Lawmakers meet with Obama, Pence as health care fight begins

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) President Obama and Vice-President Elect Mike Pence were on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to prepare their parties for the battle over the Affordable Care Act.

The high profile visits come as a group of conservative lawmakers are preparing to unveil the first concrete plan to replace the President's signature achievement.

The healthcare overhaul fight is intensifying on Capitol Hill with President Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence holding separate strategy sessions with lawmakers on Wednesday.

“I think a lot of us are going to miss President Obama," said Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA), who was in the meeting with the President.

Loebsack said the meeting was bitter-sweet. He says a full repeal without a replacement will create chaos.

“They have had seven years to think about this and to come up with a full fledged replacement," Loebsack said. "They have bits and pieces here and there. I’m not going to vote for anything unless they put something forward that can convince me that its at least as good as what we’ve seen up to this point.”

Colorado Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) was among a group of Republicans who met separately with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, mapping out how to dismantle the law.

“Vice President Mike Pence is an inspiring individual from the standpoint of optimism," Rep. Tipton said. "He believes in this country and the opportunity for us to be able to move forward.

Congressional Democrats are now making their own push organizing rallies against the repeal around the country. Tipton said this is counter-productive.

“This is a choice our Democrat colleagues are going to have to make. We are extending a hand of bipartisanship to work together on behalf of the American people," Rep. Tipton said. "If they want to be tied to a program, tied to a legacy rather than working on behalf of the American people, that’s going to be their choice.”

For now, Republican leaders are considering an affordable care act repeal that would include a two or three year transition period. This could give them more time to figure out a replacement plan.

Read the original version of this article at www.graydc.com.