Senate GOP Takes First Significant Step Toward ACA Repeal.
The New York Times (1/12, Kaplan, Pear, Subscription Publication) reports that early this morning, GOP senators “took their first major step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act...approving a budget blueprint that would allow them to gut the health care law without the threat of a Democratic filibuster.” The vote of 51-48 “followed a marathon session in which senators took back-to-back roll call votes on numerous amendments.” The article says this quick approval “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 achieved after Mr. Trump’s election.”
The Wall Street Journal (1/12, Peterson, Andrews, Subscription Publication) reports that with this vote, GOP senators cleared the first significant obstacle in their effort to repeal the ACA. The article adds that the House will consider the bill on Friday, and it is expected to vote along party lines.
The AP (1/12) reports that this almost “party-line 51-48 vote came on a nonbinding Republican-backed budget measure that eases the way for action on subsequent repeal legislation as soon as next month.”
On its website, ABC News (1/12, Parks) reports that passing this resolution “was a key step for Republicans as they move to undo major parts of President Obama’s signature health care law,” because it “clears the way for the GOP to pass final legislation with a 51-vote simple majority, instead of the 60 votes required for most legislation.”
Rural Hospitals Fear Tough Times Ahead If ACA Is Repealed. Kaiser Health News (1/11, Luthra) reports that rural hospitals are preparing to “face new financial challenges that will intensify longstanding struggles” if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. The article says the healthcare law provided some crucial benefits which helped these hospitals to survive. Therefore, if the ACA is repealed, and its replacement fails to provide similar benefits, these hospitals will face the possibility of closure.
Trump Says ACA Will Be Repealed And Replaced Simultaneously. USA Today (1/11, O'Donnell) reports that on Wednesday, during his first press conference since his victory in November, President-elect Donald Trump said his Administration will unveil an Affordable Care Act replacement plan once his Health and Human Services secretary takes office. Trump has nominated Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) for the post. The article says “Trump spoke with conviction about the ACA’s next steps – saying repeal and replace will be ‘essentially simultaneously’ and soon.”
The Wall Street Journal (1/11, Lee, Peterson, Subscription Publication) reports that Trump has sided with several GOP lawmakers who advocate repealing and replacing the ACA simultaneously, rather than in stages.