LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Repealing and Replacing the Affordable Care Act also known as "Obamacare" was the focus of Vice President Mike Pence during a trip to Louisville, Kentucky Saturday.
The visit brought supporters to a roundtable to discuss the healthcare plans impact on small businesses.
The location of Vice President Pence’s speech was a warehouse for Harshaw Trane, an HVAC parts supplier in Jeffersontown.
The Vice President trying to make the point that the repeal process is made of parts, an apparent message to Republicans like Senator Rand Paul who vocally opposed to the current republican lead plan.
In front of a friendly crowd of approximately 150 business leaders, lawmakers and political power brokers, Mr. Pence repeated the Trump administration's promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He also broke down the process currently underway in the US House of Representatives and called Kentucky a “textbook example” of the "Obamacare's failures”.
"Folks, this just can't continue. And I promise you, it won't", he said as the audience erupted in applause.
The vice president described a three-part fix he claims will; Repeal tax mandates including more than $500 billion in Obamacare tax increases, give Americans more insurance choices including expanded health savings accounts, offer tax credits to help people buy plans they need at price they can afford, make sure those with preexisting condition still have access to coverage and care they need, give states more flexibility with Medicaid and allow parents to keep children on their plan until age 26.
"Folks, let me be clear, this is going to be a battle in Washington DC”, the Vice President said. “And for us to seize this opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare once and for all we need every Republican in Congress and we're counting on Kentucky. President Trump and I know, at the end of the day, after a good and vigorous debate we know Kentucky will be there and we will repeal and replace Obamacare once and for all.”
But opposition is coming from Kentucky and, in particular, Senator Rand Paul.
Congressman Brett Guthrie sits on a committee pushing forward the repeal and replacement plan drawing criticism from Senator Paul and praise from President Donald Trump.
He insists that only the first leg of the three leg approach is underway.
“I'm sure I can almost guarantee you that we could get the 218 votes in the House to pass the elements of his (Senator Paul’s) bill, but he’s concerned about aspects that aren't in the bill that's moving forward but we have to stick to the budget process", insisted the Kentucky’s 2nd District US Congressman.
Guthrie said the next step is to transfer some power from the Executive Branch back to the Legislative then the process begins to add aspects such as insurance associations and allowing purchases across state lines.
Whether the Trump Administration finds a supporter in Rand Paul is yet to be seen, but GOP community activists like Dereck Barber remain hopeful.
"Healthcare needed to be worked on. Obama set the footprint for that. I believe now it needs to be tweaked and all Americans should agree that it needs to be tweaked”, Mr. Barber said. “I think we need to stop being so hypercritical and let them work.”