tv Leader Pelosi Calls Pulling of GOP Health Care Bill a Victory for the... CSPAN March 24, 2017 11:56pm-12:22am EDT
of stabilize things. but really, we needed this bill to make it better. for instance, risk pools. we believe the smarter way to help people with pre-existing conditions get affordable coverage while bringing down the health care costs for everybody else is through reinsurance risk or risk sharing pools which this bill supplied for the states. that's not now going to happen and therefore he won't be able to deploy that policy tool that we think is better than obamacare. we do lose a lot of tools we wanted to help improve people's lives and bring down health care costs in this country. thank you very much, everybody. reporter: do you have confidence in your whip? mr. ryan: i do. >> nancy pelosi and ranking democrats also spoke to reporters following the speaker's decision to pull the america -- the republican health care replacement bill. this is about 25 minutes.
>> thank you. >> thank you. ms. pelosi: thank you. good afternoon. i'm very happy to be here with the house democratic leadership. the unity of our house democratic members has an important message for the country that we are very proud of the affordable care act. yesterday, as you know, was the seventh anniversary of the president signing the bill. the american people expressed their support for it.
that message became very clear to our colleagues on the republican side of the aisle. today is a great day for our country, a victory. what happened on the floor is a victory for the american people. for our seniors, people with disabilities, our children, veterans. it is not just about the 24 million people who now won't be off health insurance, it is about the 155 million people who receive their benefits in the workplace who will not be assaulted by some of the provisions the republicans put into their bill. it is pretty exciting for us. tomorrow is the 51st anniversary of reverend martin luther king junior saying in a speech that
mr. clyburn quotes often to us. of all of the forms of inequality, inequality and health care is probably the most inhumane. that is the spirit in which we came to this debate. it is about our country and the vision of our founders. about our faith and about the unity of the democrats united by our values. with that, i am pleased to yield to our distinguished -- i'm sorry, not sorry. our democratic whip. mr. hoyer:
this is a good day mr. hoyer: this is a good day for the american people. we worked over years.
to assure the american public would have access to affordable, quality health care. we went a long way towards that effort. adopted then we affordable care act. much of the credit for that bill goes to then speaker pelosi, now who was -- in her advocacy to ensure that every american would have the security of having the availability of health insurance. this bill went down today. it went down today because the majority of the representatives of the american people thought this was a bad bill. went in the wrong directions, left 24 million people behind, raised cost for seniors between 50 and 64 very substantially.
and everybody else would have paid more and gotten less insurance. in fact, it was made worse last night. -- it was made worse last night. the requirements for covering essential services was gutted. but, the american people are still going to rely on us to i hope we can work with the administration and the other side, and not abandon this effort. not destroy indirectly what we did not destroy directly to date. that is our responsibility. make sure they have jobs, make sure they have health care, make sure they lived in this country. -- in a safe country. we will not abandon that responsibility. we trust that our republican
colleagues will not either. we trust that our republican colleagues will not either. i am pleased now to yield to my dear friend, the assistant leader of the democratic minority jim clyburn of south , carolina. mr. clyburn: i join leader pelosi in observing the words of martin luther king jr. when he spoke on this issue back in 1966. it is interesting, madam leader, king used two words. he said it was inhumane, but he also said it was egregious. egregious and inhumane. nothing can be more egregious, in my opinion, than saying to a child, born with diabetes, you can never get insurance coverage
on your family's policies. nothing can be more inhumane than saying to a man with prostate cancer, or a woman with breast cancer that you have run out of treatments. and, you can no longer rely upon your insurance. i think what happened here today was the fact that the majority of the members of the united states house of representatives saw how inhumane and egregious this managers amendment would be for this very important time in all of our lives. all of us have had real, personal expenses with the need for health care and for treatment. all of us know that none of us can guarantee we will never have
a need for these kinds of treatments. i am pleased and hopeful that the step today will be a step toward a continuation of a more perfect union, building a more perfect union, and hopefully we can do that very soon with making the affordable care act a better piece of legislation in a bipartisan way. with that, i will yield to the chair. >> thank you, mr. clyburn. if you sense a little exuberance on our part, it is on behalf of the american people. the victory here today, the defeat of the legislation is a win for the american people. not only the 24 million americans who stood to lose the insurance, but all americans who have insurance today, and those who want to have it, it is
