Today Obamacare repeal just took a big step forward. Shortly after 1 am Thursday morning, the Senate voted 51 to 48 along party lines to approve the budget that Republicans want to use to repeal the health care law. It’s bad news for Obamacare supporters and the 20 million people who rely on it for insurance. Earlier this week, a group of moderate Republicans — led by Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker — had proposed delaying the budget to give the GOP more time to figure out its replacement package. But those swing-state senators withdrew their objection late last night, removing a key barrier for repeal to move forward.
President-elect Donald Trump congratulated the Senate for its actions Thursday.
“Congrats to the Senate for taking the first step to #RepealObamacare- now it’s onto the House!” he tweeted.
Previously U.S. President-elect Donald Trump urged congressional Republicans to repeal Obamacare immediately on Tuesday, saying there was no cause for delay and that a replacement plan should follow the repeal within weeks.
“We have to get to business. Obamacare has been a catastrophic event,” Trump was quoted. He said he wanted a repeal vote next week and said he would not accept a delay of more than a few weeks for a replacement.
President-elect Trump said in a news conference that his administration would submit a plan shortly after his nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Rep. Tom Price, is confirmed, and that it would be “repeal and replace… essentially simultaneously.” Trump, who ran on repealing the health care law but has offered few details on replacement since winning the election, said Democrats would continue to own the issue politically.
“Obamacare is the Democrats’ problem,” Trump said. “We are going to take the problem off the shelves for them. We’re doing them a tremendous service by doing it. We could sit back and let them hang with it. We are doing the Democrats a great service.”