Pelosi makes pitch for health care to constituents

August 9, 2013 7:50:31 PM PDT
It's been three years since President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Health Care Act and on Oct. 1, 2013 California's insurance exchange will open for those wanting to sign up. ABC7 News caught up with House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, at a health care town hall where she was trying to give the plan a push.

Pelosi knows well enough the battle over the affordable health care act isn't over.

"The law is about quality of service not quantity of procedures," said Pelosi.

Pelosi says the ACA will lower health care costs and the executive director of California's portion of the law, told the audience as everyone buys in, premium costs will come down.

"'Get insured' and that motto of getting covered is what we're all going to be about," said Peter Lee, the Covered California executive director.

St. Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, says the very definition of a successful insurance pool is when everyone jumps in. He said the "young and healthy as well as those that are older and in need of greater medical care, that then evens out and contains some of the costs."

But that means getting young, healthy and perhaps cash-strapped Californians to buy health insurance that they might not see as a high priority. Leno's pitch is that everybody needs it.

"You never know if you're 27 or if you're 54 when that bus slams right into you or when you trip on the curb and suddenly your face is cracked open," said Leno.

And in fact for the young life experiences may prove to be a good motivator.

We asked research scientist Yaisa Andrews Zwillling, Ph.D., at what point did she become aware that she needed health insurance and she told us, "Maybe when I got pregnant."

For the same question pedicab driver Peter Lugo told us, "I almost killed myself on a motorcycle and I got up and walked home and laid in bed for three days."

Yoga teacher Ryan Nolan told us, " I had a friend who was a bartender who got this little cut that turned into a crazy infection and he went into debt, like you know, huge debt. He went to the hospital he had staph infection he almost died."

Even 17-year-old Jonathan Perez flipping his skateboard on Justin Herman plaza told me you just have to have it. He said, "It's part of being a grownup."

It may not be as hard to sell the young on health insurance as some people think.

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