Kaiser Health News has reported that keeping Americans healthy is going to be harder than just a catch phrase like Repeal and Replace. First, repeal of the law would take 60 votes in the Senate, whereas Democrats now hold 48 of those seats and Republicans now only 51. Second, both President Elect Trump and Vice President Elect Pence have made statements regarding maintaining parts of the ACA that provide coverage to those already dependent on the program. Third, there is no plan yet to repeal and replace the coverage for 20 million people at this time. Even the base of the Republican party will not allow their representatives to just erase a program that has become more popular in the last few years.
I am not so naive as to believe that the ACA will never be repealed, but the replacement plan will have to be part of the plan in order for the GOP to retain their base of hard working Americans. The repeal will not be in one big swoop, but will take little bites from the plan through tax amendments like the one vetoed by President Obama earlier this year. But the replacement will have to be a one piece legislative effort, open to scrutiny by the public and by the insurance industry.
This is not the time to panic, but it is the time to keep vigilant.