In a bold move in the early Thursday morning hours — 1:30 a.m., to be exact — the Senate wasted no time in getting to work to end Obamacare.
By a vote of 51-48, the Republican-controlled body took its first steps in repealing the failing health care law. The measure passed will allow for large portions of the Affordable Care Act to be repealed through a process known as budget reconciliation. The resolution will now go to the House of Representatives where it will be voted on later in the week.
This process is a unique first step in the repealing of Obama’s most sweeping domestic agenda. What the resolution allows is for certain financial aspects of the Affordable Care Act to be rolled back. One of these components will outline how much the government allocates for spending or taxing individuals. The measure does not yet repeal key components of the act that mandate coverage, but this is a major step in making one of President-elect Trump’s key campaign promises a reality.
Obamacare premiums have risen drastically throughout the country since its inception. In particular, Tennessee saw increases as high 36% in 2016, placing financially strapped families in an even more difficult position. This trend is expected to continue into 2017.
Democrats wasted no time this morning trying to paint the vote as a cataclysmic move. Former Presidential Candidate Martin O’Malley tweeted that the actions taken this morning had stripped some 30 million American people of healthcare.
In a late night vote, Senate Republicans eliminated healthcare for 30 million Americans without any plan to replace it. Morally indefensible
— Martin O'Malley (@MartinOMalley) January 12, 2017
Democrats are critical of the Republican leadership, citing there is no clear plan in place for a replacement. However, President-elect Trump said yesterday in a news conference that he would be offering a plan to Congress to replace Obamacare immediately after his nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Service, Rep. Tom Price -R (GA), takes office.
After hearing news of the Senate vote, President-elect Trump responded on Twitter with a congratulatory note to the Senate and an on-deck notice to the House.
Congrats to the Senate for taking the first step to #RepealObamacare– now it's onto the House!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2017