Pelosi gets warm reception in San Francisco

March 28, 2010 7:15:57 PM PDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came home to San Francisco Sunday for the first time since the health care reform package was signed into law last week, an overhaul that is still dividing the country.

You would not know there was any divide based on the warm reception the house speaker received Sunday in San Francisco, but according to a new Washington Post poll, very few Americans, just 15 percent, say they are enthusiastic about the health care reform law.

It was her first time home since Congress passed health care reform and during Palm Sunday services at San Francisco's Glide Memorial Church, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received a standing ovation.

Make that three standing ovations.

In her hometown, she was literally preaching to the choir, with the local Democratic leaders seated in the front rows.

"Other countries have it. It's not an issue there. Why should it be an issue here?" she said to the crowd.

For millions of Americans, health care reform remains a contentious issue. A new Washington Post poll shows the divide. 46 percent support the changes in the new law. 50 percent oppose them. And, though an increasing number of Democrats, 56 percent, say they now strongly support the plan, it makes 54 percent of Republicans downright angry.

On the morning talk shows, Republicans said they hope to repeal the legislation.

"I do not believe the United States government has a right, it has the authority or power, to force us to purchase health insurance any more than in the name of homeland security they can force every American to have to buy a gun," Republican Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi said on ABC's This Week.

As speaker, it is Pelosi's responsibility to help maintain a Democratic majority in Congress and despite the public opposition to health care she says she plans to do just that.

"Protecting my incumbents, whether it was in '06, '08, or now '10, is again my priority," Pelosi said. "So, I will yes, be supporting all of them."

That means going to bat for those Democrats in swing districts where the mid-term elections promise to be a tough battle in November.

"We think good policy means good politics," Pelosi said. "We'll see how that plays out in the elections."

For now, she is relishing the victory.

Speaker Pelosi will continue her campaign at home Monday. She will be back in San Francisco promoting health care reform at a senior center. The president is expected to sign the bill on Tuesday.


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