Pelosi: If mandate ruled unconstitutional, rest of health law won’t work

Nicholas Ballasy Senior Video Reporter
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If the Supreme Court rules the individual mandate unconstitutional, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the rest of the health care law wouldn’t work from a “financial standpoint.”

“Well, just to borrow a Supreme Court metaphor, you have to eat your vegetables,” Pelosi said at her weekly press briefing Thursday. You have to have the mandate in order for this to work from a financial standpoint but it doesn’t mean that — in other words, we want to keep those in place. The biggest difference in the lives of the American people — well, let me say one of, because — in terms of this legislation is that you cannot be deprived of coverage if you have a pre-existing medical condition. This is huge.”

In addition to preventing insurance companies from denying those with pre-existing conditions, the Patients Bill of Rights portion of the law also allows individuals under 26 years of age to stay on their parents’ health plan.

“The insurance companies even say that they really can’t do that unless the premiums skyrocket,” Pelosi continued. “So if the American people like the idea that they can — they and their children for a lifetime — cannot be deprived of health care and health insurance because of a pre-existing medical condition, than that will require some other action in order for that to happen.”

“And what could that be? There could be something passed in the Congress similar to what we had originally in the House bill, which was a surcharge on the wealthy to pay for aspects of that — that was our pay-for. The Senate had another idea so it went a different path.”

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Nicholas Ballasy