Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

Pelosi: Affordable Care Act a ‘Winner’ on Its 4th Anniversary


(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was on the defensive Thursday at a news conference convened, in part, to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act into law.

The California Democrat, backed by Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., spoke in support of the law she helped to craft and pass — despite the fact that its rocky rollout has made it a problem for vulnerable House and Senate Democrats facing tough re-election races this year.

That conversation has been reignited in the wake of last week’s defeat of Democrat Alex Sink by Republican David Jolly in the Florida special election to succeed late-Rep. C.W. Bill Young. Sink ran on a platform of “fix, not repeal” regarding the 2010 health care law.

“Just because people say, ‘I don’t want to repeal it but I want to fix it’ doesn’t mean they’re walking away from it,” Pelosi said, pointing out that the Florida special election took place in a swing district.

When asked by a reporter whether Obamacare was becoming a liability in midterm election campaigning, Pelosi replied, “I believe it’s a winner.

“And by the way,” she corrected, wryly, “it’s called the Affordable Care Act. Affordable Care Act.”

Pelosi strongly rejected the premise that Democrats were running from, rather than embracing, the health care law, saying that Washington, D.C., journalists do not see how well the law is faring in districts across the country.

“This isn’t about politics, this is about the health of America. This is about standing tall,” said Pelosi. “We don’t weigh its value as to what it means politically, we weigh its value as to what it means to the health, well-being, economic security of America’s families.

“Change is hard,” Pelosi said of the growing pains that have arisen as the law has gone through implementation. “This is transformational in the lives of American people.”

Pelosi and Van Hollen, former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, also argued that the post-Citizens United landscape has allowed outside groups allied with Republicans to spend massive amounts in ad campaigns to undermine the health care law.

“Citizens United [came] just in time for them to put out all their misrepresentations about the Affordable Care Act, and that’s hard to counter,” Pelosi said.

“It’s hypocritical and grossly misleading,” Van Hollen added.

  • Layla

    With all due respect, Ms. Pelosi, you must be senile. Rates are about to double and now Cancer centers are not covered. May you stay in good health.

  • Brenda Huddleston

    The Affordable Care Act has been given every opportunity to succeed, and then some The main group of people it was designed for do not think it is affordable. The huge amount of money spent to fix and save it could have been used to provide healthcare to those in need rather than upset the whole applecart for those who were pleased with their healthcare.

    • Layla

      The ACA needs to be repealed, NOW, and then a new plan without a mandate must be put into place. And it must be VOLUNTARY. Government intrusion in the name of a political agenda is breaking the back of this country and turning us into a welfare state. The American people are not going to allow that much longer without a backlash. Look for some surprises at the polls in November.

  • Eunice

    She is simply delusional.

  • Crystal

    She is just plain crazy!

  • Cameiros

    I was starting to get down on Obamacare until I ran into a friend that
    needed dental work. He qualified for Medicaid under Obamacare and was
    able to get a root canal done for a minimal co-pay.
    Until Obamacare
    there was no affordable dental care. You let your teeth rot and it leads
    to horrendous – and costly – medical issues. Issues that usually end up
    in emergency rooms and inflated costs. You take care of medical and
    dental issues up front and it leads to huge savings.
    The problem here
    is the right wing, and their clueless minions – many of whom benefit
    from the changes mandated by Obamacare – are demagoging the issue to
    I’m not sure how the 1%ers who run the GOP can get so many people to vote against their best interests…but there you are.
    ACA isn’t perfect by any means, but its the first step in gaining
    fiscal and health sanity to the hodgepodge medical system now in place.
    Okay, haters, your turn…

    • DCinAZ

      Hahahahaha…….cool story bro.

  • BMarie

    Did anyone who pushed thru Obamacare actually read any of the legislation? It encourages employers to layoff employees and to make even more people part-time. And according to a recent article in AARP magazine extolling all the advantages of Obamacare, now people who really don’t want to work, but are doing so just so they can afford health insurance, can afford to quit and go do something more to their liking because they will be eligible for subsidized insurance. That means that those of us who work to pay our bills, including our own health insurance, can subsidize all those other people who want to go do something that is more fun. This is supposed to be a good thing. Well, except for those people who are crazy enough to keep working to pay their bills.

  • Muhammad el Bacon


Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...