And so it begins...The Republican plan to repeal Obamacare overcame its first procedural hurdle in the Senate this afternoon by a vote of 51-48.
However, as Bloomberg reports, lawmakers made clear - following a morning meeting with Vice President-elect Mike Pence - that any replacement plan is at least months away.
The Senate voted 51-48 this afternoon to proceed to the resolution, S. Con. Res. 3, which would set up a filibuster-proof process, ensuring the chamber’s consideration of legislation repealing parts of Obamacare and replacing it, either as one bill or as separate measures.
The 54-page document, unveiled yesterday by Budget Chairman Mike Enzi, directs committees of jurisdiction to come up with Affordable Care Act legislation by Jan. 27, meaning a repeal bill could be to Donald Trump’s desk by the end February, lawmakers said today.
The House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce as well as the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committees are charged with drafting the legislation.
Senate action came as Obama and Pence both headed to the Capitol to meet with their respective parties to discuss efforts to preserve or undo the health-care law.
House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas said that an Obamacare replacement proposal would be laid out on a step-by-step basis and could be fully written by the August recess.
The White House was quick to respond:
- *EARNEST SAYS SENATE BUDGET VOTE BY `PRETTY NARROW MARGIN'
- *EARNEST: EASY TO CAMPAIGN ON ACA REPEAL, HARD TO DO AND OWN IT
- *EARNEST: REPEALING AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IS NOT AN IMPROVEMENT
- *EARNEST:THOSE REPEALING OBAMACARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSUING CHAOS