Emanuel said the current path will undo a 100-year effort to establish government-sponsored health care.
"It is not about only coverage, it's about cost," he told ABC News' "This Week." "The fact is, when President Obama did the [Affordable Care Act], it was to be built upon -- not to be pulled out and start all over again. This was a 100-year effort. That’s what’s insane about this process.
"Your next step should be, early buy-in to Medicare for early retirees and then take on the fact that President Trump’s budget has the largest cut in Medicare ever," Emanuel continued.
“We think the right path is the Affordable Care Act," Pelosi said on CNBC's "Mad Money," "and that is a path to health care for all Americans."
Pelosi said when Democrats seize control of the presidency again, they can deliver on their more ambitious health-care promises.
"I always say to people, when we win, we can put everything on the table and see what it means in terms of benefits for the consumer, cost to them, and costs to business, to corporate America, which is paying a lot of their price, as well as cost to the federal government and local government," she said.
Thus far, Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have favored a public system seeking to abolish private insurance, while other candidates such as Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg have expressed a desire to keep private options available.
Last month, support for "Medicare-for-all" increased in Congress to include a majority of House Democrats.
Fox News' Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.