POLITICS

Nancy Pelosi: I'm Not Disappointed In Obamacare For A 'Nanosecond'

10/23/2013 01:09 pm ET | Updated Oct 23, 2013
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WASHINGTON -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave a robust defense of the health care law Wednesday -- and offered a pointed contrast between herself and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) -- saying that not for a "nanosecond" has she been disappointed in the law.

Pelosi, who staked her own speakership on passing the Affordable Care Act, conceded some dissatisfaction with the unfortunate rollout of its website. But she insisted to reporters on Capitol Hill that she is still immensely proud of the law that she got through Congress in 2010 before the tea party movement swept her from power.

She said that not only is the law meant to help secure health insurance for millions more Americans, but to make the United States a healthier nation.

"That was our mission. We accomplished it, and we are proud of it," Pelosi said. "Is the implementation of it perfect in every way? Not yet. But the goal of it still is the same. We're still very, very proud of that, and not for one half a second, not a nanosecond, would I say that I'm disappointed about that."

The rollout of the law has been anything but smooth. President Barack Obama was forced to launch a "tech surge" to fix HealthCare.gov, the website that's at the heart of connecting people to insurance plans and has been plagued with technical issues.

Pelosi admitted to the technological snafus, but cast them as minor. "There certainly is accountability internally in terms of what decisions were made when on all of this. But I think that our focus and energy should be used to fix it because the American people are depending on it and it's going to be a beautiful thing," Pelosi said.

While Pelosi quibbled with the idea that passing the health care law is what cost her the speakership -- she noted that helping President George W. Bush pass the Wall Street bailout was more to blame -- she said that she and other lawmakers were sent to Washington to take on tough issues in order to improve the country. Democrats have often accused Boehner of ducking such votes and only bringing up bills that are supported by the majority of his members so that he can maintain his leadership post.

"Members came here to do a job, not to keep a job, whether it's member of Congress or speaker of the House," Pelosi said. "What's so important about that, compared to tens of millions of people having access to affordable care in our country?"

She also did not seem inclined to support delaying the mandate that individuals buy insurance, saying: "Fix it. Fix the technology, and let's not get too bogged down in what happens if they are not able to fix it, because, as I say, I believe in technology."

Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.

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