WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Showdown on Capitol Hill. President Obama and Vice President Elect Mike Pence held separate briefings with lawmakers of their respective parties on the future of the Affordable Care Act.
“Those accomplishments are important and actually helping people today, helping people in New York,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said.
The New York senator was in the closed-door meeting with President Obama. She believes the healthcare law is important to protect the president’s legacy.
“We don’t want to lose the sight of the value of that and that we really should stand up for Americans who need that healthcare and not give up the fight,” Gillibrand said.
At the same time, Republican lawmakers met with Vice President Elect Mike Pence. They got straight to work on repealing the law.
“Mike Pence was with us talking about the future, talking about a healthcare system that puts patients back involved with their healthcare decisions,” West Virginia Congressman Evan Jenkins (R-WV-3) said.
Jenkins was there as republicans planned how they would dismantle Obama care and what they should do to replace it.
“Controlling cost, expanding Access, thinking about insurance reforms, so this was about looking to the future,” he added.
While the lawmakers I spoke with were pleased with their meetings. One senator said they were counterproductive and decided to sit this one out.
“That’s exactly how we got ourselves into this mess,” West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin said.
Manchin said the separate meetings are adding to the divide in Washington. The Democratic Senator, who had his own meeting with President Elect Donald Trump just last month, said he sees both sides.
“President Elect Donald Trump really tapped into the people being angry, angry and mad, about nothing getting accomplished they don’t care whether you’re democrat or republican I mean you’re in Washington and you can’t do anything. You’re a part of that mess-- and he tapped into that,” Manchin added.
Manchin said he would support repealing Obamacare if there was a better way forward.
But for now, the battle between Republicans and Democrats goes on.