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Picture of Magic Johnson and Nancy PelosiPelosi wants votes, says costs immaterial

In a surprise move, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cleared the way for passage of an amendment to the health care reform legislation which would provide coverage for household pets. Shown here with Humane Society lobbyist Magic Johnson, Pelosi said that she was delighted to support the amendment and said that it assured the votes for final passage of the bill. She denied being intimidated by Johnson's size.

The amendment was a compromise measure, stripping out a controversial provision backed by PETA which would have included all animals worldwide. Instead, coverage will be provided only for domesticated household pets. PETA has withdrawn their support, calling Pelosi "a wimp".

Asked about the cost of the measure, the speaker said that she was certain that it would not require additional taxation, adding that President Obama's pledge not to raise middle class taxes would be upheld. "Of course, we may have to cut back on medicare," she said "but which would you prefer -- a bunch of shriveled up old people drooling and whining or a cute kitten purring on your lap?"

Pelosi also said that she felt the animals would all be Democrats when allowed to vote.


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