Pence Talks Health Care, Taxes, in W.Va. Visit

Mar 27, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence made several stops in West Virginia Saturday, March 25, including the West Virginia state Capitol and Foster Supply Company in Scott Depot, where he spoke to an audience of about 200 small business owners and their families.

Pence’s speech was far-reaching, touching on subjects from jobs to infrastructure to energy. But perhaps the most amount of time was spent reassuring West Virginians that Trump has not given up on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

“West Virginians and President Trump we all know the truth about this failed law that every day Obamacare survives is another day American suffers,” he said. “That’s why the President worked tirelessly over the last couple weeks to get Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Supporters listen to Mike Pence speak outside the WV Capitol building
Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Pence said he was inspired by Trump’s determination and commitment to keep his promise to the American people and that the President and he are grateful for speaker Paul Ryan and all the House Republicans who stood with them in their efforts to begin the end of Obamacare.

Pence said the failure of the GOP bill was due to a lack of support from House Democrats and a handful of Republicans “actually standing in the way of President Trump’s plan.” Now, he said, they’re back to the drawing board.  

“Yesterday wasn’t a victory for the American people, it was a victory for the status quo in Washington DC and a victory for the disaster of Obamacare. But I promise you, that victory won’t last very long. The American people want Obamacare gone and as the President said today ‘don’t worry America.’ ”

Pence referred to a tweet Trump put out earlier Saturday morning, which said “Obamacare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!”

Vice President Mike Pence talks to supporters outside the West Virginia Capitol building
Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After addressing small business leaders, Pence headed over to the West Virginia Capitol Complex to speak to about 50 people.

“I’m just hoping he’ll talk about jobs, talk about the future of America, tax reform and that kind of thing,” said Putnam County native Caleb Turner before the crowd began a “We Love Pence” chant.

“Thanks to the landslide here in West Virginia, now we have a President in Donald Trump who’s going to cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses and family farms, we’re going to roll back regulations that are killing jobs and the war on coal is over because Trump digs coal,” Pence said.

He then spoke again about health care in America.

“Even though Congress is not ready to do it yet, President Trump will not rest, will not relent until we repeal and replace Obamacare,” Pence said.

Until then, he continued, the administration will move forward. Pence said their next agenda item is to get back to the President’s ultimate goal of creating jobs.

The West Virginia Democratic Party slammed Pence’s visit in a news release, saying the ACA has benefited Mountain State immensely and that Trump’s proposed budget would cut needed programs. However, attendees to the VP’s events were overwhelming supportive for the GOP administration.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.