The Fight to Repeal Obamacare Begins
Just hours after returning to work in the new year, Republicans in Congress began the push to repeal the Affordable Care Act. As Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with House Republicans, President Obama met with Democratic members of Congress—shoving back to defend the law. According to Pence, President-elect Donald Trump plans to use his executive power to transition the country away from Obamacare following his inauguration later this month. Specific details about a plan to replace the law have not been announced.
President Obama's health care law created online insurance marketplaces, provided new options to consumers seeking health insurance, and expanded Medicaid to unsure millions of people with low incomes. According to experts, the system could collapse if provisions of the law providing funds for expanded coverage and requiring tax penalties for those who do not have health insurance are repealed—steps the new administration has said it would take.
Republicans intend to follow a procedure to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act that will prevent Democrats from stopping the measures through filibuster. On Wednesday, January 4th, the Senate took the first step with a 51 to 48 vote to take up a budget resolution to sections of the law. Democrats in Congress have said they will not participate in drawing up replacement legislation.
President-elect Trump has commented via a number of Twitter posts and has said the Affordable Care Act will "fall of its own weight." The response of health insurers during this process is unknown, but according to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, changes in health coverage will not be abrupt.
Image Credit: Thinkstock