Obama defends health-care reforms, as Trump pushes repeal efforts

The United States President Barack Obama and incoming Vice President Mike Pence, held duelling meetings with lawmakers, as Republicans begin efforts to repeal Obama’s signature health-care reforms.

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President Obama was meeting with Democratic lawmakers at the Capitol to lay out a plan to protect the health insurance reforms known as Obama care from president-elect Donald Trump’s vows to repeal and replace the law.

Mr. Obama encouraged Democrats to fight for the law, lawmakers said after the meeting.

Mr. Pence, meanwhile was discussing an approach with Republicans that would see Congress work to repeal and replace the law, while Trump issued a series of executive actions to begin the process.

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“We’re going to keep our promise to the American people, we’re going to repeal Obamacare,” Pence said after his meeting with members of Congress, calling the effort the Trump administrations “first order of business.’’

Republicans denounced Obama’s policy for causing soaring increases in health insurance premiums and leaving some consumers with fewer choices about their health insurance.

In a series of tweets, Trump called Obamacare a “disaster’’ and said Democrats “are to blame for the mess.’’

Democratic leaders said Republicans would be unable to keep popular provisions of the law, while gutting the rest of the legislation and blasted Republicans for lacking a plan to replace Obama care.

“The Republican plan to gut health care won’t make America great again, it will make America sick again,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

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