Pelosi hits McConnell over health care in floor speech

Pelosi hits McConnell over health care in floor speech
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Threat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Trump denies 'tantrum' in meeting with Pelosi: 'It is all such a lie!' MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday took aim at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Threat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Chances for disaster aid deal slip amid immigration fight MORE (R-Ky.) over health care, criticizing his opposition to House-passed bills and saying voters will reward Democrats during next year's election.

Pelosi blasted the Kentucky Republican for his vow to block Democrats’ agenda from becoming law. McConnell recently described himself as the "Grim Reaper" for progressive policies.

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"Sen. McConnell says that he is the Grim Reaper — he wears that as a badge of honor, that he is the Grim Reaper. He's going to kill any House legislation for the people, saying he will bury our bills in the Senate graveyard, effectively,” Pelosi said on the House floor. “That's really not a very hopeful political agenda — the Grim Reaper.”

Pelosi made the remarks in support of the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act, a measure that would block the Trump administration's guidance to loosen restrictions on states’ abilities to waive certain requirements in the Affordable Care Act.

Proponents of the legislation have voiced concern that the administration’s guidance could allow states to charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions and undermine patient protections in other ways. Critics counter that the legislation would prevent states from being able to innovate and drive down premiums.

Pelosi argued that Democrats have been delivering on their promise to address health care, and said related bills are scheduled to come to the floor in coming weeks.

She added that the House-passed bills will resonate with voters at the polls next year.

“I have news for him: Legislation to protect the preexisting condition benefit and many of the other pieces of this agenda are alive and well among the American people, and they will make their voices heard," she said. "The American people want action and the special-interest GOP Senate needs to stop standing in their way, Leader McConnell.”