By Dave Andrusko
After seven hours of debate, the Senate early this morning took the first step to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“Senators voted 51-48 to approve a budget resolution that Republicans will use as a vehicle to speed through repeal of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare,” USA Today reported. Action in the House could take place as early as Friday.
With one exception, the vote was strictly along party lines with all Republicans in support, all Democrats in opposition.
According to the New York Times
The approval of the budget blueprint, coming even before President-elect Donald J. Trump is inaugurated, shows the speed with which Republican leaders are moving to fulfill their promise to repeal President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement — a goal they believe can now be accomplished after Mr. Trump’s election.
The action by the Senate is essentially procedural, setting the stage for a special kind of legislation called a reconciliation bill. Such a bill can be used to repeal significant parts of the health law and, critically, is immune from being filibustered. Congress appears to be at least weeks away from voting on legislation repealing the law.
Pro-life Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, “The Senate 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,”
“This is our opportunity to keep our campaign promise,” added pro-life Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker. “This is our opportunity to help the president-elect and the vice president-elect keep their campaign promises and show to the American people that elections have consequences.”
Among other highly objectionable provisions, Obamacare provides tax-based subsidies to about 1,000 health plans that cover elective abortions and imposes government-imposed rationing of lifesaving medical care.