By Jack Craver
Republicans are inching closer to a dream they’ve nurtured for years. Well, it’s more like a portion of that dream.
No, they’re not going to repeal Obamacare
, but they are poised to put a bill that would repeal major parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on President Obama’s desk, where it will invariably be vetoed.
Since the Senate managed to get a partial repeal bill passed last month through the “reconciliation” process, all that is left for the effort is the House vote to approve the Senate bill.
That could happen as early as Tuesday, the chamber’s first day in session after the holiday break, reports Fox News.
The bill the House is now being asked to approve is substantially different than another partial repeal bill
it passed in October.
The previous version only targeted the individual and employer mandates, along with the Cadillac and Medical Device Taxes, and was denounced by some conservative groups as surrender on one of the GOP’s major campaign promises.
Although only a small group of Republicans in the House voted against that bill in protest, three key Republicans in the Senate, including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, pledged to oppose it unless it was rewritten to deal a deadlier blow to the PPACA.
And thus was born the new repeal bill, which guts the main tenets of the health law, including the federally-funded expansion of Medicaid and the subsidies for the insurance exchanges.
The president’s veto will most certainly be sustained, since Republicans have nowhere near the two-third majorities in both houses necessary to override it. However, the GOP sees passing the bill as fulfilling an important promise to its base, which has demanded repeal since PPACA was first enacted in 2010.
What’s unclear is the importance of the repeal effort to the GOP’s overall marketing for the 2016 elections.
Although Republicans hammered against Obamacare in the two election cycles preceding the law’s implementation, the issue has receded to the background in the platforms of the party’s presidential candidates.
Although public opinion
on PPACA remains mixed to negative, it is not clear that it is a winning issue for Republicans, particularly since repeal threatens the insurance plans that 16 million Americans have now gained through the law.
While Republicans have thus far insisted that they will find an alternative for those who would lose their PPACA plans, they have provided few details on how they’d accomplish that.
Originally posted on BenefitsPro.com