Speaking on ABC News “This Week,” Vice President Mike Pence today spoke to a suggestion made by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander that the GOP should “repair” Obamacare before replacing it. Pence said that Trump administration is in favor of repealing the law’s “most corrosive elements” and finding an “orderly” replacement.
Alexander, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, resorted to metaphor by comparing the Obamacare to an old bridge that needs replacement. “You send in a rescue team and you go to work to repair it so that nobody else is hurt by it and you start to build a new bridge, and only when that new bridge is complete, people can drive safely across it, do you close the old bridge. When it’s complete, we can close the old bridge, but in the meantime, we repair it," Alexander said last week. “No one is talking about repealing anything until there is a concrete practical alternative to offer Americans in its place.”
Stephanopoulos asked Pence today if President Trump accepts that premise. Pence answered, “I think what the senator was talking about was simply the process.”
“The president made it clear to the Congress right after the election that he wanted to see us move on repealing the most corrosive elements. The mandate, the taxes, the penalties of Obamacare,” the vice president said in the interview on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.
“But he's also made it very clear that at the same time that we repeal Obamacare, we're going, through both executive action and through legislation, to set into motion a replacement of Obamacare that will be orderly and will lead the American people to a system based on free market principles,” Pence added.
Stephanopoulos asked, “It doesn't have to be complete, the replacement before repeal?” Pence responded, “When he gave that speech here in Philadelphia during the course of the campaign on Obamacare, he talked about commitment to repeal and replace this deeply flawed legislation.”
“But he also said, ‘It would be an orderly transition,’” Pence added. “The way I interpret what the senator said, George, is that, ‘We're going to ensure that we have that orderly transition.’ But the American people know we can do better.”
Pence said that the Trump administration is seeking, in partnership with Congress, to “lower the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government with mandates and with taxes.”