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POLITICS: PennAve

Nancy Pelosi: Obamacare is a 'winner' for Democrats

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Obamacare,2014 Elections,Nancy Pelosi,Campaigns,PennAve,Sean Lengell

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday marked the fourth anniversary of the passage of President Obama's health care law by calling it a "winner" for Democratic candidates running in congressional swing districts.

"You have to ask them, the member, but I believe that it's a winner," the California Democrat told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday.

She downplayed a narrow loss by Democrat Alex Sink in last week's special election in Florida's 13th Congressional District. The winner, Republican David Jolly, hammered Sink over her support for Obamacare. But Pelosi said Democrats have been "proud" to extol the virtues of the law.

"We're very confident about the path that the Affordable Care Act is in," she said. "Everybody has to spread the word as to what this is. As the president said yesterday, change is hard. It always is."

Pelosi also downplayed comments by Sink and other Democrats that the health care law, while essentially sound, needs fixing.

"Just because people say, 'I don't want to repeal it, but I do want to fix it,' doesn't mean they're walking away from it," she said.

The minority leader added she also wasn't completely satisfied with the law's final version, saying she wished it included a single-payer provision in which the government paid for health care and a public option — a government-run health insurance agency that would compete with private insurers.

"Any bill that's passed is not perfect," said said. "But as the implementation takes place, as we see improvements that can be made to any compromise, which the bill was, we'll do that."

Pelosi also said she takes exception to opponents calling the law "Obamacare," saying they're intentionally ignoring its official name — the Affordable Care Act — because "they wanted to get away … from the word 'affordable.' "

"Whatever it is [called], it's infinitely more affordable than the path that we were on without" it, she said.

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