Vice President Mike Pence took the case for the Republican House Leadership’s American Health Care Act to the people again on Saturday.
Pence rallied Floridians with the promise of new amendments to the bill just one day after President Donald Trump announced that he flipped members of the Republican Study Committee from no votes on the bill to yes.
Pence sold the bill as “an important step in the right direction,” as he spoke from the floor of Mac Papers in Jacksonville, Florida. The Vice President had been involved in the Friday meeting with Trump and Republican Study Committee members. Gov. Rick Scott joined VP Pence at the rally, introducing him to the crowd.
From that warehouse, the Vice President previewed a few of the new amendments planned for the AHCA:
First off, we’re going to stop any more states from expanding Medicaid and adding a burden to future generations. We’re going to give states the option of block grants of Medicaid to the states so states like Florida can innovate and design Medicaid around the unique needs of the people in this community.
And we’re going to allow states like Florida to include a work requirement for able-bodied adults ensuring that Medicaid’s benefits are available for those who need it the most.
Vice President Pence emphasized the importance of allowing states to determine the best way to give better coverage options for the people of their respective states. He added that the Trump Administration is, “going to give the American people the freedom to buy health insurance across state lines — the way you buy life insurance, the way you buy car insurance.”
Pence assured the crowd that Americans with preexisting conditions would still get coverage, as well as allowing adult children up to the age of 26 to remain on their parents’ health insurance. Both items have previously been touted as popular aspects of Obamacare.
“We’re going to have an orderly transition to a better healthcare system in America that makes affordable, high-quality health insurance accessible for every American,” he added.
Pence spoke as he has before of the battle over healthcare in Washington, D.C. and the challenge of getting the AHCA passed. “We’re counting on Florida,” Pence urged. “We need every Republican in Florida to support this bill and support the President’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
Before leaving, the Vice President pressed in hard to lobby listeners. He said, “We need every freedom-loving American who knew we could be stronger, who knew we could be better, who knew we could stand tall again to — yourselves — stand up and speak out.” He challenged the crowd to tell neighbors, friends, and people outside the drug store “how strongly you support the President’s vision for this country, particularly when it comes to healthcare.”