House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says that she wants to pass a law instituting government-run health care, the so-called "public option," that "goes beyond the doctor's office," reaching into "all the other aspects" of Americans' well-being.
At an event celebrating the 11th anniversary of the passage of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Pelosi said that the government’s role in health care goes beyond that of “the doctor’s office,” reaching into issues like housing and “other aspects of the well-being” of Americans:
“It's not about just health care in America. It's about the good health of the American people. And that goes beyond, shall we say, the doctor's office.
“It's about housing, and it's about clean air and clean water, and all the other aspects of the well-being of the American people. So, we see the strength of our country, not only in our military might, but in the health and well-being of the American people.”
Pelosi made the claim when asked if her next bill will include a provision to expand Medicaid eligibility. Pelosi said that, while she “obviously” wants to expand Medicaid eligibility, “Everything is on the table” – including the public option:
“Yeah, obviously, it is something that we want to do.
“I want a public option. I don't know that we get that in this bill. But this is an ongoing conversation of improvements, of advances that we can make in the – as we celebrate the Affordable Care Act. I wanted public action eleven years – a public option eleven years ago. I didn't succeed then. We had it in the House. We couldn’t get it in the Senate. We'll see where we go from here.
“But all – everything is on the table. Let me just put it that way. Everything is on the table. We have to be agnostic about the choices we make. What is it that does the most for the American people, at the least cost to them, making it accessible and affordable?”