Vice president touts choice in Obamacare replacement bill

Vice President Mike Pence talked about the Republican plan to replace Obamacare. (Provided Photo/WOOD-TV)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Vice President Mike Pence says a bill put forth by congressional Republicans earlier this week is “the beginning of the end of Obamacare.”

“When you think about the burden that Obamacare has placed on American families and American businesses since it was signed into law in 2010, this represents a historic opportunity for President Trump, our administration and the Congress to keep a promise to the American people,” the vice president said Wednesday as he spoke live with WOOD-TV political reporter Rick Albin from Washington, D.C.

Pence said the plan would “lower the cost of health insurance by giving the American people more choices, including buying health insurance across state lines.” He added the plan would get rid of some penalties included in President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and give states more flexibility to reform Medicaid.

There are bound to be arguments over the legislation, with some Republicans saying it doesn’t get rid of enough of the Affordable Care Act and some advocacy groups saying it doesn’t do enough to replace various aspects of that law.

“We’re certainly open to improvements, but this is the framework, we believe, that will begin the process of repealing and replacing Obamacare and doing that in the kind of orderly way the American people would fully expect,” Pence said. “I think the sincere criticisms of the legislation will be taken into account.”

He promised “a fully transparent, wide-open debate” on the bill and said that “at the end of the day, we’re confident this legislation will move forward.”

He said the Trump administration is working on further efforts to expand health care choices and that there will be a second health care reform bill to be introduced this spring.

“We’re just convinced that not only will Obamacare go away, but as the president promised, we’re going to have a better health insurance economy, a better health care system in this country as a result,” he said.

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