House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that her party “honor[ed] the vows of our Founders” in passing Obamacare during a statement to mark the imminent third anniversary of the law’s passage.
“I see this as honoring the vows of our Founders, who sacrificed everything for life, liberty, pursuit of happiness,” Pelosi told reporters today. “Here we have a healthier life [and] the liberty to pursue your happiness — whether it’s to be a cameraman, a writer, self-employed, start your own business, change jobs, not be job-locked because of health care; whether you have a preexisting condition in your family or just [lack] the ability to afford access to health care.”
Pelosi touted the “ironclad” constitutionality of Obamacare when the law was being reviewed by the Supreme Court — she predicted correctly that it would be upheld — but was less interested in that topic during the drafting of the legislation.
“Are you serious? Are you serious?” Pelosi replied in 2009 when she was asked to identify the constitutional basis for the individual mandate, which requires people to purchase health insurance or pay a tax penalty. The Obama administration argued that the law was constitutional under the Commerce Clause. The Supreme Court rejected that argument, but upheld the individual mandate as an exercise of the congressional power to tax.