Conway: Pence will start to work to repeal Obamacare, but it has done 'some good things'

Kellyanne Conway: Trump's plans for Obamacare
Kellyanne Conway: Trump's plans for Obamacare

Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday that Vice President-elect Mike Pence will work to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, as President Barack Obama tries to save his landmark legislation in a new GOP-controlled Congress.

Pence will meet with congressional Republicans on Wednesday to "talk specifically about repealing and replacing Obamacare," Conway, who was recently named counselor to the president, told CNBC's "Squawk Box." Obama will also go to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to discuss with House Democrats ways to shield his health-care law from Republican repeal.

A new Congress starts Tuesday after the GOP held control of both legislative chambers in the 2016 U.S. election. With Republican President-elect Donald Trump's unexpected electoral victory and upcoming inauguration, much of Obama's agenda will be subject to drastic change.

Trump ran on a pledge to repeal and replace the ACA, but that prospect has led to concerns that coverage would be pulled from the millions who were insured under the law without a viable replacement ready. Trump has broadly talked about allowing insurance sales across state lines and promoting health savings accounts, but so far has given few details about his health-care replacement plan.

Conway's comments follow Tuesday morning tweets by Trump in which he said Obamacare "just doesn't work and it is not affordable." He highlighted comments by former President Bill Clinton in which he called the law "the craziest thing in the world" due to premium increases.

Conway said that the law has done "some good things" like barring insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Trump said after the election that he could keep that provision of the law and another that allows children to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26.

However, she argued that Obamacare was "on the ballot" in recent elections in which Democratic congressional and state-level seats dwindled. Conway contended that "a lot" of dissatisfaction with Democrats was due to Obamacare.

Earlier Tuesday, Obamacare architect Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel told "Squawk Box" he was somewhat optimistic about a bipartisan replacement plan.

"He does want to create a system that Americans can be proud of that has universal coverage, and he wants it to be bipartisan," Emanuel said.