On the first day of the new administration, President-elect Donald Trump has vowed, he will ask Congress to immediately begin work on a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The current president’s signature domestic policy, credited with helping about 20 million Americans gain health insurance coverage, including an estimated 1.6 million people in Florida, already has survived two Supreme Court cases and dozens of repeal votes by Congress.
With a Republican-controlled Congress and Trump’s promise to “repeal and replace,” the ACA may face its greatest threat yet. And though Republicans still lack the 60 votes needed in the Senate for a full repeal, Congress can use the budget reconciliation process to send a bill rescinding parts of the ACA to the president, as happened last year.
No matter the method, though, healthcare experts and economists say the effect of a repeal would depend largely on any new reforms and legislation adopted to replace the ACA.
“That’s kind of the great unknown,” said Mark Rouck, a senior director with Fitch Ratings, a credit rating agency.
Photo credit: Patrick Farrell, Miami Herald