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Democratic Leaders Shine Spotlight on Health Care

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- On Saturday, House Democrats held about 140 events around the nation to highlight their health care progress and plans for the future. In San Francisco, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared with fellow California Democrats Rep. Jackie Speier and Rep. Mike Thompson at the offices of Health Right 360.

Each of the three representatives introduced a constituent who told their story about each of the three Democratic Party pillars of health care: protecting people with pre-existing conditions, eliminating short-term insurance plans and reducing drug costs.

Rep. Thompson noted the absence of a full Obamacare replacement plan from President Trump.

"He said we're gonna have a bigger plan, a better plan, a beautiful plan ... nothing," Rep. Thompson said. "They have offered absolutely nothing except a lawsuit that will repeal the Affordable Care Act and take away protection for pre-existing conditions."

On Friday, when announcing changes to the way the federal government will treat Health Savings Accounts, the president said, "We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions."

During that announcement, the president took aim at Democrats who support Bernie Sanders' plan to eliminate private health care insurance in favor of a government-run plan.

"More than 120 Democrats in Congress have signed up for the Bernie Sanders massive government takeover of healthcare," said Trump. "Socialist health care would crush American workers with higher taxes, long wait times and far worse care."

At the event Saturday, when Pelosi was asked whether the Democrats' agenda was being overshadowed by the headline-grabbing Medicare-for-all plans like Sanders', she said she is "agnostic."

"Let me just say we have everything on the table. We put everybody's suggestions on the table and see how that works for the patient, for the consumer, for the American people," Pelosi said.

In the end, it does appear that President Trump and the Democrats agree about the need to lower drug prices.

"We also have launched a new initiative to bring down the price of prescription drugs," President Trump said Friday. "We are holding Big Pharma accountable ... we could get them down a lot more if we had a little support in Congress and I think we'll get that support."

On Saturday Pelosi said, "We are working on legislation which will further reduce the cost of prescription drugs and we would hope that it would be bipartisan and we would hope that the president would sign the legislation."

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