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Pence: Health care overhaul setback ‘won’t last very long’

SCOTT DEPOT, W.Va. (AP) – A defiant Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday that President Donald Trump’s administration is refusing to accept defeat on health care.

A day after legislation was pulled off the House floor that would have unraveled former President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, Pence told a gathering in Scott Depot, West Virginia, that “we will end the Obamacare nightmare and give the American people the world class health care that they deserve.”

He told a few hundred people at construction materials firm Foster Supply that Friday’s setback “wasn’t a victory for the American people. It was a victory for the status quo in Washington, D.C. It was a victory for the disastrous Obamacare. But I promise you that victory won’t last very long.”

Earlier, Pence and U.S. Small Business Administration leader Linda McMahon held a private discussion with a dozen business owners about the challenges they face. Pence told the owners that small business was in his family’s blood, too: His father operated a series of gas stations in southern Indiana.

“President Trump is going to be the best friend to small business that America has ever had,” Pence told the group.

Panelist Timothy Burns, who owns a small landscaping business, said health care was supposed to be discussed but the topic was changed to small business growth after Friday’s events.

Burns said one of his business partners decided this year not to buy insurance under the Obama plan, which would have forced him to pay a huge premium and deductible. Instead, the partner chose to pay a penalty and not have insurance.

“Something needs to be done,” Burns said.

Statewide, about 35,000 people have commercial coverage through the federal marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act. The program allows most to qualify for federal subsidies that reduce their premiums. About 175,000 more enrolled through Medicaid, which the state expanded by raising income eligibility to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. That expansion has been funded almost entirely with federal dollars, which the House plan would have reduced.

“We’re back to the drawing board,” Pence said. “Obamacare is going to continue to explode, and when the Democrats and the Republicans finally decide to come together to repeal and replace Obamacare, we’ll be ready to get the job done.

“We want Obamacare gone.”

Foster Supply is owned by Republican Putnam County Commissioner Ronald Reagan Foster. His wife, Nancy Reagan Foster, is a newly elected member of the state House of Delegates.

Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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