a victory. we did listen to mr. ryan's press conference, about what lies ahead for the affordable care act, which he says is the law of the land. that law needs nurturing, not neglect. he mentioned letting it fall on its own weight. we cannot let that happen. we all have a responsibility to nurture it and keep it moving. i want to thank the democratic oneus for it unity, and point of personal privilege on new york, one provision the new , york, the empire state kickback. you can fool new yorker's some of the time, but not all of the time. they were not fooled today. it was the wrong thing to do. i want to recognize the gentlelady from california, the vice chair, linda sanchez. ms. sanchez: today's lack of
them is indeed a temporary victory for the american people. for seven years, the republicans have made promises about repealing the affordable care act, and today they could not deliver. they had seven days to come up with their so-called better way and now it turns out they have been bluffing all along. the american people sent a clear message today. if republicans want to repeal the affordable care act and take health care way from millions of people, they do it at their own peril. if republicans are serious about wanting a better way for health care, they will work with democrats to improve the affordable care act so they can make divisions that are problematic better. but, we will not stand idly by and let them tear apart a piece of legislation that has had such a tremendous impact on so many people. they love to knock the affordable care act, but it has
increased coverage for 20 million americans and has improved quality and lowered costs for more than 160 million people to get the health care through their employer. we breathe a sigh of relief on behalf of the american public. we see bills that are periodically bad policy, but the bill that was on the floor today for vote was just plain heartless and we are so glad that we did not vote on that legislation today. thank you. >> we want
to work with the demonstration to help the law thrive. you know donald trump, the speaker. in the real world, what would you say to families that say, washington is gridlocked -- how is that going to happen? ms. pelosi: i worked very closely with president george w. bush, in the minority and the house. capassed an energy bill,
far, the infamous tarp, which i think is why we lost the 2010 election. passed the most progressive bills on tax refund ability. the list goes on and on. it is not a question of what we can do with donald trump, it is what we have done as a matter of record over a long time, even though we have had our disagreements in the war on iraq and worse than that. we have a responsibility to find common ground. it depends on the motivation. if the motivation is spite, that they were going to pass this bill because it was the seventh anniversary of the affordable care act, instead of taking the time to develop legislation to perhaps hear from experts by having hearings, here from
families by having hearings, and develop something within the caucus and perhaps in a bipartisan way, hopefully they would have had a bill that would be successful. said before this room, pick a day, and decide they would have the votes on the floor. the speaker said it came close. we will never know. [laughter] no'sd a big long list of we were seeing. let's not lose any more face for them today. they have lost enough today. the fact is we have a responsibility to always work together. right now, quite frankly, the reason they lost is because of actions they took or did not take, but also because the american people weighed in. our phone lines were all deluged. i want to thank people who express themselves to members of congress and say thank you for
supporting the affordable care act, or killing the bill, whomever they were calling. let's read the site of relief that the affordable care act was not killed on the seventh anniversary. >> can you comment on the issue of whether or not republicans whatever work with you on your committee? can you comment on it generally? >> we have worked>> together with republicans, george w. bush, no child left behind. last congress we fixed the problem with the "every student succeeds act." we are able to work very effectively together. the problem with this legislation is it tried a debating technique that goes , there is a problem, i have a bill, if you don't like where things are, you must be with my bill, without ever saying how your bill would improve things.
i think people saw through that and noticed the legislation before us by any objective standard made things worse. the republicans did not want to vote for it and obviously democrats do not want to vote for it. if you are going to improve, we are all for it. >> on november 9, when you look at the path ahead, did you expect within 100 days of be trump administration, they would be done from moving on from health care unsuccessfully? ms. pelosi: quite frankly, i thought they might have accomplished something in the first couple of months. i remind you when president obama took the oath on generally 20th, he called for swift, bold action now on jobs and education and the rest. one week and one day later, the house passed the american reinvestment and recovery and reinvestment act. one week later, the senate passed it. four weeks later, he had signed legislation to create or save 4 million jobs.
he had already signed the lilly ledbetter act, the chip act, and other things. they have no announcement except taking away clean air production, save drinking water protection, and others. i would have expected they would have done more. i think the mistake really was they were so focused on embarrassing the affordable care act rather than trying to improve it. >> if i could make one comment to your question. the president of the united states looked all of america in the eye and did it through the lens of the tv camera. just a couple of weeks ago in what was his state of the union. he said, i'm going to give you the health insurance program that covers every american at lower cost and better quality. i hope he meant it.
