Pence reaffirms confidence in American Health Care Act, revised travel ban

Posted at 8:02 PM, Mar 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-22 20:03:12-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In an exclusive one on one interview with CBS 6, Vice President Mike Pence said he is confident the American Health Care Act, Republican legislation that would begin to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, will pass the House Thursday night.

Pence reaffirmed his position despite opposition from Republicans in his own party, including some from Virginia.

As of Wednesday afternoon, CBS 6 confirmed that Republican Congressmen Dave Brat (Henrico), Tom Garrett (Charlottesville), and Rob Whittman (Hampton Roads) all plan on voting "no" to the A.H.C.A. as it is currently constructed.

Pence told CBS 6 News reporter Jake Burns work on health care reform will not end with the AHCA, saying the administration would accomplish that through future executive orders or legislation.

"The President's vision of health care reform, is essentially to allow Americans to buy across state lines, allow competition in a national marketplace, said Pence. "That will lower the cost for every American. Along with the tax credits that will be included in this legislation, Americans will have the resources and have health coverage they can afford."

Critics of the Republican plan, including Democrats from Virginia, have said the AHCA will cause millions of people across the country, and hundreds of thousands in Virginia, to lose coverage and result in higher health care costs for older Americans.

Pence refuted those claims, saying the roll back of "restrictive" Obamacare policies will mean cheaper coverage for all Americans.

"Obamacare has failed. We're working diligently, hour by hour, here in Washington D.C. to keep President Trump's promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, and when the vote comes to the floor tomorrow night," Pence said.

Travel ban appeal heading to Richmond

After lawyers for the Trump administration appealed rulings by two federal judges that halted the implementation of the White House's revised travel ban, a motion was filed Wednesday with the 4th Circuit Court of appeals in Richmond to expedite the process.

That sets the stage for a showed down in Richmond over the constitutionality of the revised executive order, which temporarily bars travel from six Muslim majority nations.

Pence told Burns he expects the order will hold to legal challenges.

"President Trump has no greater priority than the safety and security of the American people, and today's tragic events, the terrorist attacks in London, are a grim reminder of the threats that we face in the world," said Pence. "Let me be clear, the President and I and our whole administration is confident that he's acted within his authority. To come into this country is not a right; it's a privilege."

Pence also said he was with President Trump when he expressed condolences to Britain's Prime Minister Teresa May following an alleged terrorist attack outside of the Parliament building Wednesday.

You can watch the full interview on Burns' Facebook page.