Congress to move fast on ACA repeal: 8 things to know

President-elect Donald Trump, along with congressional Republicans, has vowed to repeal and replace the ACA. Although Mr. Trump's inauguration is not scheduled until Jan. 20, Congress this week plans to quickly get to work undoing the ACA, reports The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Here are eight things to know.

1. The Senate made its first move toward repealing the ACA Tuesday, introducing budget resolution legislation for fiscal 2017, according to WSJ. This legislation lays out what WSJ dubbed "an aggressive timeline" for repealing the ACA.

2. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., plans to start the debate on the budget resolution Wednesday, according to WSJ. The legislation requires a vote to be taken up by the Senate, followed by debate, amendment votes and finally a full vote on the Senate floor. It requires only a simple majority vote to pass.

3. If the budget resolution passes, two committees in the Senate and two in the House would be required to draft legislation by Jan. 27 that will include provisions aimed at repealing unpopular parts of the ACA, WSJ reports. This legislation is called a reconciliation bill and also needs a simple majority vote to pass, according to the report.

4. Parameters regarding the law's replacement are yet to be specified, according to The New York Times. The House plans to put a package of rules into play to facilitate the revocation of the health law and to continue its legal challenge to spending on insurance subsidies under the ACA, the report states.

5. Next week, according to a presumptive timetable drafted by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., the House will vote on a budget blueprint, which is expected to call for the repeal of the ACA, reports The New York Times.

6. Rep. Walden, incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said after Mr. Trump takes office, the panel will act on legislation to carry out what is in the budget blueprint, according to The New York Times. That bill would help clear the way for repealing major provisions of the ACA, including Medicaid expansion, according to the report.

7. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama plans to visit a meeting of House and Senate Democrats Wednesday to rally support for the ACA, reports The New York Times.

8. If Congress votes to repeal the ACA early this year, Republican leaders said, they may delay the effective date for several years, to avoid disrupting coverage for people who have recently gained health coverage under the law's provisions, according to both reports.

For more on this story, read Robert Pear's full report in The New York Times and Siobhan Hughes' report in The Wall Street Journal.

Editor's note: This report was updated Jan. 4, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. CT to include updates on Senate actions.

 

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