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Finally! House to take up replacing, not just repealing, Obamacare

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ryan_leftHouse Republicans plan to start the new year by fulfilling a long-awaited promise: sending a bill to repeal Obamacare to the president’s desk.

And not just repeal it, but also replace it with a new plan–but what will that plan be?

Speaker Paul Ryan is expected to take up a “budget reconciliation” bill that the Senate passed before Christmas when the House reconvenes Tuesday, according to a Monday Fox News report.

The Republican-controlled Congress did little to roll back President Obama‘s signature health care disaster in 2015, lacking the supermajority in the Senate required to stop Democrat filibusters. But this round is slightly different, relying on a unique type of legislation known as a “budget reconciliation,” which is immune to normal Senate rules.

Before the holiday break, the House sent a reconciliation bill to the Senate that simultaneously repealed Obamacare and defunded Planned Parenthood–both core issues to many conservatives. The Senate’s version is slightly different from the House’s due to special rules for budget reconciliation bills, and the House decided to wait until 2016 to take up the measure.

The entire exercise is likely only for show, however. As long as Obama is in office, any attempt to repeal the ACA will meet his veto, and without the votes to override, the bill’s fate is sealed.

There is a silver lining: The GOP will be forced to finally debate Obamacare’s replacement, which has been endlessly studied and tinkered with, but never formally taken up by legislators. This may not matter in 2016, but when Obama no longer president, it will be very important to have something ready for the next chief executive (provided that it’s not Hillary Clinton).

We can hardly wait.

Watch the Fox News video below.

Steve Berman


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