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Pelosi pivots to center on healthcare -- is this what the Founders had in mind?

October 29, 2009 |  8:34 am


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveils health care legislation

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi caved this morning, conceding to centrist realities, abandoning the "robust" public option for healthcare that she had trumpeted all year.

Eager to get those Blue Dog Democrats on board, to get her 218 votes in the House, Pelosi unveiled the House version of healthcare. Standing on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol in front of many members of the Democratic caucus, Pelosi hailed this plan as a major step forward, one with a public option, albeit not based on a Medicare formula but featuring rates negotiated with insurance companies.

"For nearly a century, leaders of every party and political philosophy have fought for health insurance reform," she said. "Today, we are on the cusp of delivering on the promise of making affordable, quality health insurance available to every American – and laying the foundation for a brighter future for generations to come."

Interrupted by Tea Party protesters, Pelosi shot back, "Thank you, insurance companies of America."

The shape of the compromise is likely to enrage some on the left. 

But as Joe Scarborough asked on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" today, isn't this sort of compromise exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they designed Congress?

Let us know what you think.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: In July, Nancy Pelosi, joined by colleagues and patients, offered a different vision for healthcare legislation. Credit: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images

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