Nancy Pelosi explains why you can't pare back the health-care bill
From a conference call yesterday:
One of the most appealing pitches to the American people about health-care reform is never again will you be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition, or if you've paid your premiums and you get sick, your policy can't be cancelled, or to prevent recessions when people are halfway down the hallway on a gurney to the operating room and then their coverage is rescinded ... it's a much longer list.
Some people have suggested that we should do [those insurance reforms] freestanding. But it's important to note the following: You can't do that freestanding unless you have the basic underpinnings of a bill, because otherwise you're making a statement, but you're not making a difference in anyone's life because it's not tied to the accountability of the insurance companies. You could get all of those things -- insurance companies will price it out of everybody's range. So they would be factors for increased costs and premiums, rather than reforms of the insurance industry, unless they go along with a bill that is underlying that we hope that we will be able to pass before too long.
So there are some things that sound easy, but you might as well send somebody a get-well card because they don't have any more impact, except maybe they make you feel good for the moment -- maybe a get-well card might be more effective as a matter of fact, because it's sincere.
The good thing about Nancy Pelosi explaining why paring the bill back to the insurance reforms won't work and Barack Obama explaining why that won't work is it makes it much harder for either of them to turn around and pretend that this will work.
February 3, 2010; 10:02 AM ET
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