Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Janesville Friday to speak to an invitation-only audience at the Blain’s Farm and Fleet Distribution Center. Pence, Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Ron Johnson and Health Secretary Tom Price spoke to a crowd of 350 local business owners, farmers and Blain’s Farm and Fleet employees.
When Pence took the podium, he addressed two main issues - healthcare and the economy.
During the speech, Pence was quick to the punches about Obamacare, promising that the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act will begin within the next few days. He said a plan is drafted for state-based solutions.
“The Obamacare nightmare is about to end,” he said.
Price, the man in charge of President Trump’s efforts to dismantle the A.C.A., echoed a similar message.
“The A.C.A. isn't working for patients, doctors, states or the federal government,” said Price.
Some Janesville residents in attendance said they weren’t surprised healthcare was at the top of the administration’s agenda.
“I was impressed with his talk of the healthcare reform,” said Blain’s Farm and Fleet accountant Jessica Roehl. “Get it back in the hands of the state, taking it out of the federal government’s hands and letting us make our own choices.”
Pence suggested the drafted replacement to Obamacare would do just that, calling it a system that would be affordable and protect those with preexisting conditions.
Some in the crowd tell TODAY’S TMJ4 they were hoping for more specifics on what would happen to the tens of millions of Americans currently covered through the Affordable Care Act.
“We all want to see some things fixed, so I just hope that they can get it done,” said Mary Arndt of Janesville.
Democratic Party of Wisconsin Representative Debra Kolste weighed in on Pence’s message about the A.C.A. repeal in Janesville with the following statement:
“The main problem, that Republicans seem to ignore, is that they have no viable plan to replace the A.C.A. and ensure the millions of Americans suddenly won’t lose their health plans.”
Pence moved on later to job creation, calling it a major reason behind his visit to Janesville. Earlier in the day, Pence joined local business leaders for a listening session on how to create more jobs.
“What works in Janesville will work for the American people,” said Pence.
On a national scale, Pence talked about keeping companies from moving overseas and cutting regulatory ‘red tape.'
“In agriculture there’s a lot,” said Arndt, whose husband is a local farmer. “The regulations are killing the farmers, so I hope they can work on those kinds of things.”
Locally, Pence urged the need for new infrastructure and small business growth.
“Donald Trump is the best friend Wisconsin businesses will ever have,” he said.
School teacher David Burns said despite a divided nation on many current political issues, job creation crosses party lines.
“I think that it would benefit all Americans if we had a president that just fulfilled their campaign promises,” said Burns.
Around 85 protesters lined the entrance to the invite-only event. Police said no one was arrested.
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