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Putting It on His Desk: Obamacare and Reconciliation

September 29, 2015

Republicans have long fought to put a bill to dismantle Obamacare on the president’s desk, and now we have that chance.

Reconciliation provides us our best opportunity to get an Obamacare repeal bill past the Senate—and to the president. 

This week, three House committees are advancing reconciliation bills that, taken together, would be the downfall of Obamacare. At the same time, the package will defund Planned Parenthood and instead invest in community health centers that provide women’s health care. 

The House Budget Committee will then stitch together the three bills and send a single reconciliation package to the full House for a vote in the coming weeks. 

It’s important to know that there are two primary limitations to using reconciliation: The bill must reduce the deficit by at least $1 billion, as outlined in the House budget, and all the parts of the bill must be focused on taxes and spending. Only then will the bill have reconciliation protections, including a simple majority vote in the Senate. 

This Obamacare package meets those requirements. It gets to the core of the law. And it can pass the Senate with only 51 votes. 

With contributions from all three committees, the final bill will repeal the individual mandate, repeal the employer mandate, repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), repeal the medical device tax, repeal the “Cadillac tax”, repeal the Prevention and Public Health (slush) Fund, and repeal the auto-enrollment mandate. 

Without these parts of the law—particularly the individual and employer mandates—Obamacare could not stand. As the Ranking Democratic Member of the Ways and Means Committee said, the bill would “effectively gut the Affordable Care Act.”

Obamacare is hurting families, and now we have a chance to confront the president with a bill to dismantle it—along with a measure defunding Planned Parenthood. 

Rather than seeing another attempt to repeal Obamacare die in the Senate, a properly crafted reconciliation bill—like the one moving through three House committees this week—can make it to the president’s desk. 

It’s time to confront the president with the failings of this law, and that’s what this reconciliation package will do.