In a vote on Wednesday, Jan, 4 along mostly party lines, the U.S. Senate started proceedings to repeal the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. In the vote that passed 51-48 a pending budget resolution will start 50 hours of debate on the measure, which sets up a repeal of parts of Obamacare through a separate budget reconciliation bill. In what is expected to be a two-step process, certain mandates within Obamacare will be scaled back or repealed. Including the mandate that individuals have coverage and that companies with 50 or more employees provide workers with affordable insurance. Republicans also plan to eliminate federal subsidies for Obamacare as well as eliminate funding for Medicaid expansion and cancel Obamacare-related taxes. Such a reconciliation bill is expected not to be ready for several weeks.
A full revision of Obamacare is unlikely since such a move will require 60 votes in the Senate for such a measure to move forward. Nancy Pelosi stated, “They don’t have the votes for a replacement plan. So to repeal and then delay is an act of cowardice.”
The repeal and delay Pelosi referenced is a Republican plan to delay implementation of certain provisions in the new measure for 2-3 years in an attempt to craft a new version of Obamacare. By using the legislative budgetary process, Senate Republicans will be able to pass motions by a simple majority vote. This will bypass attempts at filibustering by Democratic members. President-elect Trump responded on Twitter with a series of posts related to the vote on Obamacare:
“The Democrats, lead by head clown Chuck Schumer, know how bad Obamacare is and what a mess they are in. Instead of working to fix it, they do the typical political thing and BLAME. The fact is Obamacare was a lie from the beginning.”Keep you [sic], doctor, keep your plan!” It is time for Republicans & Democrats to get together and come up with a healthcare plan that really works – much less expensive & FAR BETTER!”
So far, President-elect Trump has presented no such health care plan for Americans.