Margot Sanger-Katz of the New York Times and Sarah Kliff of Vox.com each take a crack at what the Republican Party and their leader and official face for the next generation, Donald Trump, repealing the Affordable Care Act would actually look like in practice.
The kind of partial repeal possible through the reconciliation process could lead to greater instability than total repeal. That means that it could lead to more people losing health insurance than the estimated 20 million who have gained it under the law. The health law was designed with a number of interdependent provisions devised to keep insurance affordable. By removing only some of them, a partial repeal could disrupt insurance arrangements not just for people newly insured under the law, but also for those who had purchased their own insurance before the law.
Trump has promised that repealing Obamacare would be his first act in office. All he needs to do is pull this ready-made Republican plan off the shelf.
Most Senate bills need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. But Senate rules also allow bills to pass with a simple majority if they only relate to spending, a process known as reconciliation. Reconciliation bills need to be approved by a parliamentarian, who certifies that the content does indeed have budgetary impact.
Last winter, Republicans drafted a bill that would fit the parameters of the reconciliation process. HR 3762 was introduced into the House on October 16, 2015, by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA). The bill would repeal Obamacare’s tax credits for low- and middle-income Americans to purchase insurance at the end of 2017. It would end the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion at the same time, essentially creating a two-year transition period in which Republicans would presumably consider Obamacare replacement plans.
A two-year transition period from devastation to potential oblivion.
And yes, my wife, son and I are among the 20 million or more people who no longer have the slightest clue whether we'll have healthcare coverage, or what it would cover if we did, or how much it would cost, or whether we could be kicked off of it at the carrier's whim, or...well, anything, really.