As promised for months now, the Senate took the first initiative towards repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, on Wednesday (Jan. 11) during a marathon voting session, reports NBC.
“The Senate just took an important step toward repealing and replacing Obamacare by passing the resolution that provides the legislative tools necessary to actually repeal this failed law while we move ahead with smarter health care policies,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell explained in a statement.
The bill is on its way to the House of Representatives for a voting session that will take place on Friday (Jan. 13). Democrats casted their vote by also citing examples of people or communities, whom the repeal of Obamacare would negatively impact—this was in an effort to protest against the Republican party.
VIDEO: Here is how the Democrats’ vote-a-rama rules protest of repeal effort unfolded on Senate floor after 1am pic.twitter.com/r34Gyempeo
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) January 12, 2017
The vote came after President-elect Donald Trump held a press conference earlier on Wednesday, where he mapped out a timeline of how he was going to replace the health care law.
“The easiest thing would be to let [Obamacare] implode in 2017, and believe me, we’d get pretty much whatever we wanted, but it’d take a long time. We are going to be submitting, as soon as our secretary is approved, almost simultaneously, shortly thereafter, a plan,” Trump explained. “It will be repeal and replace. It will be essentially simultaneously. It will be various segments, you understand, but will most likely be on the same day or the same week, but probably the same day, could be the same hour.”
Additionally, Vice President-elect Mike Pence added his two cents regarding the repeal of the ACA, reportedly during a meeting with senators on Capitol Hill.
“We’re working with legislative leaders at this very moment to begin to craft legislation that will repeal the most corrosive elements of Obamacare — the individual mandate, the taxes, the penalties — but at the same time, moving separate legislation that will allow us to introduce the kind of reforms in American healthcare that’ll lower the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government,” Pence stated.
The ACA can likely be repealed through reconciliation, which only requires 51 senators to vote for the repeal. Other legislations need 60 votes. While reconciliation might seem easier, it still has restrictions, and only pertains to debt and spending. The concrete vote to repeal the healthcare law will come after legislation is sorted out; Republicans have a deadline of January 27.
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