With now President-elect Donald Trump’s stunning win against Hillary Clinton for the White House, the unraveling of current President Obama’s legacy has begun.
The referendum on Obama’s achievements has begun as Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters in a press conference on Capitol Hill the Senate would make the repealing of Obamacare one of the highest items on their agenda.
‘Every single Republican thought Obamacare was a mistake. It’s a pretty high item on our agenda and I would be shocked if we didn’t move forward and keep our commitment to the American people. It was the single worst piece of legislation among many bad pieces of legislation passed in the first two years of the Obama presidency. The sooner we can go in a different direction, the better.’
He also congratulated Trump on his win and vowed to work with him.
‘I want to particularly congratulate President-elect Trump. I think we all agree that this was a stunning election and clearly an indication that the American people would like to try something new. And I know the Speaker shares my view we would like to see the country go in a different direction and intend to work with him to change the course for America.’
Speaker Paul Ryan spoke earlier today congratulating Trump for his victory and vowed Trump would lead a “unified Republican government.”
The Affordable Care Act is responsible for covering 20 million people with insurance. It also contains many provisions, such as the ban on pre-existing conditions dictating whether an individual would be covered or not. If the ACA were repealed, millions would end up without health coverage or prescription coverage. They would be left scrambling to find a way to obtain possibly life-saving medications such as insulin.
POLITICO reported that a repealing of Obamacare would reach further than just individuals and that the entire health care sector would be affected. Health care makes up one-fifth of the US economy.
Managing director of Capitol Street, Ipsita Smolinski, commented:
‘If Trump wins, it is very likely that most health care stocks will sell off significantly. Because he has pledged to repeal the ACA, it almost doesn’t matter if he can do it or not.’
POLITICO did note, however, that a full repeal of Obamacare is unrealistic as Senate Republicans don’t have the votes to get past a Democratic filibuster. However, they do have ways to repeal major provisions of the legislation that was considered one of Obama’s greatest achievements.
‘But if they can’t scrap the whole thing, they do have a roadmap to repealing major parts of the law – probably enough to make it unworkable. They could use a complicated budget tool called reconciliation, which doesn’t allow a filibuster. The repeal plan would have to go through elaborate review to make sure it complied with intricate budget rules and Democrats can challenge the results.’
POLITICO noted that the GOP attempted this last year and passed it through the House and Senate both; however, President Obama vetoed it. With a Republican president (Trump), that would not happen. Last year’s attempt aimed to repeal “individual and employer mandates, the subsidies to help people buy insurance, the Medicaid expansion to cover low-income people, and the taxes on medical devices and high-cost health plans.”
You can see McConnell’s comments below.
Featured image via Getty/Zach Gibson.