Senate takes first step to repeal ACA
[JURIST] Senate Republicans on Thursday took the first step required to begin the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act [text] (ACA) by passing a resolution [materials] by a vote of 51 to 48, allowing the process not to be subjected to a filibuster. Democrats took the the floor to voice their disapproval of the repeal, worried about all of the Americans who might lose their health insurance under the repeal. This action is procedural, setting the stage to put forth a reconciliation bill, which would leave it immune to filibuster. Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY)[official website] stated that “the Obamacare bridge is collapsing, and we’re sending in a rescue team.” This comes a day after President-elect Donald Trump [official profile] stated [JURIST report] he would offer his own plan to repeal and immediately replace, to be put into action as soon as his nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services Representative Tom Price [official bio], is confirmed. The blueprint that was passed states that there should be a plan to replace by January 27.
It seems that the ACA, which has sustained challenges since its inception, is destined to be removed from law. On Tuesday the American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] filed a motion [JURIST report] to stay a federal court order preventing the federal government from transgender people and women from discrimination in health care, as protected under the ACA. On the same day the Secretary of Health and Human Services [official website] warned [JURIST report] that a repeal of the ACA without an immediate replace would create a dangerous situation for American healthcare. In May a federal judge ruled in favor [JURIST report] of House Republicans finding that the government had been illegally spending money to fund subsidies under the ACA.