Vice president stops in Jacksonville as part of AHCA 'listening tour'

Mike Pence, Gov. Rick Scott visit Southside paper company

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Vice President Mike Pence was in Jacksonville Saturday, joining Florida Gov. Rick Scott on a listening tour about the American Health Care Act now making its way through Congress. The visit was the first to Jacksonville for the vice president since he and President Donald Trump won the 2016 election.

The vice president walked into the headquarters of Mac Papers on Philips Highway with a message -- the Affordable Care Act, or as he put it, Obamacare will be repealed and replaced.

“Virtually every promise they made about Obamacare when they passed it has been broken,” Pence said, referring to former President Barack Obama and the then-Democrat-controlled Congress, which passed the ACA in 2010.

Pence continued taking shots at the ACA and lauded Scott for fighting it in Florida. He noted that businesses like Mac Paper have struggled with Obamacare.

Pence also said the Republican bill is a work in progress, bringing up a few recent amendments.

“We’re going to stop any more states from expanding Medicaid to the state, so states like Florida can. And we’re going to allow states like Florida to include a work requirement for able-bodied adults. Ensuring that Medicaid’s benefits are working for those who need them most,” Pence said.

He implored Florida Republicans to get on board, but there is apparently work to be done to convince them. Even ardent Trump supporters, like Kerry Kelly, told News4Jax that they still want to learn more. Pointing to disputes among congressional Republicans.

“I could stand to learn a little more about it,” Kerry Kelly said. “A little more discussion in the press -- the different sides of it. You have the Rand Paul side, then you have the Ryan side. So a little bit more debate.”

Scott has made Mac Papers a regular location for visits to Jacksonville. He stopped at the headquarters in 2014 during his re-election campaign. He also made the Southside business the location of a speech about his proposed $1 billion in tax cuts in 2015.

GOP Florida Congressman John Rutherford also spoke before Pence took the podium.

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