LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) — Vice President Mike Pence promised a small crowd inside a stifling Lexington warehouse Wednesday that Congress will repeal and replace Obamacare soon.
Before his speech, Pence joined Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and congressmen Andy Barr and Brett Guthrie to sit down with local small business owners as they talked about their problems with the Affordable Care Act. They each detailed their problems with Obamacare, from rising premiums to stifling growth.
Pence had a message for them.
“Help is on the way,” he said.
And despite the fact that Republicans have not been able agree on a replacement, Pence promised the GOP bill will pass, despite the holdouts.
“I came here today to turn up the heat on a promise that every Republican made to the American people and this president made to the American people,” Pence told the crowd. “We will keep our promise to all of you, and before the summer is out, we will repeal and replace Obamacare.”
Pence specifically called out Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who has been a vocal opponent of the health care bill, calling it Obamacare-light.
“The president and I believe when the time comes, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul will do the right thing together, and we will pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare and end the Obamacare nightmare once and for all,” Pence said.
As Pence spoke inside, demonstrators gathered outside to protest the GOP health plan. They said it will cause thousands of Kentuckians to lose health care.
“Pence said he’s coming to a listening session, and I think he needs to listen to everybody and not just his hand-picked audience,” said Pat Simpson, who protested the speech.
“I don’t believe the ACA is perfect, but I don’t believe scrapping it is the answer,” Karen Cartwright added. “Let’s try to improve it.”
But Pence maintains Obamacare is beyond help and a bad deal for Kentucky.
“Kentucky is a case study of Obamacare’s failures,” he said.
He added that the GOP bill will help those who need it most by giving states like Kentucky more flexibility.
“,,,with better coverage, better care and better outcomes that Gov. Bevin and your state legislature can decide to meet Kentucky’s unique needs the Kentucky way,” he said.
Pence said a new version of the GOP bill will be introduced on Thursday.
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