Affordable Care Act repeal: Whats next?

Affordable Care Act repeal: Whatês next?

Candidate Trump promised repeatedly during his campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Republican House voted to do so more than 60 times, each of which was vetoed by Obama. With a Republican majority now in both houses, the 115th Congress has already started the process.

But Congressional Republicans have not agreed on a replacement. Trump has said he will put the finishing touches on his replacement plan soon, but no one has seen it. And the need for a plan that is simultaneous with or presented soon after repeal became much more urgent after a report by the Congressional Budget Office. The nonpartisan agency found that repealing only parts of the act, would cause 18 million citizens to lose their insurance within a year, and a total of 32 million to lose insurance by 2026.

One bill the new Congress did pass in its first week was a budget resolution that states Congressês intent to dismantle the ACA through budget reconciliation. A budget reconciliation bill must be presented by Jan. 27 and can include only those provisions of the act that affect budgetary issues. Most important for the Republicans, the bill can be passed by a simple majority in the Senate and does not require 60 votes to make it filibuster-proof.

Some major provisions of the ACA that Republicans have long wanted to repeal particularly the employer mandate and the individual coverage mandate affect the budget and therefore could be included in a budget reconciliation bill. But questions of cost and leaving millions of Americans uninsured remain.

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