San Francisco—Nancy Pelosi, back on her home turf, held a roundtable discussion Tuesday at San Francisco General Hospital, pushing a health care reform package she said will improve the health of all Americans.
"It's about making individuals healthier, giving them more stability in their lives," Pelosi told a selected group of doctors, patients, small business owners, seniors and other stake-holders. "It's about making our businesses more competitive by not having to worry about the health of their employees, and it's about reducing the debt."
She heard from a young woman who was left with heavy debt after fighting off breast cancer with inadequate insurance. "I'm paying it off, but I have no idea where this will end," said Catherine Howard, of San Francisco. Pelosi told her the proposal on the table would place a cap on patient expenditures, without limiting access, preventing situations like hers.
"There would be no limits on what you receive, so that a diagnosis isn't a prescription for poverty," Pelosi said. Pelosi sought to reassure a public worried that the Democratic plan would make their insurance more expensive while cutting back on their benefits, highlighting what's in this proposal for them: affordable insurance for the unemployed; no denial of insurance because of pre-existing conditions; no dropping health coverage once the patient gets sick.
"We can't afford not to do this," she told her audience.