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Republican Leadership Remains Resolute on Quick Obamacare Repeal Despite Growing Dissent Among Rank-and-File Republicans

By Patrick Cooney, The Federal Group, Inc.
Legislative Representative, Dental Trade Alliance

House and Senate Republican leaders are moving ahead with plans to repeal Obamacare then replace it later — dismissing mounting pressure from their own party to delay the repeal vote until they have a fully formed alternative. In January, the Senate advanced a budget resolution on a vote of 51-48, setting up a filibuster-proof process for repealing parts of Obamacare.

Recently, Republicans have seen cracks emerge in their near unanimous support for repealing Obamacare. For example, five Senate Republicans called on their colleagues to agree on a replacement plan before repealing the health care law. The cohort is large enough to derail an otherwise speedy process. With 52 seats in the Senate, Republicans can afford to lose just two votes on the reconciliation measure. This comes as the House Freedom Caucus also seeks to delay a vote on a budget that includes Obamacare repeal, another potential setback for the GOP’s top priority.

Under the current interpretation of Senate rules, not all of Obamacare can be repealed using the fast-track process known as reconciliation. Only bills that are primarily budgetary in nature can benefit from the filibuster-proof process. That means that regulations governing insurance minimum standards of coverage—such as pediatric dental coverage—and physician financial transparency reporting requirements would not be repealed under the current effort.


This article was prepared by Patrick Cooney in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Dental Trade Alliance.