US Republican lawmakers plan to repeal Obamacare

January 4, 2017 10:15 pm

President Barack Obama arrives for a meeting with the House and Senate Democratic Caucuses to discuss the Affordable Care Act at the Capitol in Washington, DC, January 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Republican lawmakers in the Congress have taken the first official step to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform law.
Republican US Senator Mike Enzi introduced a resolution on Tuesday allowing for the repeal of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, which provides coverage to millions of Americans.
The move, which came on the first day of the new Congress, underscored that dismantling Obamacare will be the Republican Party’s top legislative priority under future President Donald Trump.
According to the Wall Street Journal, both chambers of Congress are expected to pass the budget resolution as early as next week.
Although passing of the measure does not automatically repeal Obamcare, it sets in motion a process that will eventually abolish the 2010 healthcare act unless three or more Republican senators (or 24 representatives in the House) defect.
The law, considered Obama’s top legislative achievement, has enabled over 20 million Americans who previously had no medical insurance to get coverage. Republicans condemn it as a government overreach.
During his presidential campaign, Trump said he would seek to repeal Obamacare if elected.
“Dems own the failed ObamaCare disaster, with its poor coverage and massive premium increases,” the New York businessman said in a tweet on Wednesday.

US Vice President-elect Mike Pence (C) speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, January 4, 2017.
(Photo by AFP)

Republican leaders insisted they have a health care plan to replace Obamacare but gave no details Wednesday. “We have plenty of ideas to replace it,” House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said after Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with House Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Pence told House Republicans that the incoming president was set to use his own set of executive actions to begin unwinding the ACA on his first day.
Obama rushes to meet Democratic lawmakers
Obama met with congressional Democrats on Wednesday to map out a strategy to defend Obamacare.
Obama’s rare visit to Capitol Hill is part of his administration’s final effort to hold onto its achievements before handing over the reins of power to Trump.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that “the president is deeply concerned about the impact” of Republicans’ “stated objective” to repeal and replace the signature healthcare law, which has extended insurance to more than 20 million Americans.
Democrats are “interested in looking out for working people in this country,” Earnest said, adding that “the president’s message will be to encourage them in that fight and to offer his own insight about the most effective way to engage in that fight.”
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