Pelosi: ‘You’re Mandated to Have Health Insurance, Yes, You Will Have An Increase’

Elizabeth Harrington | June 6, 2013 | 4:10pm EDT
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)  (AP Photo)

( – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Thursday that health insurance premiums will go up under Obamacare because people who did not buy insurance before, and thus had no premium at all, will now be forced to buy insurance.

She also urged people to be “optimistic” about Obamacare.

“You just see,” Pelosi said. “I mean be optimistic about it.  It is a very, very exciting enterprise.”

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Pelosi told reporters during a Capitol Hill press conference on Thursday that she never promised that every single American would see their premiums go down, and assured people that they can always apply for a government subsidy.

“Well, some of the people don’t have health insurance, and they certainly will have their premiums go up,” Pelosi said, when asked about premiums going up under Obamacare.

“But for anyone that that is a challenge, there are subsidies in the exchanges,” she said.

“It’s also about what you get for the money,” Pelosi added.  “In other words, people will be getting no lifetime or annual limits on their coverage, no discrimination because of a preexisting medical condition.  It has a whole array of quality that is in the legislation.”

“But if you don’t have health insurance, and you don’t qualify for a subsidy, and you’re mandated to have health insurance, yes, you will have an increase,” she said.

“I don’t remember saying that everybody in the country would have a lower premium, because everybody in the country doesn’t have health insurance,” Pelosi continued.  “So how could it be lower?  But the fact is, the value of what you get for the cost that you pay is a reduction in cost to you.”

“But for everybody it is going to be, again, a liberation, a freedom,” she said, adding that under Obamacare young people could pursue careers as writers or photographers.

“Some of the examples that we heard would be somebody who thought she was invincible getting diagnosed with breast cancer and now telling us she’s going to spend the next 20 years, monthly payments on her credit card, to pay off her medical bills at the time,” Pelosi said.  “Would a person like that, hopefully not diagnosed yet, paying something in and end up being better off?  I think so.”

“But you just see,” she said.  “I mean, be optimistic about it.  It is a very, very exciting enterprise.”

A report released last month by the House Energy and Commerce Committee warned that health insurance premiums will grow an average of 100 percent under Obamacare, and that some will soar more than 400 percent.  The findings were based on internal documents provided by 17 health insurance companies, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Kaiser Foundation.

In Pelosi’s California, individual-market premiums could rise by as much as 146 percent, according to a report.

President Barack Obama promised in 2008 that his health care plan would “bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family.”

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