Republicans are vowing to repeal the landmark Supreme Court decision upholding Affordable Care Act, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) insists that such efforts have roughly a snowball's chance in hell.
The California lawmaker expressed her doubts on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday. Host David Gregory asked her point blank if she though the repeal efforts were unrealistic. "Yes," she replied, adding that those Republicans opposed to President Obama's plan are simply "being a mouthpiece of the health insurance industry."
"And we're saying let's not have them be in charge anymore," she told Gregory.
"Let the people be in charge of how they receive coverage and health care. ... Everybody will have lower rates, better quality care and better access. So if that's what they want to repeal, we're happy to have that debate," Pelosi added.
Her comments come as the Supreme Court voted 5-4 this week to uphold most of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by George W. Bush, sided with the court's liberal wing to ensure the survival of the individual mandate, a central provision of the law that requires nearly all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a fine.
Roberts declared that the individual mandate is constitutional because the penalty for failing to purchase insurance is effectively a tax—something Congress is clearly allowed to impose on its citizens.
In the past, some Democrats, including President Obama, have insisted that the individual mandate is not a tax, trying to sidestep the politically toxic word. Pelosi tried to do that again on Sunday.
"It's a penalty that comes under the tax code for the 1 percent, perhaps, of the population who may decide that they're gonna be free riders but most people are not affected by that."
"It is a new tax," Gregory said.
"No, no no, no," said Pelosi.