VP pool report

From: Groppe, Maureen [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 11:06 AM
Subject: VP pool report

Vice President Pence spoke at HHS this morning where he was introduced by CMS Administrator Seema Verma and HHS Secretary Tom Price.

The event was open press. Here are some highlights:

Verma, the former Indiana health care consultant who helped create Indiana’s alternative Medicaid plan when Pence was Indiana’s governor, said: “The vice president and I go way back.” She said Pence became an expert on any health care issue she brought him.

Price said Pence has taken the lead on working with Congress on health care. Fixing the situation requires an act of Congress and the president understands that, Price said.

Price said it has been years since a president or vice president visited HHS.

When Pence took the stage, he told the six rows of HHS employees he was there to both express appreciation for the work they do and address one of the most pressing issues facing the country.

Pence told the employees to give themselves a round of applause for making a difference in the lives of Americans every day.

“So I’m here to say thanks but also to address the ongoing collapse of the Affordable Care Act,” Pence said. “Or, as the president says more clearly, literally the death spiral of Obamacare.”

Not all of those in the audience applauded when Pence said the administration will keep its promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

He said there are hard facts proving the failure of Obamacare including the report HHS previously released on premium increases and a map HHS released this morning showing 47 counties could have no insurer

participating in the health care marketplaces next year.

“Many insurers are still deciding whether to pull out of the Obamacare exchanges,” Pence said. “If and when they do, hundreds of thousands -- or even millions more Americans -- could have no health insurance options this time next year.”

Pence told the story of Julie Champine, the Wisconsin women he met with last week who can’t afford her insurance.

“The simple truth is President Trump is right. Obamacare is collapsing. Frankly you’d have to be blinded by partisanship to believe otherwise. And, unfortunately, a lot of people in this town are, like most Democrats in Congress for instance,” Pence said. “The American people deserve to know that the ones who gave us Obamacare now won’t even lift a finger to help us clean up the mess that they created. And their willing allies in the media continue to try to lay the blame for Obamacare’s failures on this president, this administration.”

He mentioned the White House meeting later today with senators to discuss the Senate’s health care bill.

After speaking for about 15 minutes, Pence stayed around a little longer to shake hands and pose for selfies with HHS employees before departing.

Maureen Groppe

Washington Correspondent

Office: xxx-xxx-xxxx

Mobile: xxx-xxx-xxxx

xxx@email.com

@mgroppe

usatoday.com; indystar.com

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