Pelosi: The White House Will Fix Obamacare Today, Maybe

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 14 2013 9:29 AM

Pelosi: The White House Will Fix Obamacare Today, Maybe

185839971
Nancy Pelosi in a good mood. Must not have gotten caught in traffic.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Washington Ideas Forum, the annual Atlantic/Aspen Institute pot luck of wealthy-enough, powerful-enough people, kicked off Thursday morning with Nancy Pelosi describing the current crisis of Obamacare. James Bennet, the editor of the Atlantic, goaded Pelosi with a long description of everything going wrong, asking whether it proved that government couldn't do big things.

"You got caught in traffic?" joked Pelosi. "Is that what put you in this mood?"

Advertisement

It took a while, and some verbiage about how the healthcare.gov disaster ("more than a glitch"), but Pelosi eventually suggested that the administration could fix the dropped-plans issue. "I think what you'll see in the next 24, 36 hours, is something to the effect of how do we accommodate those people," she said. "I would rather it be an administrative fix," because such a change could be done without "accompanying agendas." And it was her "understanding" that this could come today.

Pelosi was staring down a legislative deadline—at some point on Friday, the House would probably vote on, and pass, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton's legislation to allow private insurance plans to be offered as they were before. A number of vulnerable Democrats don't want to vote against this. (Their Senate colleagues won't have to; Harry Reid can bottle up the bill.) 

Before she finished, Pelosi suggested that "by the time we get out of here, we might have a presidential announcement." The event was scheduled to wrap up by 12:30 or 1 p.m. Obama's chief of staff was, at that time, scheduled to meet with Senate Democrats.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The End of Pregnancy

And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.

Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City

How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry

The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats

Blame China for everything.

The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer

Foreigners

Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place

Now it’s descending into madness.

Technology

Don’t Just Sit There

How to be more productive during your commute.

There Has Never Been a Comic Book Character Like John Constantine

Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?

  News & Politics
The Slate Quiz
Oct. 24 2014 12:10 AM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 23 2014 5:53 PM Amazon Investors Suddenly Bearish on Losing Money
  Life
Outward
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM Why Is an Obscure 1968 Documentary in the Opening Credits of Transparent?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 6:55 PM A Goodfellas Actor Sued The Simpsons for Stealing His Likeness. Does He Have a Case?
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:47 PM Don’t Just Sit There How to be more productive during your commute.
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 23 2014 5:42 PM Seriously, Evolution: WTF? Why I love the most awkward, absurd, hacked-together species.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.