McAuliffe jabs Pence over GOP healthcare bill

McAuliffe jabs Pence over GOP healthcare bill

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) included a dig at Vice President Pence on Friday while introducing him at a National Governors Association (NGA) meeting, saying that Pence showed "true backbone" by expanding Medicaid coverage in Indiana as its governor.

McAuliffe, the NGA chairman, said at the Rhode Island meeting that Pence "showed true backbone himself in Indiana when he expanded Medicaid for his citizens," according to Business Insider.

"So he understands the challenges that we as governors face to make sure we're providing that quality care," the Democratic governor said. 

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"He understands that we want to work together in a bipartisan way," McAuliffe continued. "We want to work together on infrastructure, we want to work together on tax reform, and we want to work together on healthcare, so that we can provide the best quality healthcare for our citizens." 

McAuliffe has sharply criticized the GOP plan, which includes deep Medicaid cuts. He praised Pence for understanding the importance of bipartisan support on issues such as healthcare. 

Pence spoke on the new GOP health bill at the meeting, and defended his decision to expand Medicaid in Indiana while governor.

"Let me speak to you as a former governor, and as someone who, as Terry McAuliffe pointed out, I made the decision in Indiana to expand Medicaid under a waiver," Pence said.

The vice president argued that the GOP plan being weighed in the Senate would give governors the flexibility to "act on your own ideas" and emphasized his position that his party's bill "secures Medicaid for the neediest in our society," as he tweeted Friday.