Obamacare Fight Impacting North Carolina

A fired up President Obama met with Democrats to try and save the health care law.

WASHINGTON, DC — The future of Obamacare took center stage on Capitol Hill today. A fired up President Obama met with Democrats to try and save the health care law. Meantime, Republicans talked repeal and replace.

Across the country, millions of people are asking: with what?

“The first order of business is to repeal and replace Obamacare,” said Vice President-Elect Mike Pence at a press conference Wednesday morning.

The two political parties are in separate camps, prepared to do battle over the Affordable Care Act.

“The people who repeal the Affordable Care Act are going to assume the blame for the chaos that ensues,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest in a warning to Republicans.

Democrats met with President Obama Wednesday morning, as he urged them to fight with all they’ve got against GOP plans to gut his signature law.

“The Republican plan to cut health care wouldn’t make America great again, it would make America sick again and lead to chaos instead of affordable care,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The Democrats don’t have the votes to block Republicans, but say Republicans don’t have a plan for 20 million people who could lose their coverage.

UNC Charlotte political science professor Eric Heberlig says Obamacare has become a political hot potato.

“They can vote to repeal it, and that’s the easy part,” said Heberlig. “But there’s likely to be a significant political push back if people start losing their insurance.”

And the potential fight over the Affordable Care Act is already spilling over into North Carolina, where more than 600,000 people have ACA coverage. New governor Roy Cooper says he plans to expand the state’s Medicaid program, allowing almost 500,000 more people to sign up for government health insurance.

Republican leaders in the General Assembly took away the governor’s power to do so in 2013. They say Cooper is trying to break the law.

“North Carolina chose not to do that,” said Heberlig. “The Democrats have wanted to do that. The Republicans and the General Assembly have not wanted to do that. And I don’t see that changing now that Roy Cooper is governor.”

President-Elect Donald Trump did tweet about the debate Wednesday, calling Obamacare a “disaster”. He also warned Republicans to “be careful” in their efforts to repeal the law.