Pelosi Promises to Replace ObamaCare's Mandate if Struck Down, Insists "You have to eat your vegetables."


Answering questions from reporters today, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi previewed her party's likely legislative response should the Supreme Court strike down ObamaCare's health coverage requirement, suggesting that Democrats will look for a functional alternative to the mandate — a way to mandate insurance coverage without running afoul of the Constitution: 

You have to eat your vegetables — you have to have the mandate in order for this to work from a financial standpoint…If Americans like the idea that they and their children cannot be deprived for a lifetime of health care insurance because of a pre-existing health care condition, then that will require some other action if that is to happen. And what would that be? There could be something passed in the Congress, similar to what we had originally in the House bill, which was a surcharge on the wealthy to pay for aspects of that … States can take their own actions.

[Via ThinkProgress.]

"You have to eat your vegetables," eh? A poor choice of words given the critical emphasis on the question of whether an insurance mandate would allow Congress to mandate the purchase of other private goods, such as broccoli? Maybe so, but in context the reference seems intentional. After insisting that the mandate was "iron clad constitutionally," Pelosi brought up the broccoli question explicitly: "Let's hope and pray that the Court will love the Constitution more than it loves broccoli and that we will have a decision that is based on the merits and the Constitution of the United States." 

The political prospects for a mandate alternative of any sort won't be strong in the immediate wake of a high court ruling striking down the current requirement. But Pelosi's remarks make it clear that regardless of how the Supreme Court rules, some Democrats will still want to explore alternative means of asserting congressional power to mandate coverage. 

Last year I took a look at a number of possible mechanisms that might replace the mandate. 

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  1. You have to eat your vegetables

    Munch my zucchini, Nancy.

    1. pelosi-hate is soo 08

      it needs a new boogieman

      1. Obama’s still running against Bush this year, I see.

        Sooooooooo ’04.

        Failed troll is failed.

        1. the majority of americans who blame bush more than obama for the economy aint a failure

          1. Your tears, come 11/06/12, will be among the very sweetest of all.

            1. Only if Gary Johnson wins.

              I really don’t believe that Mittens would be one goddam bit better.

              1. Missing the point. Whether Mittens or Johnson wins, Orrin’s broken, dispirited over his deposed boy-king messiah will be just as sweet, regardless.

                1. “broken, dispirited weeping,” that should have read.

                  1. “broken, dispirited weeping,” that should have read.

                    I was going to go with “seeping.”

                    1. That works, too. 😉

                2. changing the subject doesnt change the fact that recent polling shows the majority of americans blame bush more than obama

                  1. What sort of petit four goes best with heart-wrenched Obamaboi tears of anguish and dismay, I’m wondering?

                    Baklava might be nice.

                  2. blame bush more than obama


                    That’s really a serious setback to the Bush campaign, then.

                    1. I laughed. 🙂

                  3. Actually, I do blame Bush more for causing the economic problems.

                    However, I blame Obama for following stupid policies that are prolonging and exacerbating the economic problems.

                    1. It is silly to blame Bush for the cause of the economic collapse because that mess started with the Community Reinvestment Act under Carter and culminated with the enforcement under Clinton that forced banks to make risky loans against their better judgment. It was a whole bunch of things that led to the 2008 collapse but none of it was Bush’s fault no matter how many times Obama said so.

              2. I really don’t believe that Mittens would be one goddam bit better.

                Maybe, maybe not, but Obama is giving his ALOT of room to be an improvement. Including that of not doing anything at all for four years.

                1. giving him ALOT

                2. Obama did a lot (of damage) he pushed Obamacare http://www.cobrahealth.com/Obamacare.html

          2. Your mouth is talking, Orrin. You might want to see to that.

            1. He’s got Barry’s cock in it, sage. It’s a wonder he can type and fellate at the same time.

      2. Some things are just timeless, like the Little Black Dress, diamonds and hating a batshit crazy totalitarian harpie like NanPo

  2. You have to eat your vegetables ? you have to have the mandate in order for this to work from a financial standpoint?

    And work will set you free, Pelosi.

    Hey, Nancy, the WaPo is ginning up an editorial asking why you have to turn into the caricature of every Republican candidate running for office!

  3. The Dems aren’t going to do dick to replace the mandate unless they miraculously regain their supermajorities in Congress and hold the Presidency.

    1. After the beatdown they received in losing the House, and considering how difficult it was to get Obamacare passed the first time, I seriously doubt it can be pulled off again no matter what. Pelosi blew her load the first time. She’s done.

      1. Thanks for the visual. DICK

        1. My pleasure, sage.

        2. It could be worse. He could’ve referred to her squirting her load and likened it to popping a raisin with one’s fingers and watching the coagulated mess of dehydrated fruit oozing out at a glacial pace….

    2. The only reason the Dems won their majorities in ’06 was because they went out of their way to run moderates (credit to Rahm for figuring that out). The tears of progressives, having now purged the moderates, when they are denied a majority will be pure ambrosia.

