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Former Washington Journalist
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not really very supportive of two of the biggest progressive reforms being developed in Congress, but what Pelosi is supporting are the lawmakers who want to see those proposed reforms become law, according one of a group of high-profile first-term female members of the House.
Pelosi apparently is not an enthusiastic backer of either Medicare-for-all, which is a single-payer proposal to reach a more universal level of national health coverage, while the “Green New Deal” being proposed by many Democrats as a comprehensive approach to address the challenge of global climate change, according to Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich), one of a handful of young female first-term members associated with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
“You know what she says to me? ‘You have to represent your district.’ She says that to every new member: ‘Represent your district.’ She has never asked me to back down on any issue,” Tlaib said of Pelosi.
“I mean, what’s incredible is like, even if she’s not jumping up and down about Medicare for All, we’re still proceeding with Medicare for All. Is she endorsing Green New Deal? No, but that hasn’t stopped us.”
Pelosi, who was also speaker nearly a decade ago when the House approved its first landmark bill on climate change, seems at least pleased with the spirit of the Green New Deal.
“I do want to salute the Green [New] Deal in this respect — not the particulars because we have to take it one at a time, but in the respect of, again, raising the profile, the issue, which is a challenge generationally to preserve this planet,” Pelosi said.
As for Medicare-for-all–the idea of essentially opening Medicare coverage to all Americans–Pelosi has articulated more specific concerns, particularly in relation to the healthcare reform she helped enact with President Barack Obama, known as the Affordable Care Act.
“When they say Medicare for All, people have to understand this: Medicare for All is not as good a benefit as the Affordable Care Act,” she told Rolling Stone. “It doesn’t have catastrophic [coverage] — you have to go buy it. It doesn’t have dental. It’s not as good as the plans that you can buy under the Affordable Care Act. So I say to them, come in with your ideas, but understand that we’re either gonna have to improve Medicare — for all, including seniors — or else people are not gonna get what they think they’re gonna get. And by the way, how’s it gonna be paid for?”