So now they're going to try to repeal The Affordable Care Act now with a two-year delay and take the next two years to figure out WTF they want
. I'm worried this will succeed - they can easily say "Oh with the old bill we lost
22 million insured people but now
we're gaining 10 million insured people!" because they're starting off at -36 million or however many people got their insurance through The Affordable Care Act.
I'm not fluent in politics - do they need 51 (or 50+tie breaker) votes to repeal, or do they just need a majority? And does a repeal have to go through the house as well?
They need 51 while
following the rules of the Senate for Reconciliation
. Any bill passed through Reconciliation has a 20-hour limit for debate, and therefore is not subject to a Filibuster (a Senator who purposefully takes up an infinite amount of time, preventing the "debate" period from ending).
rules, it takes 60 votes to shut up a fellow Senator, because under the rules of the Senate, all Senators are allowed to muse on a subject as long as they deem necessary. In the House, Debate is strictly limited and time is cut up into very precise sections for each member, ensuring equal time for debate.
So basically, if they keep the bill strictly related to budgetary matters, the Senate has a 20-hour limit on debate and therefore the Filibuster technique will not work. If the bill is NOT strictly about the budget, then the Democrats will complain and the Senate will be forced to allow infinite debate.
cphite wrote:The really sad part is that there are changes they could make that would actually help, that aren't going to be made because they're obsessed with something massive that "repeals" The Affordable Care Act...
For example, eliminating the minimum coverage requirements - which would allow people to select smaller plans with lower premiums, if they wanted to do so. Allow insurers to offer plans across state lines - which would increase insurance pools and also increase competition. Create a public option. Etc.
The main problem is that the #1 cost driver of "minimum coverage" is the forced acceptance of patients with preexisting conditions.
So creating smaller plans with lower premiums necessarily implies getting rid of preexisting-conditions coverage. There's all sorts of nonsense with minimum coverage right now. Getting a female's tubes tied is forced to be covered under the contraceptive coverage... but getting a vasectomy is not covered (despite a vasectomy being a much cheaper procedure). So, the current law encourages the more expensive female contraceptive care (Tubal ligation / Tubes Tied) over the cheaper male contraceptive care (Vasectomy)
And I guess it'd be nice if that area of the law were fixed, but its such a minor point of contention in the great scheme of things... that it kind of doesn't matter.
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