It was 1952 the last time a standing president or vice president visited Anderson. That 65-year drought ended Friday as Vice President Mike Pence visited the city to speak about tax reform and health care.
While speaking, Pence asked for support in passing the Graham-Cassidy health care bill — the most recent attempt to appeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.
“Every Hoosier knows, ObamaCare has failed, and ObamaCare must go,” Pence said to the crowd at Anderson's Flagship Enterprise Center. “President Trump and I firmly believe that the Graham-Cassidy bill is the right bill at the right time to repeal and replace ObamaCare.”
Gov. Eric Holcomb was one of 14 governors to sign-on to the proposed bill, which would roll back the individual and employer mandates so Hoosiers are no longer forced to buy health insurance or pay a fine to the government, Pence said in his remarks.
He added that the vote on the bill could come as early as next week, and said that “some have come so far as to express their opposition already,” such as Sen. John McCain, who announced his opposition earlier in the morning.
After ensuring the crowd that he and President Trump were “undeterred” by the difficulty of passing the bill, Pence turned his attention back to tax reform, calling on Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly for help.
“Senator Donnelly, we need your help,” Pence said. “Indiana needs this tax cut. Hard-working Hoosiers need this tax cut. So Joe, let’s decide today we’re going to get this tax cut done and we’re going to get it done together.”
Pence said that the tax plan could not be passed without support from all parties, and Rep. Todd Rokita agreed, though he said he was worried that Donnelly would not comply.
“The fact of the matter is Joe Donnelly can sell votes with liberal elites nine out of 10 times,” Rokita said. “My fear is that Joe Donnelly is going to do what Joe Donnelly always does, comes home, pats Hoosiers on the back and then goes and does the opposite thing in Washington, D.C.”
While the details of the tax plan are still unclear, Pence said the reform would simplify the tax system so that taxes could be filed on one sheet of paper — while cutting taxes for working families — and promised that Trump would sign a tax plan by the end of the year.