Health and Science

Vice President Mike Pence says you'll see 'brisk pace' of Obamacare repeal and replacement efforts in next several days

Vice President Mike Pence.
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It's coming soon. We promise (again).

Vice President Mike Pence on Friday said that "in a matter of days" Americans will "see a very brisk pace of legislative activity" toward repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act health law with a Republican alternative.

"Look, we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare, we're going to do it at the same time," Pence said.

"We're going to replace Obamacare with the kinds of solutions that will lower the cost of health insurance for every American.

"We expect in a matter of days that you're going to begin to see a very brisk pace of legislative activity," Pence said after an event with House Speaker Paul Ryan in Ryan's home state of Wisconsin.

Pence's confident prediction comes as conservatives in the GOP Congressional caucus have expressed criticism over a plan by Republican leaders to include tax credits in the Obamacare replacement plan that can be used to lower the cost of health plan premiums.

At the same time, Republicans face opposition from Democratic lawmakers who have shown no interest in repealing the ACA or replacing it with a new set of legislation.

On Thursday, the GOP leadership hid their replacement plan in a basement room of the Capitol. They were harshly criticized by Obamacare supporters after a number of members of Congress, including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky — who is himself a Republican — tried to see it and were either rebuffed or couldn't find it.

Mike Pence takes the stage at CPAC

President Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Congress previously have promised quick action to repeal and replace the law.

But so far, that hasn't happened. And in the meantime, Republican lawmakers have been confronted at public town halls with constituents angry over the possibility of losing health coverage, as well as opinion polls that show growing support for Obamacare.

Pence on Friday said the GOP's replacement plan would "be an orderly transition to a new and better health-care program."

"And we're going to ensure that we don't leave anyone behind and that we give the states the resources and the flexibility to meet the needs of the most vulnerable," Pence said.

"We're working in collaboration with Speaker Ryan, with [Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky], with members of the House and Senate and American people are going to see – President Trump said this week and Congress is responding," Pence said.

"We look forward to ending Obamacare but ushering in at the same time a health-care system that will serve the needs of the American people in the long term."

But Obamacare supporters say the truth about the plan is revealed by the secrecy surrounding it, and the lack of details other than those that have been leaked to the media.

Leslie Dach, director of the Protect Our Care Campaign, said, "The Republican plan for health care is so harmful to people's health care that Republicans have hid it behind locked doors, even from Senators of their own party and are trying to sneak it through before people can understand how bad it really is."

"The contents of the leaked bill should scare everyone because they add up to less coverage, fewer protections and higher costs," Dach said.

"Middle-class families will see the health care they get at work taxed and working families will pay thousands more in taxes and out-of-pocket costs after the Republicans' crusade to rip apart health care."

Watch: Rand Paul searches for Obamacare replacement bill

Rand Paul rails against access to Obamacare bill