House Democratic leaders are holding firm in their support for President Obama's health care law, saying the Affordable Care Act is "working" and that no apology is necessary regarding its problem-plagued rollout.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said her members "positively received" the president's vow Thursday to make changes to his health care law to give insurance companies the option to keep offering consumers plans that would otherwise be canceled.
"I can almost unanimously say that our members were very pleased with the president's statement today," Pelosi said after a closed-door meeting with her caucus.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., called the president's move "a good step forward." But he added the law already "is working for millions and millions of people right now, and will work for millions and millions of more people."
House Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn, D-S.C., said Democrats don't owe the public an apology for promising that people could keep their health insurance if they wanted to — despite insurers in recent weeks dropping millions of Americans from coverage.
"I have not apologized, because I think that all of us, when we were advocating for this legislation, we said time and time again that we wanted to get rid of discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions," he said.
"And all of us knew full well that all of our constituents, when made aware of what's in the policies, would determine at that time whether they liked what they wanted. But when they become aware of what they did not have, I don't think there's anything for us to apologize for."
Pelosi questions whether most Americans ever liked their health insurance.
"Did I ever tell my constituents that if they liked their plan, they could keep it? I would have if I had ever met anybody who liked his or her plan," she said. "I didn't run into many people who said, 'I love my health insurance policy.' "
Pelosi suggested health insurance companies are using Obamacare as an excuse to drop people from their polices.
"There is nothing in the Affordable Care Act that said that your insurance company should cancel you," she said "That's not what the Affordable Care Act is about."