VP Mike Pence: Obamacare replacement delivers on president's campaign promise
(KTUL) -- The Trump administration's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare faces its first hurdle Thursday as the American Health Care Act goes before Congress.
Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke with Tulsa's Channel 8 Wednesday afternoon by satellite, says he's confident the House of Representatives will approve the plan because the American people know that Obamacare has failed.
"Let's be very clear, President Trump made a pledge in his campaign along with every Republican in the House and Senate that we would repeal and replace Obamacare. Obamacare has failed," said Pence. "It literally is imploding all across the country."
Pence says many Americans have lost their health insurance and their doctors while premiums have skyrocketed.
"Left to its own devices, Obamacare will continue to work a great hardship on American families and businesses, and President Trump is just determined to keep that promise to the American people," said Pence.
Through the Trump administration and subsequent legislation, Pence says a new health care system should be in place this spring that isn't based on mandates and taxes but allows Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines, lowering the cost of coverage through competition and offering assistance through tax credits. He also says it will allow states like Oklahoma to reform Medicaid in ways that will help state lawmakers serve the needs of the states' most vulnerable citizens.
"It's a different future for health care than Obamacare," said Pence. "It's a future based on freedom and personal responsibility and state-based innovation, and we're driving toward starting that future tomorrow night on Capitol Hill."
The vice president says the AHCA was written as part of a collaborative effort among legislators unlike the Affordable Care Act, which he says "was literally written in a back room behind closed doors and brought out onto the floor of the Congress with very little debate."
Pence says lawmakers have engaged in vigorous debate, improving the bill for taxpayers and health care in America.
"I’m very confident as we work through the legislative process that we’ll deliver a real victory for the American people tomorrow night," said Pence. "President Trump will take an important step toward insuring that we not only repeal Obamacare but that we replace it with a better health care system built on the American principals of free market competition and state-based reform."
The vice president also offered his condolences to the people of the U.K. after Wednesday's attack outside Parliament. British police say four people were killed, including a police officer an t he attacker, and another 20 were injured.
"Our hearts and our prayers go out to the people of London and all across England int eh wake of today's terrorist attack outside Parliament," said Pence. "I was with the president when he spoke to Prime Minister Theresa May in the Oval Office by phone today, and I'll be meeting in my office at the White House with their Foreign Minister Boris Johnson to express our solidarity and our condolences to the people of England.
"But today's events ... are a grim reminder of a dangerous world that we live in and the importance of all the measures that President Trump is taking to protect our country and do everything that we can do in our power to prevent this kind of attack from coming to our shores again," said Pence.
Watch the vice president's full interview in the video player above.