Pelosi: 'Democrats Embrace the Affordable Care Act'

Sunday, 06 Apr 2014 02:09 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Some Democrats may have distanced themselves from Obamacare, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admits, but for the most part, there are a "couple hundred" Democrats in the House who are proud of what has been accomplished.

"We are celebrating the fact that we have over 7 million signed up," Pelosi told CNN "State of the Union" host Candy Crowley Sunday. In addition, she contended, Democrats are proud of the additional 3.1 million young adults who have been able to get on their parents' health insurance policies, along with the 5 million who have been signed up on Medicaid, bringing the numbers of people with "affordable" insurance to nearly 15 million.



"It's really pretty exciting," Pelosi, D-Calif., told Crowley. "We are very proud of what we have accomplished."

She admitted there are "a few" Democrats distancing themselves, "but that's the exception."

"Democrats embrace the Affordable Care Act," she said. "We're very proud of it."

Pelosi contended some of those people, not naming names, weren't "there to vote for the bill."

The California lawmaker was also quick to dismiss claims made this past week by two former members of the Obama administration, Robert Gibbs and Hillary Clinton, who question whether the Obamacare employer mandate will become a reality.

Gibbs, former White House press secretary, predicted while speaking in Colorado that the employer mandate won't survive long-term and that getting rid of it would improve the law.

Clinton, meanwhile, said she is concerned that the mandate will push employers to move "people from full-time work to part-time work to try to avoid contributing to their healthcare."

The employee mandate, said Pelosi, is an "integral" part of the law, and she does not believe it is going anywhere.

In other discussion Sunday, Pelosi said Democratic lawmakers plan to release their budget plan on Monday, describing it as a proposal that "is about growth" that will lead the nation to a balanced budget.

This past week, Republicans released a budget plan stuffed with familiar proposals to cut across a wide swath of the federal budget. Democrats immediately assaulted its sharp cuts to health care coverage for the middle class and the poor, food stamps and popular domestic programs like highway construction, health research and education.

Pelosi called the GOP budget the "idealogical manifesto of the Republican Party" and a plan that takes us "far into the past."

Pelosi also said House Democrats talked her into staying on as the chamber's minority leader, but she didn't feel strongly about staying after she lost her speakership seat.

"I actually did not necessarily want to be leader again, but they wanted me to be, so here I am," she said of her decision to remain minority leader after Republicans won the House in 2010, and by staying in that role after the 2012 elections.

Meanwhile, Pelosi said that if Democrats reclaim the House this year, she will rely on others to make the decision over whether she would run for speaker again.

Story continues below video.


Pelosi also commented on being a woman in politics, saying that she "never expected anything but a double standard," in response to remarks former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made last week, in which she complained about a double standard in the workplace.

In that speech, CLinton blamed the media for the problem, but Pelosi said she doesn't "know if its the media or whether people say things that's news that you have to cover."
Pelosi, 74, was the first female House Speaker and the first woman to lead her party in Congress, after representing California for more than 20 years.

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