Update: On Friday 1/13, the House also voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. From here, Congress must work together to come up with a replacement for Obamacare. House Speaker Paul Ryan says Congress will work on a replacement plan in the next 100 days. More details to come later.
The Republicans have made no secret of the fact that they want to repeal Obamacare. Yesterday, they moved a step closer to that goal.
On Thursday, after a marathon voting session, the Senate approved a budget resolution that will repeal many areas of the Affordable Care Act. The budget resolution was narrowly passed by a vote of 51/48, and will be voted on in the House today.
This all took place during the Senate vote-a-rama, a tradition where senators can propose unlimited amendments – in this case, regarding health care law.
So what’s next? If the resolution passes the House, the next step is for committees from both the House and Senate to meet and determine what the repeal should look like. Only a simple majority is required to pass repeal legislation; if it passes, it then goes to the President for his signature.
This legislation will not repeal Obamacare in it’s entirety, but major provisions are expected to be cut. Since Republicans are using the budget process to repeal Obamacare, they are limited to provisions that affect federal spending, such as requiring companies with 50 or more employees to provide workers with health insurance and taxes that help fund health care.
Republicans are united in their effort to repeal Obamacare; unfortunately, they are divided on what the replacement will look like. Initially it looked like Congress was going to repeal the health care act even before a replacement was in place. However, members are speaking up that they want the repeal and replacement to happen at the same time.
Coming up with a replacement in less than a month doesn’t seem realistic, though, so expect the process to take a while.
How do Americans feel about Obamacare? A recent NPR poll shows that 38 percent of Americans believe that the Affordable Care Act should be “strengthened or expanded”, 31 percent said it should be repealed and replaced, and 6 percent said it should be left as is.