A budget resolution laying the groundwork to repeal key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be the first item on the legislative agenda for the Senate in 2017, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.
The move is a central element of an effort being described as “repeal and delay” that Republican congressional leaders have outlined since the November 8, 2016 elections, in which Republicans retained majorities in the Senate and House and Donald Trump was elected President. The plan calls for a vote early in 2017 on legislation that would use the budget reconciliation process to repeal major provisions of the ACA but maintain the availability of premium assistance tax credits for the purchase of health insurance coverage through the ACA Exchanges and expanded eligibility for Medicaid for a transition period of a time to be determined. Some Republicans have called for a transition period of as long as three years, while others have called for a more expeditious transition. The transition period is intended to provide time for Congress separately to develop an alternative health care approach.