At a time when some Democratic leaders are expressing dissatisfaction with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, and others appear to be poised to jump from a sinking ship, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday to defend the ACA and insist that Democrats still support Obamacare.
Pelosi denied that Democrats are losing confidence in President Obama’s ability to make his controversial healthcare reform work. She said the party isn’t worried about the effect the problematic rollout will have on 2014 midterm elections.
“I will tell you this: Democrats stand tall in support of the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi told Meet the Press moderator David Gregory.
Pelosi acknowledged that the rollout of the Healthcare.gov website has been “terrible.” The website is still not fully functional and may not be until the end of November. Pelosi added that exchanges are “working very well” in states that are running their own websites versus relying on the national Healthcare.gov.
Gregory brought up another ACA sore point: the fact that millions of Americans have received cancellation notices from their insurance companies because plans didn’t meet ACA standards, despite assurances from President Obama and other Democrats that those who were happy with their existing plans would be able to keep them.
Pelosi pointed out several times that those promises only applied if you had your insurance plan prior to enactment of the ACA on March 23, 2010. If you had your plan before that date, it’s considered grandfathered and you may keep it as long as it hasn’t changed significantly in the meantime.
“The law does not demand that all of these cancellations go out,” Pelosi said.
Some would argue that this assertion is only partially true since it doesn’t take much for a plan to lose its grandfathered status under the ACA.
Pelosi also played off Friday’s vote in which 39 Democrats sided with Republicans on Representative Fred Upton’s (R-Mich.) proposal to extend current plans into 2014 even if they don’t meet the ACA’s new standards, essentially rolling back parts of the new healthcare law.
Pelosi argued that the number of dissenting Democrats on Friday wasn’t that different than it had been in other votes regarding healthcare reform:
“I remind you that 39 voted for this resolution the other day, the number has been in the 30s when it was to agree with them on the mandate for businesses, the mandate for individuals … so this is approximately the same number.”
PolitiFact rated this claim as only half true. In the two July 17 votes Pelosi was referring to, 35 Democrats sided with Republicans by voting yes to delay the employer mandate for businesses, but only 22 voted yes to delay the individual mandate for all Americans.
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