  4. I have to eat my vegetables? According to mommy state nancy? Fuck that miserable old Hag.

    1. I wouldn’t even fuck her with Warty’s dick.

      1. Are you sure? It has thorns on it…

          1. Is that what happened to Seal?

        1. You have to figure that Pelosi might like that, so no – not even with Warty’s.

      2. Yeah, but she’ll fuck you with hers.

    2. If the Nazgul do not act, Shelob will, apparently.

      1. Nicely done.

      2. I have this vision of Pelosi attempting a coup when Obama gets voted out. She announces it on TV, but no one else goes along.

        1. Rofl. +100.

        2. Ha! Definitely laughing here. Good one Pro.

  5. If you don’t believe that we beat you for your own good, we’ll just have to beat you harder until you do.

    1. I always liked that bumper sticker: The beatings will continue until morale improves.

      1. That’s a bumper sticker typically seen on LEO vehicles, right?

  6. you may have to eat your veggies ,but, they can stop you from growing wheat for your own use.Did this women ever read the constitution or does she have a F.D.R version?

    1. The FDR version:

      “We the People… establish… all Legislative powers… and… the executive Power.. in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office… fourteen Years…” etc. etc.

  7. Has anyone bothered to explained to Nancy that she is no longer Speaker of the House and likely will never be again and thus has about as much effect on what the government will or will not do as the homeless guy who lives in the dumpster behind the 7-11?

    1. Nancy Pelosi: Congressional Tuff Gai

    2. Has anyone bothered to explained to Nancy that she is no longer Speaker of the House and likely will never be again and thus has about as much effect on what the government will or will not do as the homeless guy who lives in the dumpster behind the 7-11?

      This notion gives me great joy!

      1. But the homeless guy who lives in the dumpster behind the 7-11 is an infinitely more productive and moral individual. Jeez, John, stop insulting people!

    3. I’m fairly unclear on how she’s even Minority Leader. Previous Speakers who led their party back into the minority (Hastert, Gephardt, Foley) were shown the door.

      1. Because the 2010 GOP takeover of the House wasn’t Pelosi’s fault, but rather a racist temper-tantrum by evil rednecks. See, the fact that they lost the House means Pelosi was on the right track.

      2. One word:


      3. She must have one impressive collection of testicles.

  8. You know it would be worth losing my beloved SF Giants if they would just nuke her and her congressional district down to bedrock!

    Maybe during a road trip!

    1. That’s a nice ballpark, though. Shame to waste it.

    2. As a Doyers fan (and a superior being in every other way as well), I wholeheartedly endorse this kinetic military action.

  9. You have to eat your vegetables

    Yes, Mommie Dearest.

    1. No. Wire. Hangers!

      Why do you make mommy so mad? Why do you make mommy punish you?

      1. Isn’t there a landfill somewhere the Right Honorable Mister Nancy Pelosi could be deported to?

    1. Damn fumble-fingers!
      “Let’s hope and pray that the Court will love the Constitution more than it loves broccoli and that we will have a decision that is based on the merits and the Constitution of the United States.”

      Careful what you wish for…

      1. Yes, that struck me as well. I also wish for those very things! She’s the one who loves broccoli more than the Constitution. I think she misspoke.

  10. Suder-man…am I missing something? I scanned your article. I didn’t find the “Mandate = Tax” option.

    The Mandate is perfectly Constitutional (at least by current state decisis) when structured as an explicit Tax.

    Politically, it’s a dead letter after all of this debate. But that’s at least how it could happen.

    1. That it is valid as a tax is not clear at all. Never before have we seen the governnment say, “patronize this private business or pay the penalty”. Since when can Congress make you pay taxes to a non-government entity? It would be perfectly reasonable for SCOTUS to place limmits on what the Congress can get away with using its tax authority, this case being a good place to draw the line.

      1. Doesn’t have to be that way. Everyone pays the tax. Everyone gets a voucher.

        1. Two problems:

          1. Politically, that would have meant that the Administration raised taxes on the middle class, something it promised not to do.

          2. What do you when someone like me decides to pay the tax instead of getting insurance, but I am still covered by the “shall issue” portion of the bill? Unless you have a sufficiently high tax, the incentive is still there to free ride.

          1. I believe MP explicitly stated that it’s not a good idea and not politically possible, did he not?

          2. Well sure. The whole reason we’re having this fight is because they didn’t have the balls to construct this as a Tax.

            But that’s my point. The “Mandate” is still on the table. The SCOTUS decision won’t remove that. They’ll just potentially remove it as currently construed.

            The whole point of mandatory insurance is to generate sufficient industry revenue to cover high risk cases. It doesn’t even matter if you never cash in your voucher. At least, for outliers. Enough vouchers will be redeemed, due to the built in incentive for doing so, that the revenue base will be in place to support the “shall issue” outliers who may not sign up until the last minute.

            1. The tax (aka mandate penalty) would have to be huge to make that feasible. Certainly higher than the cost of a premium.

              If the cost of not redeeming the voucher is less than the cost of paying premiums, people won’t redeem the voucher unless they’re in need of health care.

