Pence: GOP is 'days, or maybe just weeks away' from repealing Obamacare

Story highlights

  • "This is the moment, now is the time," the vice president said
  • He echoed Trump's call last month for an immediate repeal of the Affordable Care Act

Washington (CNN)Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that Republican senators are "very close" to repealing and replacing Obamacare.

"If you're one of those Americans who want to see Obamacare repealed and replaced, we literally are days, or maybe just weeks away from being able to accomplish that historic objective," Pence told conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh Monday afternoon.
"This is the moment, now is the time," the vice president added.
    Pence also discussed the possibility of immediately repealing Obamacare and then crafting a replacement bill at a later date. "We believe if they can't pass this carefully crafted repeal and replace bill -- we do those two things simultaneously -- we ought to just repeal only and then have enough time built into that legislation to craft replacement legislation," Pence said.
    The vice president echoed President Donald Trump's call last month for an immediate repeal of the Affordable Care Act and then a replacement in the future.
    "If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!" Trump tweeted.
    In an interview with radio host Laura Ingraham Monday, Pence made another public plea on the bill's behalf.
    "This week is critical, and if you want to see Congress repeal and replace Obamacare, now is the time to let your voice be heard," Pence said.
    As lawmakers return from the July 4 recess, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing increasing pressure to reach the 51 votes necessary to pass the health care bill. However, according to Pence, Senate Republicans only need to get to 50.
    "Just get to 50 -- I can be the tie-breaker," Pence said during Limbaugh's radio show. "It would be the greatest honor of my life if I had the privilege to be able to be the tie-breaking vote to repeal and replace Obamacare."
    The vice president is scheduled to travel to Kentucky for a listening session with those who say they have been negatively affected by the Affordable Care Act this Wednesday before heading to Providence, Rhode Island, Friday to deliver a speech his aides say will focus on health care at the National Governors Association summer meeting.