ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
69°
Broken Clouds
H 77° L 52°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    69°
    Current Conditions
    Isolated Thunderstorms. H 77° L 52°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    70°
    Afternoon
    Isolated Thunderstorms. H 77° L 52°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    74°
    Evening
    Isolated Thunderstorms. H 77° L 52°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

National
Obamacare: What did the Senate do last night?
Close

Obamacare: What did the Senate do last night?

Obamacare: What did the Senate do last night?
FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2015, file photo, the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington. The Obama administration says 6.4 million people have signed up so far this year for subsidized private insurance coverage through HealthCare.gov. Despite rising premiums, dwindling insurers, and a Republican vow to repeal “Obamacare,” enrollment is running ahead of last year’s pace. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Obamacare: What did the Senate do last night?

Early Thursday morning, the Senate passed a measure that is the first step in repealing the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare."

The nonbinding budget measure, which passed 51-48, will make it easier for future legislation to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

The 2010 law set up exchanges to sell health care polices to millions of Americans who could not get health care insurance because of pre-existing conditions or because they could not afford it. The legislation also poured billions of dollars into states’ Medicaid programs for the poor.

In the past two years, many major insurance companies have pulled out of the exchanges, because they claim they lost too much money paying claims without bringing in enough new, healthy payers to make up a profit.

The House is expected to vote on the measure Friday. While Republicans hold the majority there, some GOP members have said they want to see a plan to replace the ACA before they vote to repeal it.

Here’s a look at the process to dismantle Obamacare that began with the vote early Thursday:

Why is the vote significant?

Thursday's Senate vote was a procedural oneNo law was passed. What was passed was a budget resolution bill. Included in that legislation was a procedure that set up special rules that will allow a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act to move forward. The procedure is known as reconciliation. 

The rules will let portions of a bill to repeal the ACA to move forward with only a simple majority vote in the Senate. That means that instead of requiring 60 votes to move legislation, it will take only 51 votes.

There are 52 Republicans in the Senate this term.

Wednesday’s vote was one to begin debating a 2017 budget. That is the first step in repealing the ACA.

What does reconciliation do?

Under reconciliation, certain legislation cannot be held up by a filibuster, a delaying tactic used to block legislation or procedural votes. A filibuster can happen when a senator is recognized to speak on the Senate floor. He or she may speak as long as they wish, potentially holding up a vote on legislation.
It takes a motion known as cloture to end a filibuster.

A cloture motion requires a three-fifths majority (60 votes out of the 100 votes in the Senate) to end a filibuster. First, however, 16 senators must present the motion, then a day must pass before the motion is considered. If the motion passes – that is 60 senators vote to end a filibuster – 30 more hours of debate is still allowed.

Democrats used reconciliation in part to get the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010.

Does reconciliation works with all legislation?

Reconciliation is only allowed with budget issues, legislation that has to do with federal spending or taxes. Reconciliation bills are not subject to a filibuster in the Senate. Debate is limited to 20 hours under Senate rules.

So the repeal of the ACA is a done deal now?

No, it isn’t, and here is why. To replace the ACA requires legislative action that has nothing to do with the budgeting process.

Much of the replacement of the law would take place outside of the reconciliation process. Since it would be outside of the that process, it would be subject to filibusters, thus Republicans would need Democratic votes to get over the 60-vote filibuster threshold. (Remember, there are only 52 Republican Senate members).

What’s the next step?

On Friday, the House is expected to pass the budget measure passed by the Senate Thursday.

What are some of the replacement plans?
That is something that is not known yet. According to Politico, there is a Jan. 27 deadline for a draft of the legislation that would replace the ACA. Some senators want to push the deadline to March 3.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Wednesday that Republicans hope to get a plan on the new legislation to President-elect Donald Trump by the end of February.

