WASHINGTON (CN) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will introduce new health reform legislation next week, a move that could help Democrats looking to boast some changes before the November midterm elections, in the face of stalled health legislation in Congress. “We will pass health insurance reform this year,” the California lawmaker said in a speech to the Democratic National Committee.
“Next week, the House will act to repeal the special antitrust exemptions for health insurance companies,” she said, adding that it would increase consumer choice and lower insurance premiums.
Pelosi’s Washington speech comes just a day after Republican Scott Brown was sworn in as Massachusetts Senator, giving the minority party the 41 votes needed to filibuster most legislation in the Senate.
The vote has undermined Democratic resolve as well as its super-majority, with many lawmakers interpreting the election of a Republican as a referendum on health care.
The House and Senate have narrowly passed two separate versions of the health bill, but progress has now stalled in negotiations to reconcile the two.
In 2009, President Obama made health care reform his primary concern in domestic policy and the push for reform has been at the heart of the Democratic agenda.
Faced with crawling climate legislation, financial reform legislation, and above all, health legislation, Democrats are feeling the pressure to deliver.
A successful insurance reform bill could serve as something for Democrats to fall back on if more substantive health legislation dies in reconciliation.
Pelosi’s office was unavailable for comment.