Senate Takes Big Step Toward ObamaCare Repeal

Democrats protest late-night budget move
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2017 4:56 AM CST
Updated Jan 12, 2017 6:28 AM CST
Senate Takes Big Step Toward ObamaCare Repeal
In this Tuesday, March 23, 2010 photo, President Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The GOP-controlled Senate isn't waiting for Donald Trump to take office before it gets the ball rolling on repealing ObamaCare. Senators worked late on Wednesday night to approve a budget that will allow them to start dismantling the health law without having to worry about Democratic filibusters, the New York Times reports. The budget resolution measure passed 51 to 48 at around 1:30am Thursday, with Democrats rising one by one to denounce the move. "Up to 30 million Americans will lose their health care with many thousands dying as a result," Bernie Sanders warned. "Because when you have no health insurance and you can't go to a doctor or a hospital, you die." The measure, which came as part of a marathon "vote-a-rama," uses the same budget process that was used to approve the law in 2010, CNN reports.

The Hill reports that GOP Sen. Rand Paul also opposed the move, saying in a statement that while he is in favor of getting rid of ObamaCare, "putting nearly $10 trillion more in debt on the American people's backs through a budget that never balances is not the way to get there." The House is expected to vote on a similar move on Friday. Earlier Wednesday, Trump said he planned to repeal ObamaCare and replace it almost simultaneously as soon as Rep. Tom Price is confirmed as his health secretary, reports Politico, which notes that the GOP will need the support of at least a few Senate Democrats for any replacement plan. The measure passed early Thursday calls for repeal legislation to be ready by Jan. 27, a date that Senate Republicans described as a "placeholder," the Times reports. (More ObamaCare stories.)

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