Healthcare reform has "changed America forever," Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) confidently proclaimed Monday night.
"People compare it to Medicare. Bigger than Medicare," Reid told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren. "Medicare just affected old people. Bigger than Social Security, beacuse at the time Social Security passed it dealt only with old people. This affects everybody."
Reid acknowledged that there were flaws in the bill, but suggested lawmakers could fix those later.
"If we have to go back and patch things up and fix a few things we can do that. This is not a perfect piece of legislation," Reid said.
The Nevada Democrat also expressed surprise that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) didn't brag more about the so-called "Cornhusker kickback" that secured extra Medicaid funding for Nebraska. (That provision has since been extended to all the states.)
"If I'd gotten that for Nevada, I'd have yelled it from the rooftops," Reid said. "He didn't, and that's a decision he made."
Reid said he was confident in his own position for re-election. Polls have showed him trailing to any of three Republican challengers. Reid said the polls were misleading, and took a shot at the Las Vegas Sun, whom he has quibbled with repeatedly this year.
"[The polls are] not as bleak as a newspaper here tries to make them," he said. "Even the latest polls put out by the newspaper that runs an editorial every other day against me, shows that with multiple candidates in the race I win the election."
Polls do in fact show Reid possibly winning re-eleciton if a Tea Party candidate enters the race and takes a substantial portion of the conservative vote from a Republican candidate.
Finally, Reid placed the blame for the lost Massachusetts Senate seat squarely at the feet of Democrat Martha Coakley, who lost her bid against now-Sen. Scott Brown (D-Mass.).
"We don't need to get in to what happened in the campaign," Reid said. "It wasn't all healthcare. We had a few other problems, without denigrating the campaign or anything of that nature."
Van Sustren pointed out that Coakley was leading Brown in mid-December, just a few weeks before the election.
"Until she came back from her three week vacation?" Reid quipped.