The Senate Begins the Process of Repealing Obamacare

On Wednesday, the Senate will begin debate on a resolution to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced a resolution Tuesday on the first day of the 115th Congress that provides a path to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

In a statement, Enzi called the resolution “the first steps to repair the nation’s broken health care system, removing Washington from the equation and putting control back where it belongs: with patients, their families, and their doctors,” adding:

“Americans face skyrocketing premiums and soaring deductibles. Insurers are withdrawing from markets across the country, leaving many families with fewer choices and less access to care than they had before — the opposite of what the law promised.”

The resolution includes instructions for reconciliation, the process by which the Senate will be able to accomplish their goals with a simple majority vote.

The resolution provides instructions for reconciliation for authorizing committees to achieve a minimum $1 billion deficit reduction until 2026. In the Senate, instructions are for the committees on Finance and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. In the House, they’re for the committees on Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce.

The committees will have to report legislation to the budget committees by January 27th, one week after Donald Trump is slated to be sworn in as president.

House Speaker Paul Ryan applauded the resolution’s introduction Tuesday afternoon.

“This is the first step toward relief for Americans struggling under Obamacare,. This resolution sets the stage for repeal followed by a stable transition to a better health care system. Our goal is to ensure that patients will be in control of their health care and have greater access to quality, affordable coverage. Today we begin to deliver on our promise to the American people.”

On Wednesday, both President Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence are heading to Capitol Hill to meet with their respective party leaders in an effort to develop a strategy for the coming repeal.

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