The U.S. Senate voted mostly along party lines on Jan. 4 to repeal the Affordable Care Act, dealing a potentially fatal blow to President Barack Obama’s landmark health care legislation.
The Senate resolution, put forth by Republican Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, passed 51 to 48. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the lone Republican to vote against the bill. According to CNN, Paul opposed the measure because it didn’t balance the budget.
All 46 Senate Democrats, as well as Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, voted against the resolution.
“Americans face skyrocketing premiums and soaring deductibles,” said Enzi, the Senate Budget Committee chairman, reports CNN. “Insurers are withdrawing from markets across the country, leaving many families with fewer choices and less access to care than they had before — the opposite of what the law promised.”
Republicans have a four-step plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, according to The New York Times. The first step is to pass legislation that would protect a repeal from a Democratic filibuster.
The second step is to begin chipping away at important parts of the Affordable Care Act, including eliminating the mandatory penalty imposed on people without health insurance and eliminating the tens of millions of dollars from federal coffers to states that have expanded Medicare and Medicaid.
The third step will involve President-elect Donald Trump. Once he assumes office, Trump will have executive authority to undo many parts of the Affordable Care Act.
“We are working on a series of executive orders that the president-elect will put into effect to ensure that there is an orderly transition, during the period after we repeal Obamacare, to a market-based health care economy,” said Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
And the fourth part will be to find a replacement for the Affordable Care Act.
Although Republicans have managed to pass a resolution that kickstarts their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said she doesn’t believe the GOP can create an alternative.
“They have no replacement plan,” Pelosi said, according to KTVU. “They have no replacement plan because they can’t agree, they don’t have the votes for a replacement plan.”
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