“Everybody knows (repeal) is a gesture in futility,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., before the vote. “Let’s move on from repeal and start making the Affordable Care Act work even better for the American people.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Obamacare has raised health care costs, limited patients’ ability to choose their doctors, and hurt the already struggling middle class.
“I think Democrats have a particular responsibility to the millions their law has hurt already to help pass (the repeal),” McConnell said. “I think the president has a particular responsibility to the millions his law has hurt already to then sign it.”
Senate Republicans have tried more than a dozen times before to pass legislation to repeal Obamacare, but they could not get the 60 votes needed to overcome Democratic filibusters. In Thursday’s vote, Republicans were able to prevent a Democratic filibuster by using a budget procedure known as reconciliation that allowed them to pass the bill with a simple majority.
The bill would gut key sections of the health care law, including the mandate for individuals to buy health insurance and for employers with more than 50 workers to provide it. It eliminates all fines for people and companies that fail to comply with the mandate.
It also would eliminate federal subsidies to about 6 million low- and moderate-income Americans buying their own insurance. And it would halt Obamacare’s expansion ofMedicaid for the poor, which has been adopted by more than 30 states. Those two provisions would take effect in two years, giving Republicans until after the 2016 election to come up with a new plan to replace the existing program.
Read more at USAToday.com…