Pence: Congress Will Act on Obamacare ‘Before the Summer Is Over’

Vice president strikes optimistic tone on health care as McConnell promises final bill in days

Vice President Mike Pence downplayed sluggish Senate progress on a partial repeal of Obamacare, promising Congress would pass health care reform “before the summer is over,” during a speech Tuesday at the National Association of Manufacturers Summit in Washington, D.C.

All eyes turned to the Senate after the House narrowly passed its attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare in early May. But Republican senators have struggled to agree on the details of replacing Obamacare. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday a final bill would be put forward Thursday, and a vote could be called as early as next week.

Pence was eager to encourage lawmakers to get moving.

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“And today, I want to assure you, before this summer is over, working with the leaders in the Congress even as we speak, President Donald Trump and this Congress will keep their promise to the American people, and we will repeal and replace Obamacare,” Pence said. “We’re going to do it.”

Some GOP lawmakers have floated the idea of nixing all or part of a planned summer recess until health care reform is put on President Trump’s desk. Others maintain Republicans are still on track to pass a bill out of Congress before a self-imposed July 4 deadline.

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Striking an optimistic tone, the vice president praised Trump and the GOP leaders for working tirelessly on the legislation while dispelling critics’ doubts.

“And I’ll promise you, President Donald Trump will never stop fighting to give American businesses and the American people the kind of health care they need and deserve,” Pence said.

“And under this President’s leadership, we will bring the Obamacare nightmare to an end once and for all, and give the American people the choices in health care built on the principles of individual responsibility, state-based reform,” he added. “That’s the American way to reform health care. And that’s what we’ll drive and do.”

“The record is clear. The burden is great. Obamacare has failed, and Obamacare must go,” Pence continued. “And I want to promise you that this administration is literally working around the clock with leaders in the United States Senate to move forward legislation in the very near future that will repeal and replace Obamacare with a patient-centered health care system built on personal responsibility, free-market competition, and state-based reform.”

While speaking at the National Association of Manufacturers Summit, the vice president recounted how Obamacare’s implementation has stifled business growth and job creation. Promising to “rescue American businesses and the American people from the consequences of this failed policy,” Pence vowed that Congress will move forward this year with legislation that will alleviate that suffering.

“You all know the grim reality that businesses have faced under Obamacare. I’ve heard it from manufacturers large and small as I’ve traveled across the country on behalf of our president,” Pence said, noting that he has spoken with many job creators who recounted how they had to break the news to their employees that they could no longer offer health insurance.

“And it’s just heartbreaking to see the choices that too many businesses have had to make in the wake of Obamacare,” Pence said. “And after we repeal and replace Obamacare, under President Trump’s leadership and with the strong support of the leaders in Congress, we’re going to pass the largest tax cut since the days of Ronald Reagan. And we’re going to do it this year.” (go to page 2 to continue reading)[lz_pagination]

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