we cannot abandon the effort to make sure every american has health care. at lower cost and better quality. that was our intent in the affordable care act. we think we have come a long way in accomplishing that objective. we can do more, and we ought to. >> it was expressed yesterday that the death of this bill may renew discussions of medicare for all, or single-payer, moves in that direction. do you feel like the party may be ready to move in that direction? ms. pelosi: when we did the affordable care act, i wanted the public auction, cash public option but we had provisions in , the bill that allowed americans to receive benefits. the public option would have saved more money, it would be cheaper because not so many administrative costs. right now, we cannot get that when he had a democratic president and the democratic
congress. what i have said to my friends, and many of them are my constituents, there are things we can do for the affordable care act that are important. one is to continue the insurance we had to begin with to see if republicans would be willing, instead of being an obstacle to the enforcement, stopping the funds that would help in high risk corridor doors. that money was there and that would help with the insurance companies in the high risk corridors. some of those things. one thing that the president talked about in the campaign that would help to lower cost, although raising of the lowest rate of increase in its 50 year history being measured is to work with us and make sure the secretary of hhs is able to negotiate for lower prices with the pharmaceutical industry. prescription drugs are the biggest reason for the increase in medical cost.
>> speaker pelosi, president trump has spoken about what happened today, acknowledging that he came up short, saying and chuck schumer own obamacare. ms. pelosi: we did. we proudly did. >> he says you own it now and if there is a way to repair, he wants to work with you. ms. pelosi: we will take credit for it. >> he says if there is a way to repair things that need some tweaking, he is ready. . ms. pelosi: good news. i have news for him, perhaps he was not aware of this we did , take great pride in the work that we have done. mr. hoyer statement earlier about my role, expected on behalf of all congressional democrats who had the courage to make the vote because we are very, very proud of it. again, honoring the vision of
our founders, life, liberty, and pursue of happiness. honoring our faith-based initiatives to god's creation as an active force it. >> i cannot resist. i cannot resist responding to the president. he thought we owned it yesterday and the day before. [laughter] and in november. i want to remind him, notwithstanding his alternative facts, more people voted for the candidate who is for the affordable care act than people who voted for the candidate against the affordable care act. that is called democracy. the best electoral college did not have that result. i get it. more people in america voting for president voted for the candidate who wanted to keep the affordable care act. mr. hoyer: i will just say to that, unified democrats did defeat this bill and we did it for the american people.
we did it because we heard them, we fall for them, and today, we won for them. our future members, we have gone to 37 cities now, and what we have heard across the country is that young people were going to suffer tremendously, with a surcharge in having a lapse in coverage. this economy is so unstable for young people today that having a 30% surcharge over their head would create so much financial distress for them that they could not have this bill. they were snapping us, face booking us, tweeting at us, and old-fashioned phone calls were coming into the office. we are going to keep fighting. [laughter]
ms. pelosi: if i may be allowed a personal view, i think they pulled the bill because they were going to have a lot of no votes and ones who would be booting yes would have good exposure. as mr. voyeur and others said, 56 to 17 was the poll on this. by the way, in the poll, 12% thought the bill would be good for them. this is not a very good bill. it was a tax bill disguised as a health care bill. the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of our country. $600 billion or more going from working-class families to the richest people in america. by the way, having 24 million people not having access to health insurance, and at the same time, undermining medicare and jeopardizing pre-existing
condition benefit that we had in our bill as they repealed the essential benefits. one of the most interesting speeches to me on the floor was when one of our colleagues, who i love and respect -- by the way, i grinned everyone -- grant everyone their position we have , a debate on it, but at least admit you have a bad bill -- any one of my colleagues got up and said, i was not for the bill, but they really made it better last night when they repealed the essential benefits in the bill. [laughter] i thought, ok. mr. lujan: make no mistake. today is about the american people. the reason this bill went down is because thousands of thousands, if not millions of people have been gathering around america demanding answers as to why republicans were doing what they were doing. putting an age tax on people
over 50 years of age. this was devastating. this would ration care and throw people off the health rules. that is what today is about. don't forget there were also 15 republicans that are in some of the most competitive districts in america, that voted yes on this bill. the rules committee, the ways and means committee, the energy and commerce committee, and the budget committee. their constituents deserve answers as to why they were voting yes on this bill which was horrible then, horrible today. we will continue to take this fight to the american people. i want to thank
the constituents across america who made today possible. this is your victory. we will continue to reach out to them and maintain the trust all the way through november 2018. >> thank you. [chatter]
>> the white house, president trump spoke to reporters briefly about the decision to pull the decision to replace the affordable care act. his remarks are about 10 minutes. pres. trump: it was a difficult thing to do. ps thing we could do politically speaking is what obamacare explode. it is exploding right now. many states have big problems -- almost all states have big problems. i was en