How Quickly Could Obamacare Be Erased?

Scientific American

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Obamacare’s days may be numbered. The Affordable Care Act has survived dozens of recall attempts by the House of Representatives and two challenges brought to the U.S. Supreme Court. But with a Donald Trump presidency and a new Republican-led House and Senate, the bill—or at least certain key provisions—is almost certainly headed for the chopping block.

The question now is what provisions may survive and when the death knell of the others will sound.

President-elect Trump campaigned on repealing the law and its requirement for Americans to carry health insurance. Trump says the private market should step in with the sale of insurance plans across state lines to help drive down costs through competition. He has said he will dismantle Medicaid and transform it into a system of state grants to provide assistance for low-income residents…

Republicans have already used this approach to push through a bill aimed at repealing Obamacare, but Obama vetoed it when it came to his desk. President-elect Trump, however, would almost certainly sign such a bill into law. With a Republican-led Congress, a reconciliation bill would go further than the bill that previously made it to the Oval Office, says G. William Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, D.C. think tank. “They would probably replace the subsidy system in Obamacare with tax credits on the purchase of health insurance,” he says. “So they would repeal and replace Obamacare.”

KEYWORDS: 114TH CONGRESS, 115TH CONGRESS, AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, BILL HOAGLAND, DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SUPREME COURT