US Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday urged the Republican-controlled Congress to adopt the ObamaCare replacement bill and to quickly move on to tax cuts, Reuters reports.
Just days before lawmakers return to Washington amid doubts about their ability to agree on legislation, the Vice President warned that consumers face reduced access to ObamaCare health coverage in some states.
The newly proposed bill to replace former President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul narrowly passed the House of Representatives last month. However, Senate Republicans have had difficulty agreeing on their own draft.
“First and foremost, this summer, this Congress must come together and heed the president’s leadership, and we must repeal and replace ObamaCare. It’s high time we take action”, Pence said a political rally in Iowa, one of several states where major insurers have exited government-subsidized insurance markets.
Moreover, insurance companies say they cannot plan amid the uncertainty surrounding healthcare legislation, while they also face a worse-than-expected balance of sick and healthy customers that has helped drive insurance premiums higher in ObamaCare marketplaces.
“Once we repeal and replace ObamaCare, we’re going to roll our sleeves up, and working with these great leaders in Congress, we’re going to pass one of the largest tax cuts in American history,” Pence said.
A former Indiana congressman, Pence plays a key role in Trump’s relationship with lawmakers as the main White House liaison to Congress. As vice president, he also casts the tie-breaking vote on legislation in the 100-member Senate, where Republicans hold a slim 52-seat majority.