VP Pence Reunites With Denham Springs Flood Survivors Who Rebuilt Home
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence reunited with a couple of Louisiana flood victims at their rebuilt home on Wednesday, then urged an end to the Affordable Care Act in a speech at a pipe-making plant.
Pence praised the state's five Republican representatives for voting for the House-passed health care bill, which is now before the Senate.
"But I'd also suggest that you call your two Republican senators and tell them it's time for the Senate to stand up and do their part to repeal and replace Obamacare," he told the assembled crowd at Cajun Industries, in Port Allen, near the state capital of Baton Rouge.
Pence also met there with about a dozen business executives who said health care costs are rising.
The visit came on the same day that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said the House-passed health care bill backed by President Donald Trump would leave 23 million additional people uninsured by 2026. That analysis also projected individuals' premium costs would be lower, partly because fewer costs would be covered.
Pence arrived at the Baton Rouge airport with Rep. Garret Graves, a fellow Republican. They were met by Gov. John Bel Edwards and Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, both Democrats. Neither of Louisiana's senators, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, accompanied Pence. Both cited pressing business in Washington and issued statements critical of "Obamacare."
Cassidy and Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, have offered legislation that would enable states to retain the health care law passed during President Barack Obama's tenure, or offer other options, from low-cost, high-deductible plans to more expensive policies.
The vice president made an unannounced stop in nearby Denham Springs at the home of Jimmy and Olive Morgan, both in their 70s, whom Pence and Trump met while campaigning in flood-ravaged areas last year.
"This is astounding," Pence said after his motorcade pulled up to their rebuilt house. He relayed the president's greetings and recalled the impact of last year's floods.
"You could see the water line, the mud line, near the ceiling," he recalled.
– by AP Reporter Kevin McGill