The disagreement over healthcare between Democrats and Republicans is a fundamental difference in ideology: Obamacare required a lot of taxes and government spending in order to help people afford basic health care, whereas Republicans hold the belief that this shouldn’t be the responsibility of the government.
On the Friday after a round of debates, Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives passed a resolution that would begin the process of repealing Obamacare. The resolution “directs committees in the Senate to draft legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act.”
That’s right, getting rid of Obamacare would give these wealthy families a tax cut worth an average of $7 million each. On the other hand, having Obamacare in place means that a surtax is imposed on high-income households in order to fund all of the expenditures that come with the Affordable Care Act.
Now that the resolution has been passed, committees will begin the process of drafting a repeal bill by January 27. After that, it’ll get voted on in the House just like any other bill, and will eventually move to a vote in the Senate.
While in the Senate, the bill can be amended and would then go to a conference committee. If there are amendments, the conference committee (which is made up of members of the House and Senate) will come together to compromise.
In this case, Republicans blocked six amendments from the Democrats within the first few hours of voting.
Democrats in the Senate session made their views pretty clear. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (AKA Amy Schumer’s second cousin) said, “Put this irresponsible and rushed repeal plan aside. Work with us Democrats on a way to improve healthcare in America, not put chaos in place of affordable care.”
Even moderate Republicans are apprehensive: Representative Charlie Dent said that moderate lawmakers have “serious reservations” about repealing Obamacare without there being any concrete replacement plans.
That’s okay, so are we. No one really knows what the future of America’s healthcare system will be like. Some Republican senators have even suggested leaving some of Obamacare’s taxes in place for the time being, just to make sure the new plan (whatever that is) has enough funds to pay for itself.