Ellison Tells Dem Meeting Pelosi Supports Medicare for All

August 21, 2017

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) secretly supports Medicare for all, according to Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.), deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee.

The video of Ellison, first reported by the Daily Caller, shows him speaking before a local Democratic party meeting in Minnesota last Wednesday.

"I’m signed onto H.R. 676 which is a single-payer health care act," Ellison said. "They call it Medicare for all. Yeah, universal health care. Real single-payer health care. I’m on that."

Ellison stopped to explicitly ask if he was being recorded before explaining that Pelosi backed this bill as well.

"You may have heard that Nancy [Pelosi] is not for it, but that's not really true," he said.

Rather, Ellison said, Pelosi needed to build consensus in the House Democratic caucus before she can push forward on Medicare for all.

"Nancy has to represent a very diverse caucus. She does not like getting out ahead of the caucus too fast. So she’s trying to get, she's, you know, you know, she actually likes the concept," he said.

Ellison suggested that Pelosi was focused on bringing along "blue dogs," Democrats who tend to vote with Republicans more frequently than average.

"She's trying to get, you know, you know, she actually likes the concept. She says it's the best way to do it. She says it's the cheapest way to do it, but she's got to make sure that she brings our Blue Dog friends along. And by the way, for any of us progressives who get mad at the Blue Dogs, if we didn't have them, some of them would be replaced by Republicans," he said.

Pelosi has been all over the board on the issue of single-payer health care in past. In October of 2016, Pelosi told Meet the Press host chuck Todd that she would "love" a single-payer system. In June of 2017, however, Pelosi said that working for single-payer was not a good move strategically, saying that "it isn't helpful to tinkle all over the Affordable Care Act right now."