Budget Reconciliation Bill Would Sink Obama’s Health Care Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today voted for Senate passage of legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, through a process known as “budget reconciliation.”

The Senate passed the Restoring Americans Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (HR.3672) late Thursday, 52 to 47. The Senate measure strengthens companion legislation in the House to repeal the key pillars of Obamacare. With Senate passage and an upcoming vote in the House, HR.3672 will become the first Obamacare-repealing bill to reach President Obama’s desk.

“This legislation would repeal some of the more harmful aspects of the Affordable Care Act, including increased taxes and burdensome mandates, while giving us an opportunity to work toward a better plan,” Cochran said.

“Despite all the promises made by the Obama administration, this flawed law has made health care less accessible and more expensive for families and businesses throughout Mississippi. This vote is an important step toward lifting Obamacare’s burdensome regulations and lowering its costs for people across the country,” he said.

Budget reconciliation is the same rarely-used process by which Democratic Senators in 2010 avoided the usual 60-vote threshold to pass major parts of Obamacare with just 51 votes—none of which were cast by Republicans. The resulting implementation of Obamacare has resulted in American taxpayers paying more than $116 billion each year, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. In Mississippi, the average household will likely see Obamacare-related tax increases of nearly $5,000 over the next decade.

The legislation also phases out Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and exchange subsidies after two years so that a new president could enact better health-care legislation after 2016. Across the country, Medicaid spending accounts for nearly a quarter of all state expenditures. In many states, Medicaid spending now surpasses education as the largest state budgetary commitment, even as the program continues to struggle to provide access to care for its patients or improve health outcomes for enrollees.

In addition to repealing Obamacare, the legislation would block federal funding to Planned Parenthood.