House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Sunday declined to apologize for promises made during the passage of Obamacare that Americans could keep the insurance plans they had under the health care law.
President Obama earlier this month apologized for that promise as millions of Americans are being dropped from plans which do not meet the law's new requirements -- but House Democratic leaders have not followed suit.
"[The president is] gracious and he's taking responsibility. but that doesn't mean that there was anything in the law that said if you like what you had before [enactment] you couldn't keep it," Pelosi said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Pelosi also pushed back on criticisms of Obamacare's rollout this fall.
"We have to completely step back and see the bigger picture ... affordable care for all Americans as a right, not a privilege," she said. "The rolling out of a website, that's terrible, but the fact is, that will be fixed."
The technical glitches marring the healthcare.gov website registering consumers in new insurance exchanges as well as the cancellations of millions of existing policies threatens to undercut public support for Obama's signature achievement.
Pelosi acknowledged that there was real frustration among the House Democratic caucus, including herself.
"I'm very frustrated with the website, as you know the president is," she said.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who appeared shortly after Pelosi, dismissed the Democrat's remarks as “spin.”
“This is a mess,” Ayotte said. “[My constituents are] writing me about cancellation notices of plans they wanted to keep, rising premiums … people losing hours because the definition of the work week is 30 hours.”
The next step, the New Hampshire Republican argued, was to take a “timeout” to discuss bipartisan alternatives for health care reform.
“Let's get to the table on a bipartisan basis and let's make sure we have a plan that has more choice, not less. Let’s have one where we're driving down costs and increasing competition,” Ayotte said.