Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday vowed that health care reform would be fully paid for and, a day earlier, suggested that tax increases could be in the mix.Asked whether she could commit to fully paying for a health care system overhaul, Pelosi said, Yes. That is our intention, and that is the work we are doing now.In a Wednesday interview on MSNBCs The Ed Show, Pelosi said she was open to raising taxes to help cover the costs.Everything is on the table, Pelosi said. She noted that Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) has not been receptive to taxing health care benefits, although he has talked about taxing employee benefits.Still, when pressed about whether taxes would go up because of health care reform, Pelosi said, No. But Im saying that everything is on the table.Also during Thursdays press event, Pelosi talked up the need for a public health plan and suggested that House Democrats agree on it being a core aspect of any reform. The 51-Member Blue Dog Coalition, however, has expressed concerns about the government-run option.There is strong support for a public option right from the start, Pelosi said. There is also full support of having it be a real competitor, not something that has an overwhelming advantage.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.