As promised, Congressional Republicans are prepared to have an Obamacare repeal bill on President-elect Trump’s desk on (almost) day one.Yesterday, the House voted 227-198 on a budget resolution which allows Republicans to use a process called “budget reconciliation” to dismantle major parts of Obamacare. The Senate already passed the resolution 51-48 on Thursday, which would require four committees on Capitol Hill to draft repeal legislation by January 27th. According to ABC News: A group of nine moderate and conservative House Republicans voted against the bill with concerns that Republicans would end up repealing the law without clearly laying out and presenting their replacement. “The only thing I’ve ever asked for is that the replacement plan be fully developed before we take on the repeal issue,” Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pennsylvania, a leading moderate who voted against the measure, said in an interview.
“I want to make [sure] people who have pre-existing conditions don’t get frozen out of the market,” Tom MacArthur, R-New Jersey, said after voting against the resolution. “I am getting a lot of calls. People are concerned about fixing health care. They are much more concerned about the substance of the fix than the timing of the fix.” Republican leaders expect to enact a repeal as early as next month; House Speaker Paul Ryan said it would “definitely” come in the first 100 days.
Among the Republicans who sided with Democrats against the budget resolution were Reps. Justin Amash, Charlie Dent, Brian Fitzpatrick, Walter Jones, John Katko, Raul Labrador, Tom MacArthur, Thomas Massie and Tom McClintock. For them, it wasn’t because they oppose repealing Obamacare, but because they oppose the particular budget resolution for not being fiscally conservative overall.
Rand Paul also went off, complaining that “there is a time and a place to debate Obamacare” but this new piece of legislation is a budget and he is unwilling to support the debt it will accumulate.”Congressional Republicans can practically push through whatever legislation they want. It’s great to see how fast they’re working on repealing Obamacare – let’s just hope they’re as hawkish on the debt next.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]