THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much for being here. It's a great honor, very great honor. I want to thank Vice President Pence, Secretary Tom Price, and Administrator Seema Verma -- who's done an incredible job, by the way -- for all of the time and energy they've put into repairing and replacing Obamacare ahead of tomorrow's crucial vote. Big vote tomorrow in the House.
I want to especially thank Seema, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services --a wonderful job she's doing, and definitely a complex job, but you have it under control, right -- for hosting this very important meeting to discuss the vital role women play in healthcare and the hardships inflicted on them by the Obamacare catastrophe. It's been bad.
Administrator Seema Verma is playing the leading role for us in helping us to repeal and replace Obamacare. The doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals here today represent the millions of women -- millions and millions -- who play a vital and indispensable role in Americans' healthcare. Unfortunately, Obamacare is making their lives so much more difficult, as we all know, and putting enormous barriers in the way of helping patients who we are going to help. We're going to get this thing done. We're going to get it figured out. It's a tough situation our country has been put in. It's not easy.
Women doctors and healthcare leaders have changed the face of healthcare in America, saving and improving countless American lives. In 1965, only 9 percent of accepted medical school applicants were women -- 9 percent. Last year, nearly 50 percent of newly accepted applicants were women. Congratulations. Good job. It's a good job. Thirty-eight percent of physicians and surgeons are women, and that number will continue to grow. That's a big victory for our society, big victory for America.
I want to also thank all of the women nurses and healthcare aides for their incredible service and dedication to our country. What you do is remarkable. Unfortunately, Obamacare is making it much harder for all of the doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals, men and women alike, to do their job. As insurers flee Obamacare's broken marketplace -- and it is broken, it's broken badly; the insurance companies are fleeing -- millions of patients can no longer access the healthcare professionals the know and trust. In other words, "keep your doctor, keep your plan" didn't work out that way. You don't get your doctor, you don't get your plan.
So that is one of the more vital reasons why we must repeal Obamacare. It's one of the reasons why we're here today.
So with that, I want to turn it over to Administrator Verma, and we'll start a meeting.
ADMINISTRATOR VERMA: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. You could probably do -- stay for this little while, and then we'll clear out the room and talk, okay? Go ahead.
ADMINISTRATOR VERMA: Well, thank you, Mr. President. Appreciate it. This gentleman has been very supportive as I started my position at CMS, and I am very appreciative to be a part of this great healthcare team.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
ADMINISTRATOR VERMA: And thanks to all the women that came today. It's great to see so many strong, professional women that are on the front lines of healthcare. So thanks again for coming today.
Obamacare has just been a broken promise. Instead of meaningful healthcare, we have higher costs, less choices, and more mandates. Right now, we have the government that's making decisions about our healthcare, not patients and not doctors. As a mother and as a woman, the most important thing about my healthcare is being able to pick out the doctor that I feel comfortable with, but unfortunately, with Obamacare, we have less choices.
One-third of counties and five states only have one choice of health plan. And so that tells us we are not getting the choices that Americans deserve. And the problem is getting worse. We have even more insurers that are saying that they're going to leave the marketplace.
And I think the other thing that concerns me is hearing from providers. Many providers are faced with dealing with regulations and mandates instead of focusing on high-quality care and spending time with their patients. They are forced to deal with regulations.
And I came to D.C. because I was so concerned about the direction our healthcare was going in because of Obamacare. I want to be a part of the solution. I'm very excited about the American Health Care Act. There's a vote on that tomorrow. I think this is an opportunity for us to finally get rid of Obamacare and move towards a system that's going to drive costs down, give Americans more choices, and put patients and doctors in control of their healthcare.
So once again, thank you for coming today. And I look forward to hearing all the stories.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.