Pence pitches governors on ObamaCare repeal bill

Pence pitches governors on ObamaCare repeal bill

Vice President Pence on Friday pitched governors on the Senate's bill repealing and replacing ObamaCare, telling them healthcare faced a "real crisis."

“Yes, President Trump will lead this Congress to rescue the American people from the collapsing promises of ObamaCare,” Pence told the National Governors Association summer meeting in Rhode Island.

"Whatever your politics or your party, you know we’re talking about real people, a real crisis,” he added.


His comments come as Senate GOP leaders are trying to secure the votes needed to pass a revised healthcare reform bill unveiled Thursday.

Centrist Republicans, in particular many from states that accepted Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare, are pushing back on the legislation. They have cited concerns over stark cuts to the program and an amendment from conservative Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Senators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Shelby endorses Shalanda Young for OMB director should Biden pull Tanden's nomination MORE (R-Texas) they worry will raise premiums on the sick and those with preexisting conditions.

Pence, who has been one of the White House's most public advocates for ObamaCare repeal, tried to address concerns over Medicaid.

“President Trump and I believe the Senate bill strengthens and secures Medicaid for our most vulnerable,” he said.

Republican Govs. John Kasich (Ohio), Brian Sandoval (Nevada) and Charlie Baker (Mass.) went as far as joining four Democratic governors, also concerned about the Medicaid cuts, in writing a letter urging a bipartisan approach to healthcare reform in June.

Those Republican governors could be crucial in determining if the bill has enough votes in the Senate.

GOP Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (Nev.), seen as the upper chamber's most vulnerable Republican in the 2018 midterm elections, stood next to Sandoval to strongly slam an earlier version of the repeal bill.

Heller is undecided on the revised version.

On Friday, Kasich announced his opposition to the revised bill. Ohio Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMurkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Trump backs former campaign adviser for Ohio Republican Party chair MORE (R) is also undecided.

Senate Republicans from states that expanded Medicaid pressed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo MORE (R-K.Y.) on Thursday for changes.

They proposed altering a formula that indexes Medicaid to inflation so states can receive more federal support.

So far, two Republicans, Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Overnight Health Care: Johnson & Johnson vaccine safe, effective in FDA analysis | 3-4 million doses coming next week | White House to send out 25 million masks Biden's picks face peril in 50-50 Senate MORE (Maine) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan Sanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack Senate confirms Vilsack as Agriculture secretary MORE (Ky.), have said they will vote against proceeding on the bill next week.

McConnell can't afford to lose support from any other Republicans, and needs 50 votes. All Democrats are expected to vote against the bill, which would allow Pence to break the tie.