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Pence Promises 'Orderly Transition' After Obamacare Repeal

Image: Pence Promises 'Orderly Transition' After Obamacare Repeal


Wednesday, 04 Jan 2017 11:30 AM

Vice President-elect Mike Pence promised an "orderly transition" through executive and legislative action to repeal and replace Obamacare with a market-based health-care system.

"The speaker of the house used the word ‘stable,’ and we will do that," Pence said at a news conference after a private meeting Wednesday with House Republicans. There’s a "broad range of idea on how to do this," he said, without giving details of what a replacement might look like.

Pence told Republicans during the private meeting that Trump, on his first day in office, plans to take action on Obamacare through executive orders aimed at making sure the insurance marketplace isn’t disrupted by a repeal, according to Representative Chris Collins of New York, one of Trump’s earliest House GOP backers. House Speaker Paul Ryan also said a focus would be on maintaining patient care. 

Republicans are hoping to have a replacement plan on paper in six months, Collins said.

At the same time, President Barack Obama met with Democrats on Capitol Hill to discuss how to defend his signature initiative from being upended by the unified Republican presidency and Congress. Obama told Democrats that he takes responsibility for not having fully communicated the potential benefits of the health-care law, according to a Democratic aide.

“Despite the negativity you have a big chunk of the country that wants this thing to succeed,” the president said, according to the aide. “There are real lives at stake in this thing.”

‘Nostalgic’ Speech

Representative Louise Slaughter, a New York Democrat, told reporters Obama’s speech was "nostalgic" and that he spoke of the 20 million people who rely on Obamacare. He spoke of letters received from people who said they would have died without it, she said.

She scoffed at the GOP’s repeal strategy, saying, "You wouldn’t think of tearing down a house before you have a new one." Asked whether she intends to work with Republicans on a replacement, she said no. 

"We don’t even think of repealing the law. Our job is to save the one we’ve got," Slaughter said.

Democratic Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio said the ball is in Republicans’ court on a replacement. "They’ve got to come up with a lot of answers if they repeal it," he said.

‘Be Careful!’

On Wednesday morning, Trump warned Republicans to be careful about their tactics and strategy on the health-care issue.

“Republicans must be careful in that the Dems own the failed ObamaCare disaster, with its poor coverage and massive premium increases,” he wrote on Twitter. “Don’t let the Schumer clowns out of this web.”

“Massive increases of ObamaCare will take place this year and Dems are to blame for the mess,” he added. ”It will fall of its own weight -- be careful!”

Pence told reporters that he was talking with Republican leaders to coordinate ”both a legislative and executive action agenda to ensure that an orderly and smooth transition to market-based health care system is achieved.”

"It will be important that we are careful in how we do that," he added.

While Trump talks of action with the speed of a tweet, things have a way of slowing down on Capitol Hill, even when party leaders and the president are on the same page. 

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas said a replacement for Obamacare will be be laid out in a step-by step basis. It could be done by August recess but there’s no set timeline, he said.

“This law has failed. Americans are struggling," House Speaker Paul Ryan said at the news conference. “Once we repeal this law we need to make sure there is a stable transition to a truly patient-centered system."


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Vice President-elect Mike Pence promised an "orderly transition" through executive and legislative action to repeal and replace Obamacare with a market-based healthcare system.
pence, trump, obamacare, transition
Wednesday, 04 Jan 2017 11:30 AM
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