Pelosi Counters GOP Pledge, Says Democrats ‘Stand By’ Obamacare

By Dan Joseph | September 24, 2010 | 2:04 PM EDT

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R.-Calif.) marches across Capitol Hill before vote on health care bill, March 21, 2010. Walking with Pelosi are from left, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Rep. John Larson, D-Conn. (AP Photo)

( - Addressing a question about the pledge issued Thursday by House Republicans that they would repeal Obamacare if they win control of Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said Friday that Democrats “stand by” the health-care law they enacted in March and are “great advocates for” it.

The contrast between Pelosi’s declaration that her party stands by Obamacare and the House Republicans' pledge to repeal it may serve to frame the November election as, at least in part, a referendum on what has been President Barack Obama’s most significant programmatic achievement since he took office last year.

“House Republicans are pledging to repeal Obamacare if they win control of Congress,” asked Pelosi at her Friday press briefing. “Will you ask Democratic House members and candidates to pledge to keep Obamacare?

“Well that is our commitment,” said Pelosi.

“I’m not big on these pledges. I think they’re a lot of showboat myself. I don’t like to take them. I don’t like to exact them," she said. "But what the Democrats in the Congress have said is that we have passed legislation to make health care in our country, affordable health care in our country, a right not a privilege. That we are ending discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions. That we are ending lifetime limits from coverage that people have. That we are saying to young people: Reach your aspirations. Take your time to do it. You can stay on your parent’s policy until you are 26 years old. The list goes on and on. It also includes saving the taxpayer $1.3 trillion according to the Congressional Budget Office.

“So, if that’s what they want to take a pledge to do, that’s up to them,” said Pelosi. “Our members have stated where they are on it. They have voted for it. They stand by it, and they are great advocates for it.”

In a campaign document released yesterday--titled “A Pledge to America”--House Republican leaders said: “We will repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care and replace it with common-sense reforms focused on strengthening the doctor-patient relationship.”