With Donald Trump in the White House, and a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, Obamacare’s days are numbered. Until now, dozens of votes on a full or partial repeal of the law have been held without any success, facing the president’s veto.
Trump has vowed to repeal Obamacare, and Congressional Republicans are setting the stage for when Trump takes office. Earlier Friday, House Republicans settled on a plan to fund the government until March and avoid a final budget deal with Obama. At the same time, budget leaders in the House and Senate are uniting around a proposal to avoid a filibuster from Senate Democrats while putting an Obamacare repeal bill on Trump’s desk right as he takes office.
As the Daily Signal reported: House and Senate budget leaders have endorsed a proposal that involves Congress passing two budget resolutions—one for 2017 and one for 2018—early next year, the first of which would instruct lawmakers to use a budget tool called “reconciliation” to dismantle the health care law.
Under reconciliation, legislation under consideration by the Senate needs just a simple majority, 51 votes, to pass, blocking a filibuster by Senate Democrats. Because Congress failed to pass a budget resolution for 2017—a proposal stalled in the House—budget experts say Republicans could pass a revamped fiscal roadmap for next year, one that includes reconciliation instructions for Obamacare’s repeal. To ease the transition for consumers, that reconciliation bill would likely have a delayed enactment date to give congressional Republicans time to craft and pass a replacement plan.
After passing a budget resolution for 2017, GOP lawmakers could then craft a second budget resolution for 2018, which could also include reconciliation instructions to tackle another legislative priority, such as an overhaul of the tax system.
Using this two-budget approach to repeal Obamacare would give Republicans the chance to put a bill dismantling the health care law on Trump’s desk soon after his Jan. 20 inauguration, lawmakers said.
Obamacare clearly hasn’t worked as intended. Obama promised that his healthcare reform plan would save the median household $2,500 a year in premiums. That of course, hasn’t even remotely happened, as premiums have increased every year since the law was passed (and are going up 22 percent next year, according to the Department of Health and Human services).
Obamacare is the president’s signature “accomplishment,” and when he leaves office, so will the worst part of his legacy.
[Note: This post was written by The Analytical Economist]