Republicans in the United States Senate recently released a Fiscal Year 2017 budget blueprint which reflects the first step of repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The resolution can be found at
The Senate will hold 50 hours of debate on the topic, equally divided. Debate began on January 4th, and will expire on January 11. Following debate, roll call votes on amendments to the resolution will begin. There is no limit on the number of amendments that can be offered and considered. Once all amendments have been disposed of, vote on final passage will occur. Upon passage, the resolution will be sent to the House for consideration.
The budget resolution instructs the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees as well as the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees to draft legislation that achieves at least $1 billion in deficit reduction over 10 years, and to report their proposals to the Budget Committees by January 27. The budget resolution also calls for a reserve fund to allow for future legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Committees must draft legislation because the resolution does not carry the force of law.
The instructions to the Committees allows for fast-tracking of ACA repeal because only a simple majority will be needed for repeal legislation in the Senate.
In related news, the AMA has strengthened its position on repeal and replace:
AMA calls for Obamacare replacement before repeal
By ADAM CANCRYN
The American Medical Association is urging Congress to hold off on repealing Obamacare, saying today that lawmakers should first come up with a plan to replace the health law.
AMA CEO James Madara in a letter to congressional leaders pushed for an outline of any official plans for maintaining health insurance coverage, arguing that the public should be able to compare any replacement package against Obamacare’s existing provisions.
“Policymakers should lay out for the American people, in reasonable detail, what will replace current policies,” he wrote in the letter, obtained by POLITICO. “Patients and other stakeholders should be able to clearly compare current policy to new proposals so they can make informed decisions about whether it represents a step forward in the ongoing process of health reform.”
The letter represents the AMA’s strongest position yet on Republicans’ plans to quickly repeal Obamcare before designing a replacement package. The doctors’ lobby has signaled an openness to altering parts of the health care system, but warned that any changes must maintain Obamacare’s coverage gains and improve on insurance affordability.
“We continue to embrace the primary goal for that law — to makes high quality, affordable health care coverage accessible to all Americans,” Madara wrote.
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