Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Wednesday that the Republican-controlled Congress would prioritize an “orderly transition” while overhauling the Affordable Care Act so that no Americans suffer from lack of coverage.
“It will be important that we be careful as we do that,” Pence said of repealing President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law. “That we do that in a way that doesn’t work a hardship on American families who gained insurance through this program. Doesn’t work a hardship on our economy.”
While his comments echoed a Wednesday morning tweet from the President-elect urging his party to allow the Democratic Party to “own the failed ObamaCare disaster,” Pence also said that Donald Trump would take executive orders on day one of his presidency to begin the repeal process.
What exactly those executive orders would involve was not explained in the Capitol Hill press conference, and both Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) offered few specifics on how they intend to transition to a replacement plan to provide lower-cost health insurance for Americans. Pence repeatedly invoked the need for an “orderly process,” while Ryan’s phrase of choice was the need to not “pull the rug out” from underneath American voters. Yet both leaders also seemed intent on reassuring voters that the law was on its way out.
“This law has failed. It’s getting worse. Families are hurting. No one has choices. We’ve got to fix this by replacing it with something better. In that transition, we want to make sure we don’t pull the rug out from anybody during that transition,” Ryan said. “That’s the point we’re trying to make.”
Pence said the incoming White House staff is currently working “on a series of executive orders” to ease the start of the repeal process, while Congress “appropriately debates alternatives to and replacement” of the law.