The United States Senate worked late into the night Wednesday to pass a budget resolution that begins the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
In its “vote-a-rama” tradition, the Senate laid the groundwork to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law by advancing the GOP’s plan to direct various House and Senate committees to strip the ACA.
Following the 51-48 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement that lawmakers “just took an important step toward repealing and replacing Obamacare by passing the resolution that provides the legislative tools necessary to actually repeal this failed law while we move ahead with smarter health care policies,” adding:
“The American people have called on Congress to act and finally bring relief from Obamacare. I am pleased that the Senate took this critical step towards keeping that commitment tonight, and I look forward to our House colleagues passing it soon.”
Next week, before Donald Trump is set to be sworn in as the next president, the bill will head to the House of Representatives.
Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) said the legislation “put the necessary tools in place to repeal Obamacare and replace it with personalized, patient-centered health care that is affordable for every American.”
But Republicans have yet to settle on a replacement plan, which has complicated matters.
“We Democrats are willing to work with our Republican colleagues on improving the law,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the floor Wednesday. “We’ll even look at a comprehensive replacement plan if they can come up with one.”