Pelosi on Obamacare Website: ‘Just Fix It’
Posted at 1:26 p.m. on Oct. 23
Pelosi talked to reporters on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that she doesn’t support delaying the Obamacare individual mandate, despite the glitch-ridden rollout of HealthCare.gov.
“Just fix it,” Pelosi said of the website created to help the uninsured buy health insurance before they are penalized. “Just fix it.”
The California Democrat admitted that implementation of the health care website “might not have been acceptable,” but she said Democrats did not dedicate their public service to a website; they dedicated their service — many of them, she said — to “affordable, quality health care.”
“The fact that the website has, I think, beyond glitches, but really more problems, is disappointing, but it does not take away from the fact that we’re on a path,” Pelosi said.
The health care website has been plagued with a host of issues preventing Americans from enrolling. On Tuesday, the White House announced it was dispatching the former acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jeff Zients, to rescue the website. But some Democrats seem to be warming to the idea of delaying the February individual mandate deadline so that Americans have more time to enroll.
Pelosi, however, doesn’t seem to support that idea.
“I think that we should be able to move forward. I’m more optimistic than that,” Pelosi said.
“I think we should try to fix what we have,” she said. “Move forward with the deadline we have.”
That could become a controversial position as the mandate’s deadline approaches, the website problems persist and public opinion continues to sour on the website.
A recent CBS News poll released Tuesday showed 12 percent saying they think the process is going well, with nearly half saying it’s not. Similarly, a Pew Research Center poll released Monday showed 29 percent saying the online exchanges are working “very or fairly well,” with 46 percent saying they are not.
Republicans, for their part, seem to be looking to capitalize on the poor rollout after taking a beating of their own in the polls during the shutdown standoff.
Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, called the health care law a “wet blanket” on the economy Wednesday morning, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized President Barack Obama and the White House for a lack of transparency on the implementation of the health care law and website.