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We’re Only 5 Days Into 2017, & Republicans Are Already Trying to Dump Obamacare

We’re less than a week into 2017, and President-Elect Donald Trump hasn’t even taken office yet, but the GOP-controlled Congress has already cleared a path to repealing the Affordable Care Act. On Tuesday, Republicans unveiled a new 2017 budget that specifically targets the ACA, which has been dubbed the “Obamacare Repeal Resolution” by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Politico reports that voting on the budget will take place next week—meaning the end to Obamacare is likely in sight for the nearly 20 million Americans who depend on it. 

Although the official repeal of the ACA may not happen for another two to four years, the new budget would take away expansions to Medicaid and other financially-involved aspects of Obama’s namesake health care plan. Yes, the ACA had its share of problems—insurance premiums are expected to rise, especially for middle class Americans, while lower-than-expected participation in the program has led to higher insurance costs. However, completely overhauling a huge—we’re talking 10,000 pages long—health care bill that involves a fair amount of federal government control is extremely difficult. Pair that with the process of coming up with a replacement health care plan, and the process could turn into disaster.

That’s why, according to CNN, President Barack Obama is urging Democrats not to “rescue” the GOP on the new health care replacement they will eventually have to come up with. Instead, in a closed door meeting, Obama suggested to refer to the plan as “Trumpcare,” and let the Republicans take the fall for what may very well be a hastily-crafted, messy or unsuccessful Obamacare replacement. 

“If they want to break this, they own it,” agreed Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, according to The Washington Post

Meanwhile, President-Elect Donald Trump tweeted out his pleas for bipartisan support and teamwork in rebuilding national health care. Clearly, both parties don’t want to be at fault if something goes very, very wrong while Republicans replace Obamacare.

Throughout Trump’s campaign, he promised that repealing and replacing Obamacare would be one of his top priorities once a Trump presidency began. Sticking to his campaigning strategy of labeling opponents as “Lying” or “Crooked,” Trump also used his favorite social media app to call out one of the main opponents of Trumpcare, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. 

“I’d say to president-elect that this is serious, serious stuff. People’s health is at stake, people’s lives are at stake,” Schumer said in response to Trump’s “clown” jokes, according to the Huffington Post. “Now, we understand that President-elect Trump is in a difficult spot, that Republicans are in a difficult spot…They want to repeal the ACA, and they have no idea how to replace it.”

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Bridget Higgins

U Mass Amherst

Bridget is a senior Journalism major focusing on political journalism at UMass Amherst. She interned for the HC editorial team, writes columns for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, and occasionally gets a freelance article or two on sailing published by Ocean Navigator Magazine. When she isn't greeting random puppies on the street, she loves to cook for her friends, perpetuate her coffee addiction, and spend too much time crafting Tweets. She is also an avid fan of chocolate anything and unnecessary pillows. If you want to know more about Bridget, follow her on Instagram - @bridget_higgins - or Twitter - @bridgehiggins