Sarah Kate Purnell
On Thursday, January 12 the Senate made its first major move in repealing the Affordable Care Act.
The senate approved a “budget blueprint”, according to the New York Times, which would allow the Senate to dismantle the ACA without the threat of Democratic filibuster.
“The vote was 51 to 48.” Thomas Kaplan and Robert Pear of the New York Times stated. “During the roll call, Democrats staged a highly unusual protest on the Senate floor to express their dismay and anger at the prospect that millions of Americans could lose health insurance coverage.”
With President Trump’s inauguration, there are many plans and actions he intends to take while in office, including revisions and replacements to the Affordable Care Act.
Within revisions and replacements to the Affordable Care Act, President Trump and other Republicans intend to revise “unpopular” areas of the Act, and replace others such as the pre-existing conditions clause.
The pre-existing condition clause states that an insurer cannot discriminate against an individual with previously documented health issues or concerns, or refuse them coverage. Without this coverage, it is possible that individuals with pre-existing conditions on their medical record can be denied coverage from insurers, they can be charged more for similar care, and the amount of coverage they received can be restricted.
Pre-existing conditions can be health conditions such as, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, pregnancy and more.
“The action by the Senate is essentially procedural, setting the stage for a special kind of legislation called a reconciliation bill.” Kaplan and Pear of the New York Times added. “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.”
Republican leaders are said to be looking forward to Trump’s presidency in order to repeal and replace the health care law, while working closely with the president in the process.
Republicans will be diligently challenged to repeal the now ingrained healthcare law in America. The ACA has served more than 20 million individuals in the U.S., however, premiums have risen dramatically, according to the New York Times.
Repeal legislation must be constructed by the House and Senate committees by January 27.
Many Republican leaders felt that more time needed to be allotted in order to come up with a feasible replacement plan. Many of the Republican leaders also agreed that repealing the healthcare law without a replacement was unacceptable.
“As Republicans pursue repealing the law, Democrats contend that Republicans are trying to rip insurance away from millions of Americans with no idea of what to do next.” Thomas and Pear of the New York Times continued.
Within hours of his inauguration, President Trump signed an executive order to begin rolling back the Affordable Care Act.
“The order does not change the law, but could have a significant impact nonetheless.” MJ Lee and Tami Luhby of CNN stated.
“It directs the secretary of health and human services, as well as other agencies, to interpret regulations as loosely as allowed to minimize the financial burden on individuals, insurers, health care providers and others.” Lee and Tami of CNN continued.
Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has been one of President Trump’s largest campaign promises upon taking office. The actions taken by Republican leaders leading up to Friday and Trump’s signing of the executive order on Friday night shows their resoluteness on the matter.
The signing of the executive order to begin rolling back the Affordable Care Act is said to take time to implement, but nonetheless, reinforces Trump’s first aim of action as the 45th President of the United States.