by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Sen. Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, introduced a budget resolution on Tuesday that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
The resolution utilizes the reconciliation process to repeal elements of the health care law, since Republicans do not have a 60-seat majority that would allow them to overcome a Democratic filibuster. Reconciliation could be used to repeal parts of Obamacare with only 51 votes, similar to how Democrats used the reconciliation process to amend tax and spending provisions contained in Obamacare in 2010.
Republicans can use reconciliation to “fast-track” repeal and send legislation to President-elect Donald Trump’s desk as soon as possible.
Enzi’s resolution directs relevant House and Senate committees to achieve $1 billion in deficit reductions over the next decade.
The resolution would also reserve funds so Republicans can replace the Affordable Care Act with a patient-centered health care reform.
“Americans face skyrocketing premiums and soaring deductibles,” Enzi said. “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.”
“Today, we take 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,” he said.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) supports the resolution saying it’s the first step toward relief.