Governor Herbert meets with President Trump at White House

President Donald Trump addresses governors in the White House Monday morning. | Photo courtesy of @POTUS Twitter account

Governor Gary R. Herbert met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Monday during the National Governors Association (NGA) annual winter meetings held in Washington, D.C.

The president led a discussion with 46 governors that focused on healthcare reforms, including steps to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, as well as strengthening state-federal relations so that states are treated as more equal partners.

“It is encouraging to see the administration reaching out to governors for input since the states have a significant role to play in implementing healthcare reforms,” Gov. Herbert said. “Right now, Congressional Republicans are somewhat divided on how to repeal and replace, and I believe governors can help them navigate to a more sustainable and flexible solution.”

The governor noted the importance of state-based solutions to healthcare policy in a press conference following the White House meeting. Utah has the youngest population in America, he said, and the state has different challenges and needs from Arizona, which has a significant population of retirees. He argued that lawmakers need to respect these differences and give more flexibility to the states.

Gov. Herbert also said he would like to see Congress act to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act “with some sense of urgency” but cautioned that he would rather they do it right than do it quickly.

Governors also met with newly-appointed Cabinet members including Health Secretary Tom Price and Congressional leadership from both parties during the NGA meetings. Gov. Herbert is the immediate past chair of the NGA.

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