In an interview with the Washington Post, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi vowed Democrats will have a united front against any Republican plans to privatize Medicare.
“This is such a stark difference that people know we have to be unified,” Pelosi told the Washington Post.
In recent weeks, rumblings of privatizing Medicare have come back in force as Republicans wrestle with their priorities for the next two years and make a plan to carry out some of the items on their conservative wish list. One of those is privatizing Medicare.
In an interview with Fox News, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) – a long term advocate for plans to privatize Medicare– made it clear he would like to overhaul the program. Then, in an interview with reporters on Capitol Hill, Budget Chairman Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) said Republicans would change the program using budget reconciliation later this year.
But Pelosi told the Washington Post that she is optimistic Democrats can still fight against such changes. Pelosi compared the moment today to one Democrats faced in 2005 when Republicans tried to privatize Social Security as they had control of Congress and the White House.
“At that time, we committed to each other that we would be unified and disciplined,” Pelosi told the Washington Post. “Bush had just been elected. He gave us an opportunity by saying he would partially privatize Social Security. Everybody stuck together. The opportunity that we have now is the equivalent of the opportunity we had in ’05.”