The GOP has taken initial legislative steps to end the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) – high on the party's list of campaign promises. On the first day of the 115th Congress, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee introduced a resolution that paves the way for dismantling the healthcare law.
Sen. Mike Enzi's (R-Wyo.) resolution includes instructions for key House and Senate committees to repeal major provisions of the law through the budget reconciliation process. Through this fast-track process that requires only a simple majority vote in the Senate, the Republicans will be able to send ACA repeal legislation “to the new president’s desk as soon as possible,” Enzi said in a statement.
In addition, the resolution calls on the four committees to reduce the federal deficit by at least $1 billion over the next 10 years, and it reserves the funds needed to accommodate repealing and replacing the ACA. The committees will have to submit their recommendations to their respective chambers’ budget committees by 27 January.
According to House Speaker Paul Ryan, the resolution filed by Sen. Enzi sets the stage for a repeal of the ACA “followed by a stable transition to a better healthcare system.”
The opposition, however, is intent to block Republican efforts to repeal the ACA. If Republicans try to roll back Medicare or the ACA, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said that “Democrats will stand our ground.”
The GOP’s strategy to use the reconciliation process to repeal sections of the ACA linked directly to the budget may not work as quickly as Republicans hope. This is because completing the budget reconciliation process usually takes an average of five months, according to a report published last February from the Congressional Research Service.
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