House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her colleagues to back a major overhaul of U.S. health care even if it threatens their political careers, a call to arms that underscores the issue's massive role in this election year.
Lawmakers sometimes must enact policies that, even if unpopular at the moment, will help the public, Pelosi said in an interview being broadcast Sunday the ABC News program "This Week."
"We're not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress," she said. "We're here to do the job for the American people."
It took courage for Congress to pass Social Security and Medicare, which eventually became highly popular, she said, "and many of the same forces that were at work decades ago are at work again against this bill."