Pelosi wants you to know that Obamacare is a winning issue — but don’t call it “Obamacare”

During her weekly press conference on Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) again told reporters that Obamacare will be a winning issue Democrats in the 2014 mid-term election. But don’t you dare call it Obamacare!

The ex-House Speaker was responding to a question about whether “Obamacare is a winner or loser” for House Democrats in swing districts. “You have to ask the member,” Pelosi replied, “but I believe that it’s a winner.”

Pelosi then began an odd rant in which she chastised the report for calling the unpopular law “Obamacare.”

“By the way, it’s called the Affordable Care Act. It’s called the Affordable Care Act. I know you didn’t intend any compliment or derogatory — it’s called the Affordable Care Act,” said Pelosi. “And the Affordable Care Act, when people know what it is and see what it means to them.”

The reporter who asked the question noted that the only reason he used the term “Obamacare” is because President Obama himself has embraced it. “And I tell him the same thing I told you,” she replied with an awkward laugh. “Affordable. Affordable. There’s a reason. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable.”

“There’s a reason they changed the name of it. It’s because they want to get away, their opponents, from the word ‘affordable,’ and that’s why I’m patient with some of these comments. Whatever it is, it’s infinitely more affordable than the path that we were on,” she added.

The comments came after insurers warned that they will raise premiums for health insurance plans sold on the Obamacare exchanges, by double or triple in some areas of the country. Pelosi, however, claimed that premiums would fall, telling reporters that the “facts will speak for themselves.”

Pelosi tried to play down the fact that vulnerable House Democrats are having trouble dealing with the politics of Obamacare. She also tried to play down the impact the law played in the recent Florida special congressional election.

“But on that score, with all the money spent, with all the criticism of the Affordable Care Act, in a 13-point advantage, Republican district, we got it down to below 2 points,” said Pelosi. “I think we’re ready for the next pot, as I said last week.”

Um, that’s wildly false. The Cook Political Report has the Partisan Voter Index of Florida’s 13th Congressional District at R+1, meaning that the Republican advantage is marginal. It’s effectively a swing district. What’s more, President Obama won FL-13 in 2012.

Take this for what it is — a very strange admission from Pelosi that she will still be the House Minority Leader when the next Congress convenes in January.


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