Some Republicans want to see what is being proposed before they consider repealing the ACA. No replacement legislation has been made public.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • The Pawhuska woman recently accused of exposing herself to a classroom of students was arrested this week on accusations of stealing a purse.  According to the arrest report, Lacey Sponsler allegedly stole a purse while at the Broken Arrow Lanes bowling alley near 111th and Elm last Thursday.   The report states that witnesses saw her acting suspiciously and looking at people’s belongings. One witness saw her grab a purse and asked if it was hers. She said it was not.   A witness then reportedly saw Sponsler walk into the game room and return wearing different clothes. Police were called and found her in the bathroom.   Sponsler was arrested in February for doing a cartwheel in front of students at a Pawhuska school. She was not wearing anything under her dress and exposed herself to the students.
  • Authorities in Ohio arrested three people after they discovered the badly decomposed body of a 71-year-old Vietnam veteran in a home, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news Deputies with the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office found the body of Bob Harris, 71, after learning that his Social Security debit card was being used despite the fact that he hadn’t been seen for months, WJW reported. The body had decomposed to the point where the remains were mostly skeletal, lying in the living room of a home in Wainwright. The body was kept a short distance from where the home’s residents slept, according to WJW. “It’s a horribly graphic case,” Sheriff Orvis Campbell told TimesReporter.com. He said Harris’ body was found in some “of the most deplorable conditions we can describe.” Trash and animal waste was found near the body. Harris was living with a married couple and their daughter, according to TimesReporter.com. The family had spread stories about Harris moving to Stark County and allowing them to use his Social Security benefits, Campbell said. Authorities arrested Brian and Stacy Sorohan on charges of abuse of a corpse and theft of a credit card, according to The Associated Press. The couple’s 18-year-old daughter was charged with abuse of a corpse. Deputies said the circumstances surrounding Harris’ death were not immediately clear. An autopsy will be performed to determine whether his death involved foul play, according to TimesReporter.com.
  • Tulsa police Thursday released video of an incident in which an officer used his patrol car to end a gunfight. Madison Dickson was the suspect in a string of violent crimes that spanned nearly a week when she was spotted in a vehicle near 91st and Harvard last Saturday. She tried to run, and gunfire is heard on the video, which officers say was directed toward them. The officer swerves left as she points the gun at him, then veers right and runs her over as she attempts to flee. Additional videos released to media by TPD indicate an officer also used a Taser on Dickson after she was down, because she still had the gun and wasn’t responding to commands. “She might not be able to, hang on,” one officer says as others are yelling at her to show her hands. EMSA arrived on the scene a few minutes later, but Dickson died from her injuries.
  • After hours of negotiations that featured personal intervention by President Donald Trump, Republican leaders in the Congress were forced to back off a planned vote on a GOP health care bill, unable to find enough votes approve it and send it on to the Senate for further work. While House leaders said votes were possible on Friday, there was no final agreement to vote on, as more conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus refused to get on board with a deal offered by the White House. “We have not gotten enough of our members to get to yes,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the chair of the Freedom Caucus. “I am still a no at this time,” Meadows told a crush of reporters. “I am desperately trying to get to yes.” Rep. Mark Meadows: “I am still a no at this time. I am desperately trying to get to yes” https://t.co/cQi0OGdJGY — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 23, 2017 Other Freedom Caucus members said very little as they exited a Congressional hearing room after a two hour meeting on the health bill, leaving Meadows to get out the message. “No comment,” said Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). “Mark’s got everything,” referring to Meadows. “You know I’m not going express the substance of anything that we talked about in there,” said Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said as reporters trailed him down the hall. Earlier at the White House, there had been optimism after a meeting between Freedom Caucus members and the President. Lengthy standing ovation from the Freedom Caucus when @POTUS walked into the Cabinet Room just now. Big momentum toward #RepealAndReplace. pic.twitter.com/N1FLGAVFMN — Cliff Sims (@CSims45) March 23, 2017 But, there was no deal.
  • Conservative Republicans opposed to the health care reform bill offered by their leadership have forced a delay in a vote on the measure, which was expected to happen Thursday. House GOP leadership announced they will push the vote back about 2:30 Central Time after a flurry of meetings between Republican members of the Freedom Caucus, moderates pushing the plan, and the White House. The delay is seen as a rebuke of the Trump administration, which has brought pressure to bear in an attempt to bring those more conservative members on board. Those Republicans opposed to the bill in its current form generally want deeper cuts in spending on the program. Some have called it “Obamacare Light,” and say it doesn’t offer enough substantial changes to current law. Those in favor of the bill argue it eliminates the mandate, and puts choice back in the hands of consumers. There’s no official announcement on when House Speaker Paul Ryan might try to reschedule a vote.