Barnstorming around the country, presidential candidate Donald Trump rarely failed to promise he’d “repeal and replace” Obamacare once in office. Now having been elected with the wind of a Republican majority in Congress at his back, President-elect Trump seems positioned to make good on his promise without too much trouble — at least the first part.
Intransigent Democrats may not have the power to protect the endangered Affordable Care Act, but they maintain some say in whether it will be replaced. To break an expected filibuster on replacing Obamacare, Republicans will need 60 votes. They’d have to win eight Democratic senators to their side, a task that — at least this close to such a rancorous election — appears far-fetched. But once Obamacare is repealed, there could be healthcare chaos without a replacement. So Republicans are counting on Democratic senators to cave rather than be characterized as obstructing a path to healthcare after a repeal. In other words, the Republicans figure the Democrats will look at the people who’ve been stripped of healthcare and have a humane response, trying to give them something back.
[Lauren Fox and Tierney Sneed have a good piece on the repeal/replace situation at Talking Points Memo]