On This Week with Elizabeth Vargas, Nancy Pelosi says something you don't hear very often these days: that members of Congress should recognize a higher purpose than simply getting themselves reelected:
VARGAS: What do you say to your members, when it does come to the House to vote on this, who are in real fear of losing their seats in November if they support you now?
PELOSI: Well first of all our members -- every one of them -- wants health care. I think everybody wants affordable health care for all Americans. They know that this will take courage. It took courage to pass Social Security. It took courage to pass Medicare. And many of the same forces that were at work decades ago are at work again against this bill.
But the American people need it, why are we here? We're not here just to self perpetuate our service in Congress. We're here to do the job for the American people. To get them results that gives them not only health security, but economic security, because the health issue is an economic issue for -- for America's families.
VARGAS: Do you wish though that the president had posted his bill before this week? That six months ago it might have been more helpful for you. That maybe six months ago you knew that the public option was something he was going to drop before you fought so hard for it?
PELOSI: Well we -- we still fight for the -- what the public option will do. Whether it's in the bill or not, its purpose must be recognized. And that is to keep the insurance companies honest. To keep them accountable, and to increase competition. And I think in the summit on Thursday it became very clear that what the president was proposing was regulation of the insurance companies.
Left to their own devices they have done harm to the American people. They need to be regulated. And that is one of the biggest differences between the Democrats and the Republicans. Another one for example is -- an example of it is ending the denial of -- of coverage to those who have a preexisting condition. The Democrats have that in their bill. The Republicans do not.