Tales from the Trail

Pelosi tells Harvard students she read every page of healthcare bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told students at Harvard University on Friday that she had indeed done her reading.

Taking questions during the 90-minute event, Pelosi assured one skeptical undergraduate that she, and many other House members, had read “every page” of the roughly 1,900-page healthcare bill passed by the House.¬†

She expounded on leadership qualities, healthcare reform, the impact of more women in Congress, troops to Afghanistan — oh, and healthcare reform. USA-HEALTHCARE/

Participating in the healthcare debate, so long a signature issue of the late Massachusetts political titan Ted Kennedy, was “humbling,” she said.

Pelosi said she would have had a hard time cobbling together enough votes for a healthcare bill without a public option to balance the influence of insurance companies.

Abortion issue hard to avoid in healthcare debate

Like it or not, the healthcare debate has turned into a fracas over abortion rights.

pelosifingerU.S. House Democratic leaders had hoped to avoid just that in their push to expand healthcare coverage and reform the health insurance market.

But getting the votes to pass the historic legislation on Saturday boiled down to settling a dispute between pro-choice and pro-life forces over abortion.

House health bill… It’s really big!

It’s really big.

How big is it?

So big that Republican Congressman David Camp was going to take it with him to read on a flight to his Michigan home but it wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartment, an aide quipped.

What is it? The healthcare reform legislation made public on Thursday by Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The 1,990-page document comes in at more pages than an English translation of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” which is just shy of 1,500 pages.