President Obama looks genuinely worried about the fate of ObamaCare: He will meet Wednesday morning with House and Senate Democrats to plot strategy on how to prevent Republicans from killing it, reports Politico. The problem for Democrats is that there may not be much they can do in the near future. As both Politico and the Hill point out, Republicans can pass a repeal measure without any Democratic support through a legislative maneuver known as a reconciliation vote. The procedure requires only a simple majority, not 60 votes, and the GOP has promised to move on it immediately in the new year. The caveat is that, assuming repeal passes, Republicans are expected to delay the actual dismantling of the law for quite a while to give them time to craft a replacement. That delay could be as long as three years, reports Time.
So what can Democrats do? For one thing, raise political pressure. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and his House counterpart, Nancy Pelosi, plan rallies next month, and ObamaCare advocates promise to flood the airwaves with ads in states such as Arizona and Nevada, where they think GOP senators might be swayed. The idea is not only to try to block repeal itself but to keep as much of the law in place as possible if repeal passes. President-elect Trump, for example, has said he would like to keep parts of ObamaCare intact, notably protections for those with pre-existing conditions. The White House said this month that 6.4 million people had signed up for ObamaCare before a Dec. 19 deadline, up 400,000 from the previous year. (Read more ObamaCare stories.)