WASHINGTON ― Barack Obama paid what’s likely to be his last visit to Capitol Hill as president on Wednesday and beseeched congressional Democrats to fight to protect the Affordable Care Act from Republican efforts to unravel it.
With President-elect Donald Trump set to assume office in little more than two weeks, the GOP-led Congress is already moving forward with Republicans’ longstanding desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Obama sought to rally his party to do whatever it can to thwart them, despite the terrible odds.
Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, Vice President-elect Mike Pence gathered with Republican lawmakers to press the opposite case.
“Despite the negativity, you have a big chunk of the country that wants this thing to succeed,” Obama said, according to a person who attended the meeting with House and Senate Democrats. “That the country is clamoring to undo this thing is simply untrue.”
Democratic leaders emerged from that session proclaiming they’re unified in their opposition to repeal, unified in their zeal to resist and unified in their refusal to help Republicans devise new health care reforms until they see the GOP’s opening bid at an Obamacare “replacement” ― something that Republicans have failed to produce during the eight years since the Affordable Care Act debate began.
“They want to repeal it and then try to hang it on us. Not going to happen. It’s their responsibility, plain and simple,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at a press conference following the meeting with the president.
“They’re going to own it,” Schumer said. “All the problems in the health care system are going to be on their back.” Read full post here