Pelosi: GOP health politics 'be damned'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slammed Republicans as the chamber prepared to vote a second time to repeal the healthcare law.

At a press conference, she denounced the GOP as "handmaidens" of the insurance industry who are "wasting" the House's time instead of focusing on jobs.


"As I've said before, the politics be damned," she said. "We know that job creation is the most important thing right now. … Let's stop this legislation-to-nowhere. Let's get working on initiatives for job creation." 

The event convened at the Capitol to hear remarks from people affected by the healthcare law.

Among them was a small-business owner who praised the law's tax credits and a 22-year-old woman who suffers from a rare autoimmune disease and can now stay on her parents' health insurance plan.

Another speaker, a woman whose son suffers from cystic fibrosis, said the law means her son can make regular life and career choices when he is older.

"It makes me furious when I hear opposition to the Affordable Care Act based on the principle of states' rights," the woman said. "For me, that principle is entirely outweighed by the principle that every child deserves a bright future, no matter what disease they happen to be born with."

Wednesday's vote comes after more that 30 GOP attempts to repeal, defund or dismantle the healthcare law over the last two years.

In the weeks since the Supreme Court's decision, Republicans have doubled down on the argument that the law is a "job-killer" and represents a tax on middle-income Americans.

On Tuesday, the House GOP conference chairman laid out his party's economic arguments for repeal.

"There's a number of different reasons why we should repeal the president's healthcare law. But one, and most importantly, is what it's doing to jobs," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Texas).

"Once again, House Republicans will move to try to help create more jobs, more economic growth, more opportunity by repealing ObamaCare this week." he said.

The GOP also predict that repeal will win more Democratic support than it did the first time, when three Blue Dogs voted in favor of it.

Those three Democrats, plus Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), who has said he will back repeal, voted with Republicans on a procedural measure Tuesday over terms for the debate.

Asked about the defections, Pelosi predicted four or five of her members would peel off in the final vote.

"There won't be many" who join Republicans, she said.