Early Thursday morning, the Senate voted on a controversial budget resolution that pushes Obamacare a step closer to being repealed. The budget plan, which could ultimately be used to repeal certain portions of the Affordable Care Act, passed by just three Senate votes and will go the the House on Friday. The decision was hotly contested in both political and public spheres, with Senate floor debates enduring for over six long hours. Thus far, the GOP has no clear ACA replacement plan.
Over seven years ago, Democrats used a budget resolution plan to get Obamacare rolling and eventually passed. Now, the Republicans are attempting to use the same method for an entirely different purpose, CNN reported. For months, the desire to repeal Obamacare has been a pillar of the Republican Party and President-elect Donald Trump's own campaign platform. After describing on his official website how the healthcare legislation allegedly resulted in "runaway costs, websites that don’t work, greater rationing of care, higher premiums, less competition and fewer choices," Trump promised in writing to chip away at Obamacare during his first day in office.
Though Republicans may be one step closer to fulfilling that promise, they have a lot of work ahead of them if they're going to repeal and replace Obamacare "essentially simultaneously," as Trump suggested at his Wednesday press conference. And though most Republican senators, according to the budget resolution vote, would like to see that happen, the potential repeal of the ACA currently stands as one of the most divisive issues in the nation.
Vermont Senator and former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been one of Obamacare's most passionate advocates since Trump's election. As reported by the Hill, he reminded the Senate:
Up to 30 million Americans will lose their health care with many thousands dying as a result. Because when you have no health insurance and you can't go to a doctor or a hospital, you die.
And herein lies one of the biggest concerns with the potential repeal: Republicans haven't shared a coherent alternative to the health insurance plan millions of Americans currently depend upon. During an interview with CBS' Scott Pelley in December, Ryan vaguely addressed these concerns by ensuring there will be an adequate "transition period [from Obamacare] so that people can get better coverage at a better price."
But as the potential repeal of Obama's healthcare legislation inches closer to becoming a reality, those types of answers aren't enough to satisfy the American citizens wondering how they'll attain coverage under a Trump presidency.