Vice President Mike Pence laid out the case for Senate Republicans' Obamacare repeal plan on Friday, telling an audience of Republican and Democratic governors that it is the best path forward to fix the nation's ailing healthcare system.
"Help is on the way. We are going to give the American people access to the kind of world-class healthcare every American deserves," Pence said during a speech at the National Governors Association's summer meeting in Rhode Island on Friday. "We believe the Senate healthcare bill begins to make the president's vision a reality."
Pence touted the unveiling one day earlier of a revised Senate healthcare bill, which still faces an uncertain future amid wavering Republican support.
"President Trump and I urge every member of the Senate to support it," Pence said of the legislation. "The president and I believe the Senate healthcare bill is the right bill at the right time to begin the end of Obamacare."
While changes floated by Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, helped steer the healthcare bill in a direction conservative lawmakers liked, centrist Republicans have expressed concerns about supporting the bill's Medicaid cuts.
But Pence told governors that the GOP plan would allow states to make key decisions on Medicaid, citing the lessons he learned when he expanded Medicaid as governor of Indiana under the Affordable Care Act.
"The Senate healthcare bill gives states the freedom to redesign your health insurance markets and most significantly, under this legislation, states across the country will have an unprecedented level of flexibility to reform Medicaid and bring better coverage, better care and better outcomes to the most vulnerable in your states," the vice president said.
"This is your chance. The Senate healthcare bill restores Medicaid to its original purpose," Pence added. "I really believe, as the president does, that we're saving Medicaid."
Pence said he hoped Senate Republicans could advance the bill "as soon as next week."