Pelosi on health care law: 'Step back and see the bigger picture'

McClatchy Washington BureauNovember 17, 2013 

Nancy Pelosi, one of the key architects of the embattled Affordable Care Act, made it clear Sunday she is still an ardent supporter.

"We have to completely step back and see the bigger picture," the House Minority Leader told NBC's "Meet the Press."

"What I love about health care professionals is that they are calm, and we must remain calm when we talk about the health of our country.  The Affordable Care Act is right up there with Social Security, Medicare, affordable care for all Americans as a right, not a privilege."

Some Democrats have grown nervous about the act's woes, particularly those vulnerable in next year's elections. Thirty-nine Democrats joined 222 Republicans Friday in backing a Republican-authored bill to allow insurers to sell policies that do not comply with the Act.

Democrats need a net gain of 18 seats to win a House majority. "I don't think you can tell what will happen next year, but I will tell you this: Democrats stand tall in support of the Affordable Care Act," Pelosi insisted.

"We have great candidates who are running who are concerned about our economy and are concerned that the government was shut down because of a whim on the part of the Republicans..."

The bill's troubles, Pelosi said, are not surprising.

"I'm saying it took a great deal for us to pass this bill. I said as we go up to the gate and the gate is locked, we'll unlock the gate; if we can't do that, we'll climb the fence; if the fence is too high, we'll pole vault in; if we can't do that, we'll helicopter in, but we'll get it done," she said.

After all, Pelosi said, "This is never thought to be easy."

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