Can Obamacare be repealed?
There is a lot of talk about Obamacare these days. Why not?
The Obama administration planned for a November 1 enrollment date. They probably thought voters would vote for the Democrats in appreciation for Obamacare. It's safe to say that it worked the other way.
I would love to see President Trump and Congress repeal Obamacare, provide a transition for people under a plan, and shift the plan to the states. Let the 50 states compete with each other for business relocation by creating health care plans that focus on consumers.
My guess is that I won't get my way, and the federal government will continue to play a role in health care.
In other words, Obamacare will be replaced and repealed. It will happen because the voters don't want it and many Democrats are up for re-election in 2018. This is a summary from a recent PBS report:
The election two years from now had already looked difficult for Senate Democrats, who must defend 25 seats compared to just eight held by Republicans. The Democrats’ list includes two independents, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Maine’s Angus King, who align with them.
Of those 25 senators, 13 are from states Trump captured or narrowly lost. Among those are Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which hadn’t backed a GOP presidential candidate since the 1980s, leaving both parties trying to discern how much Tuesday may have reordered the lineup of blue, red and swing states.
Five Democrats are from states Trump easily carried, by 19 percentage points or more — Indiana, North Dakota, West Virginia, Missouri and Montana.
“They should be terrified,” Ward Baker, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate GOP’s political organization, said of the Democrats.
Republicans are expected to control the Senate next year 52-48, including a Louisiana runoff in December the GOP is expected to win. With Democrats able to use filibusters to force the GOP to secure 60 votes on major issues, likely new Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., should often be able to block Republicans, especially on issues Democrats broadly support such as consumer protection and curbs on Wall Street.
But it will probably be harder for Schumer to keep Democrats together on issues crucial to conservative voters including the Supreme Court, abortion, guns and weakening the Environmental Protection Agency. Some Democratic senators could also be drawn to Trump’s efforts to revamp portions of President Barack Obama’s health care law and tighten curbs on immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
So will there be 60 votes to repeal Obamacare?
Well, let's do the numbers. It starts with the 51 (it will be 52 after the Louisiana second vote) and eight of the aforementioned senators running in places where Obamacare is political poison.
The Democrats will try to fight the repeal. However, they have their own problems, too. The party would rather fight for a single-payer plan, as much of the passionate base wants.
In 2014, Senate Majority Leader Reid became minority leader because he refused to give the senators running for re-election a chance to change Obamacare. Democrats are not going to let Obamacare kill them again!