It's time to give Pelosi her credit
In the jittery days following Scott Brown’s Senate victory, Nancy Pelosi was eager to resurrect comprehensive health reform. But first, she had to get past longtime ally Rahm Emanuel, who was counseling President Barack Obama to consider a smaller, piecemeal approach.
During a mid-February conference call with top House Democrats, Pelosi made it clear she would accept nothing short of a big-bang health care push — dismissing the White House chief of staff as an “incrementalist.”
Pelosi even coined a term to describe Emanuel’s scaled-down approach: “Kiddie Care,” according to a person privy to the call.
Pelosi’s remark was more than just a diss. It sent a clear signal to House leadership that Pelosi wouldn’t compromise — and it coincided with Obama’s own decision to renew his push for an all-encompassing bill after weeks of confusion and discussion.
In the end, Pelosi, Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) braved a political backlash to pursue comprehensive reform, green-lighting a two-step reconciliation process that requires the House to approve a Senate health bill reviled by many House Democrats.