It's looking like one of the first orders of business for Senate Republicans once President-Elect Donald Trump takes office is likely going to be giving the Affordable Care Act the ax.
Last night, in a 51 to 48 vote, Republicans took the first big step towards repealing the components of the Affordable Care Act through budget reconciliation -- which allows a way to get around a Democratic filibuster by changing the elements of spending and revenue. During the roll call Democrats rose to voice their objections with senators like Maria Cantwell of Washington calling it "stealing from Americans."
Currently the Affordable Care Act ushered in by President Obama provides 20 million Americans with healthcare. Here's what repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) means for you.
When this could happen. Even if its repeal is approved that doesn't mean that it's going to vanish overnight. Like all things in government, stuff takes time. "We're going to have to grandfather current plans in for probably two years," Rep. Chris Collins told CNBC. "There's a lag time between when an insurance company can introduce a plan into a state, get it approved and roll it out." This means that current healthcare provided under Obamacare will likely still be honored until January of 2019.
What parts of Obamacare will be affected? If The Affordable Care Act is repealed it's likely these components will go with it.
- Employer-sponsored insurance - Companies with at least 50 employees will no longer be required to provide affordable insurance to their employees who work more than 30 hours a week.
- Medicare - Higher premiums, deductibles and cost sharing for senior citizens and the disabled. It's estimated that repealing Obamacare would increase Medicare spending by $802 billion over 10 years. Currently, those enrolled in Medicare receive free preventative benefits, such as screenings for breast cancer or heart disease, but these would go away under a full repeal.
- Medicade - The health reform opened up Medicade -- which had previously been mostly low income families, the disabled and elderly -- for states to offer it for single low-income adults who were at or below 133 percent of the poverty level. If this aspect is repealed millions of the poor in 31 states will be left without health coverage.
What will take its place? Republicans have said that repealing Obamacare fully is the best way to fix it, though Trump has expressed views in keeping some parts. This includes: Allowing children to stay on their parent's policies until the age of 26 and coverage for pre-existing conditions. The original Republican proposed plan called "A Better Way," focused on pushing insurance companies to compete for citizen's business with better and affordable healthcare options. The tax penalty on those without health insurance would also be lifted.
The issue is being voiced with strong opinions on both political sides weighing in via Twitter and the hashtag #SaveACA.
Currently, the next step in the repeal legislation is set to happen January 27.