Enzi Introduces Budget Resolution to Start Obamacare Repeal

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi on Tuesday introduced a budget resolution that is the first step in a procedural slog toward the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

The resolution includes instructions to committees with health jurisdiction to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but does not offer details for a replacement plan. GOP leaders say that will come after the 2010 law is repealed. David Popp, communications director for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said debate on the resolution is expected to begin Wednesday.

The budget text gives reconciliation instructions to the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees and the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to each find at least $1 billion in deficit reduction from fiscal 2017 through fiscal 2026. The committees have until Jan. 27 to draft reconciliation bills, which will be combined for consideration by both chambers.

Those reconciliation bills will include the details of a repeal, like how long Republicans will give themselves to replace the measure, and exactly which parts of the 2010 health care law will be repealed. The final product will be subject to close scrutiny from the Senate parliamentarian to ensure it meets the rules of budget reconciliation.

Briefings

Health Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

The Senate GOP’s working group on health care is still discussing how to craft a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, but lawmakers are also focused on a short-term fix to stabilize the individual insurance markets next year. The fix needs to come before June 21, insurers’ deadline for deciding whether to participate in the exchanges for 2018.

Health Brief: House May Need to Vote on AHCA Again

There is a chance that House Republicans will have to vote again on their health care bill, which was barely passed by the chamber earlier this month. Speaker Paul Ryan has not yet sent the bill to the Senate because parts of it may have to be redone, depending on how the Congressional Budget Office estimates its effects.

Washington Brief: Trump Calls Naming of Special Counsel the ‘Greatest Witch Hunt of a Politician’ in U.S. History

Robert Mueller, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, was named special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to oversee the FBI’s investigation into Russian connections to President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Trump responded on Twitter by saying the naming of a special counsel is “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

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