              1. You’re probably right that the Credit route is more viable than the Voucher route.

                Regardless, my point stands. Mandatory insurance could have, and still could be, dealt with via a massive Tax.

          3. Another: didn’t the administration already explicitly argue, in court, that it wasn’t a tax?

            1. Well yeah. Because it’s not. Because this particular legislation is not.

              They were not arguing that a Mandate couldn’t be structured as a Tax. Just that Congress didn’t do that in this particular case.

      2. Obamacare is considered a penalty, not a tax to the insurance company, even though that is what it really is.

    2. I’m not so sure.If you only tax people who do not buy a certain product it seems very selective.A tax on goods may be a pain,but,you do have the choice not to buy or buy less.What if the government wanted every one to own a bike,for their health,and those who didn’t paid a tax.You think that pass muster?

      1. No, they would tax everyone an amount equal to the price of a bike, and then issue an equivalent tax credit for those buying a bike.

        1. So congress can pass a tax for any product and give everyone a voucher and they buy the product.Why not do this for food and housing.Hell,they could have done this for the car companies.We can all live buy vouchers.No money needed .Do you see how absurd your argument is?

  11. You have to eat your vegetables

    Its an allegory = she’s speaking to the taxpayer, explaining “we build a vast unteneble system of medical subsidies, and now that we can no longer afford it, the next few generations will have to suck it up and pay much more for fewer services. Your cabbage is ours.”

    1. Isn’t it more of a parable? Try to be accurate here, dude.

      1. Episiarch|6.21.12 @ 2:08PM|#

        Isn’t it more of a parable?

        allegory, parable, metaphor, simile, allusion… whatever. Its Pelosi-speak, not the freaking Book of Revalations.

        Actually, upon reflection…Pelosi *does* sort of remind me of a “seven-headed leopard-like beast” THE END TIMES HAVE COME!!

    2. No, she’s giving Bloomberg more ideas. Want a medium Coke? You’ll have to eat a stalk of cauliflower first.

    3. I think what she’s saying is that in the “carrot and stick” approach, she favors the stick, but will settle for the carrot.

  12. When in doubt, double down on stupid. I don’t think any Democrat ever lost the base by underestimating the amount of bullshit liberals and progressives will swallow from the Right People they want running government.

    1. Especially when the narrative is framed as “those racist Republicans used their eeeeeeeeeeevil money to sway public opinion which prompted the activist judges on the court to strike down what is clearly in the best interest of all Americans?”

  13. “You have to eat your vegetables”

    What she really means is “You have to eat my shit.”

    1. She can iron my shit.

      1. Thanks for the visual. DICK

        1. My pleasure, Epi.

        2. Hey, we could combine those visions and have Nancy Pelosi blowing her load on my freshly ironed shit.

          Fun fact: my phone’s autocorrect changed “Pelosi” to “Pelvis”.

          1. So basically, we’re talking about Nancy blowing a load on your ironed shit and then doing a spacedock with it.

            This is good. I like our freeform concept association sessions, sage. They’re highly productive.

            1. It could take a while. Even I can’t take dumps that big.

              1. Don’t sell yourself short. You’re good for at least 6 Kourics, right?

                1. Yeah, but remember who is being spacedocked.

      2. I remember that! :0)

  14. Let’s hope and pray that the Court will love the Constitution more than it loves broccoli and that we will have a decision that is based on the merits and the Constitution of the United States.

    That’s an odd comment from someone who wants us to eat our vegetables.

  15. Unfortunately, there’s no constitutional barrier to the fedgov taxing everyone at 100% and then giving tax credits with any conditions that they want. This is a gaping hole in any restriction on fedgov lawmaking, delivered courtesy of Wilson’s Income Tax Amendment.

  16. “Is she serious?”

    Get it? Because that’s like what she said that one time.

    I love topical humor. Also Star Trek.

  17. Cynthia Tucker supports “death panels”

    1. It’s a good thing she’s cute… otherwise, she has absolutely nothing to offer to humanity.

  18. The same Pelosi who said this?


    Yeah, fuck Rove.

    AND Pelosi, for thinking she’s a fucking sheriff.

    1. God, she is such a flaming cockmangler.

      “It’s just the irresponsibility of the Republicans. We want jobs,” Pelosi said. “Why are they spending this time doing this?”

      Yeah, I mean, who the fuck cares if a major federal law enforcement agency was giving a fuckton of weapons to criminals in the hope that they’d end up illegally crossing the border and being used to kill people in drug cartel fights?

      1. You forgot that all of it was no more than a front to be able to introduce new anti-gun legislation.

        They willfully allowed guns to get in to the hands of criminals, guns which have gone on to be used to kill people, specifically so they can enact a part of their socio-political agenda. They are beyond contemptible.

  19. If the US is paying the medicaid bill for millions now of Medicaid, would that not give them the right to tell us what to eat, drink or smoke?

    That is the heart of socialism, government control. Obamacare must be ended! http://www.cobrahealth.com/Unaffordable.html

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