Vice President Mike Pence, center, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, right, are given a tour of the Frame USA facility, Thursday, March 2, 2017, in Springdale, Ohio. Pence visited Ohio to discuss healthcare and other issues while engaging in a “listening session” with small business owners. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

VP Pence and HHS Sec’y Price Visit Ohio

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SPRINGDALE, Ohio (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence promised small business executives in Ohio on Thursday that the Trump administration will “lift the weight of Obamacare” off them and U.S. families with a better plan that puts the American people first.”The Obamacare nightmare is about to be over,” Pence said at Frame USA, a picture frame manufacturer in in suburban Cincinnati. “We’re going to replace Obamacare with something that works.”Accompanied by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Pence told a gathering of workers and others after touring the factory that there will be “an orderly transition” to a plan that will lower costs without increasing the size of government. He said businesses would benefit from lower costs and less regulation.The former governor of neighboring Indiana said he spoke earlier in the day with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who has expressed concern about the fate of those who gained Medicaid eligibility through the overhaul. Pence said the administration will assure that “the most vulnerable … are seen to and taken care of.” Pence said “state-based solutions” would be used.

Democrats and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act strongly dispute that it’s been the disaster depicted by Trump and Republicans, and say scrapping it risks leaving millions of people uninsured if the replacement plan has shortcomings. Some critics have also said GOP rhetoric is creating uncertainty about the future.

Pence didn’t take press questions and didn’t mention during his public comments in Ohio the political storm back in Washington over Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian contacts during the presidential campaign.

Some two dozen people protested Pence’s visit from across the street. One sign read, “They are lying.” One man loudly yelled: “Boo, Mike Pence.”