing, fat cat Boehner goes on about abortion, when it isn't even the bill , they have no clue what their job is they are there for the paycheck. They sit there with a smug smile, that is not the face of someone who honestly wants to discuss anything. Take their health care away aand see what happens.

    February 28, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. jdmintexas

    The Republican keep saying: lets start over with a clean sheet of paper. What nonsense. And what will that achieve? Are they expecting that either they or the Democrats will have a Damascus road vision of a new and better way? The fact is: we will be exactly where we are right now only a year or so down the road. Vote on the bill. If it passes, it passes. But either way, we have other problems that need to be addressed.

    February 28, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. David

    OK, I am listening to CNN Candy Crowley at this time about the health bill and the political sides so here is my opinion Candy is really hitting the nail on the head, the politicians all of them in the house and senate need to be put on the road and we elect new blood into thier position and by the way let them go without health care insurance and no retirement I am sure everyone of them would start praying for a solution and begging each other to get together to make a health plan for all americans. If we did elect new people to take thier place don't allow them free health care insurance either make it all for one and one for all....Thank you

    February 28, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. David

    I find it kind of strange!!! 1. Obama ran a compaign on health care and now the GOP disagree on health care, did they vote him in
    2. If the GOP agree on parts of the bill, why start again?
    3. A health system that is 37th in the world and a major chunk of American GDP, it takes common sense to realise you need reform
    4. Its my humble opinion that the GOP resistance is not in the interest of the American pple, they are playing politics with health care, instead of educating Americans on the bill, they are whipping up sentiments.
    5. The current GOP plan is suggesting a coverage of 3million pple
    6. Americans should arise and say enough is enough. Lets go ahead with the health bill, if in 2 years we are not ok, tell your legislators to ammend the bill.
    7. GOP should stop whipping up sentiments, its not only immoral, it is an abuse of american ideals and civilization
    8. Take this straight, you guys lost elections in 2008, bcos u guys did a bad jobof the economy, be humble enough to give others a chance.

    February 28, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Sheila

    Poll after poll shows the American public does not want this health insurance reform bill. What part of NO don't the Democrats understand? I guess they will learn when their opponents win the next election. Boxer and Reid are two that will soon be unseated. Who's next?

    February 28, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. J'Net

    Bottom line is that we need some sort of health care reform. No one can continue to afford spiraling health care costs that will continue to escalate if not stopped. Speaking as an independent, I know that democrats in power would be the only party to ever recommend health care reform while in office. Republicans would never do so (whether the people want it or not) as any health care reforms would not support its corporate base. It is to Republican advantage to stall. Clearly, as in Wall Street, corporate health companies, both insurance and health services are unable to control their industry without some regulation. It is important that we support this health care reform effort. Though, not perfect, it is the opportunity we have wield some control over a system that is not working.

    February 28, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. TONY

    When you can't get Olympia Snowe's vote.... and when you have to buy off Lincoln, Landreiu and Nelson to get their votes..... I wonder how hard you have really tried to be "bipartisan".

    February 28, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. frank nitti

    Think about this though please.... February 28th, 2010 10:43 am ET

    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.==========really...well then why do people from europe come here for health care.....did pelosi tell you herself. lol

    February 28, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. MP

    I think it is interesting that some think that if someone agrees with the administration that they must be "drones." The use of the word "drone" is a way to discount others opinions without having to give any concrete evidence as to why you happen to disagree with them or to explain what you actually think. They insinuate "others" are not analyzing and "thinking" about these issues, so they won't have to bother to come up with anything, or think for themselves.

    February 28, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. right winger

    Nancy Pelosi is a very dangerous person and insane to pursue this

    February 28, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. sonny c.

    If it were possible to look @ this thing objectively,–SHE'S RIGHT! Could you ever get a Republican to admit that-not in this world, maybe in the next one.

    February 28, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. Don

    Yay after a year maybe the President finally got some guts!

    February 28, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Ed Minnesota

    America has the world best health care system, yet rank 37th in the world. This is republican delussion. They should wake from their delussion, quit deceiving the Ameicans and face the fact. America has the best health care system for the lying republican congress. and not indeed for the rest of us. I want the same health care package they buy with my tax money. Isn't that fair?

    February 28, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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