Speed Reads

ObamaCare repeal and....?

Senate formally begins repealing the Affordable Care Act

Early Thursday, after voting down dozens of amendments from Democrats over seven hours, Senate Republicans approved a budget resolution measure officially beginning the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act, with no replacement yet proposed. The resolution, which passed on a partisan 51-48 vote — Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) joined all Democrats present in voting nay — instructs relevant committees to draft ObamaCare-repeal legislation by Jan. 27. The House plans to vote on the resolution Friday.

In his press conference on Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump appeared to back the "repeal and replace" strategy being pushed by Paul rather than the "repeal and delay" tactic GOP leaders in Congress appear to be pursuing. The health care law can be replaced "essentially simultaneously" with its repeal, Trump said, "probably the same day" if not within the "same hour." He did not offer any policy ideas or lay out a timetable. The budget resolution maneuver allows Senate Republicans to excise large parts of the law with a simple majority, but any laws to replace ObamaCare will likely need at least 60 votes.