In an interview with The Washington Post, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi questioned whether Medicare for All would be better than the Affordable Care Act and suggested that Democrats should focus on building on the Obama health care reform.
“I’m agnostic. Show me how you think you can get there,” Pelosi told the Post. “We all share the value of health care for all Americans — quality, affordable health care for all Americans. What is the path to that? I think it’s the Affordable Care Act, and if that leads to Medicare-for-all, that may be the path.”
Pelosi, who was instrumental in passing the Affordable Care Act in 2010, also said she thinks that when most people say they want Medicare for All, they really mean health care for all and that many Americans like their employer-based coverage and the better benefits that the ACA delivered.
“So we’ll have hearings, again, let’s see what it is. Right now it’s a $30 trillion price tag. What do people get for that in terms of care, and what do they pay for that along the way?” Pelosi said of the Medicare for All proposals.
“Medicare is not as good a health benefit as the Affordable Care Act,” she added. “So, if you are to do Medicare for All you have to improve the package — and when you improve the package, you have to have more money.”
The Post also quoted Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), a liberal House leader and ally of Medicare-for-All champion Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), saying that Pelosi is “just being pragmatic” and is “absolutely right” when she says Medicare needs to be improved to include things like dental and vision insurance and long-term care.
“I believe we will meet the high bar that Nancy Pelosi has set,” he said. “We can make the case.”