Pence Presses Congress to Pass Health Care Bill by End of Summer

Vice president “cautiously optimistic” that PPACA will be repealed––eventually

Speaking at a fundraising event in Iowa, Vice President Mike Pence urged lawmakers in Washington to pass a health care reform measure by the end of the summer, according to The Hill.

“Iowa is facing a health care crisis under Obamacare, and it’s high time we take action,” he said. “That’s why Congress must come together under the leadership of President Donald Trump and relieve Iowa and relieve America, and repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Pence’s address came as Iowa’s health insurance marketplace teeters on the edge of collapse, The Hill reported. Medica, the last major insurer in the state under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), announced last month that it might pull out of the exchange. The two other major insurers, Aetna and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, have already announced that will exit the marketplace in 2018.

But some lawmakers have cast doubt on Congress’ ability to fully repeal and replace the PPACA by the end of summer, arguing that disagreements among Republicans and opposition from Democrats are likely to stand in the way, according to the article.

“It’s unlikely that we will get a health care deal,” Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) said last week. “I don’t see a comprehensive health care plan this year.”

Recently, however, Pence told Fox News that he remained “cautiously optimistic” that a PPACA replacement bill would be passed by the end of the year.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that could come [by] the end of this year; we’re going to deliver on repealing and replacing Obamacare; we’re going to pass tax cuts; and you’re going to see an economy roaring and continue to grow under a president who is fighting every day for the forgotten men and women of America,” he said.

Source: The Hill; June 3, 2017.