NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi visited Daughters of Charity to mark the seventh anniversary of the Affordable Care Act just a week after Republicans failed to repeal and replace President Obama's landmark legislation.
Pelosi told a crowd at the health care center that while Democrats are pleased to see Obamacare still in place, they know the battle is just beginning.
"That fight is not over, that fight is not over. So for me today to be able to come here and see the impact both in terms of delivery of service but also in the personal experience of people who work here is very important to prove that what we did was the right thing to do," Pelosi said.
Pelosi admits there's still more work needed to make Obamacare better, but Louisiana Senator John Kennedy thinks the legislation is a lost cause and Republican lawmakers have no choice but to replace it.
"The reason I say we're not gonna have a choice is because Obamacare is going to implode. It already is with the insurance companies leaving the market, and health insurance premiums rising on our people, the cost of the thing to the taxpayers, we just can't sustain it," Kennedy said.
Pelosi suggests that's just a line pushed by lawmakers on the right as subterfuge to sink the Affordable Care Act.
"Stop the sabotage because as you describe they will try to defund the affordable care act. That's one way to sabotage it. They will try to not enforce the law in terms of the mandate and if you do those two things, if they did those two things, they would raise premiums about 30 to 35%," Pelosi said.
Kennedy disagrees and said Obamacare focuses on the few at the expense of the many.
He said he wasn't ready to vote on the previous legislation crafted by Republican leaders, but said he was eager to amend the bill in the Senate, now he wishes his colleagues would keep the target on health care, rather than pivot to another issue.
"Well I'd rather not, I'd rather start a new bill in the Senate, but I'm in the minority on that. There are some efforts in the house I talked to Steve Scalise yesterday about it to try to resurrect the original bill and make it better," Kennedy said.
Kennedy said he hopes his colleagues on Capitol Hill revisit health care before the end of the year.