Keeping tabs on a potential ACA repeal: Three questions to watch

Keeping tabs on a potential ACA repeal: Three questions to watch


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In the days since the surprise election of Donald Trump to the presidency, substantial attention has been paid to the possibility that congressional Republicans will take advantage of a Republican president’s pen to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act, possibly as soon as January. Doing so will almost certainly involve a special budgetary process known as budget reconciliation, which, thanks to a limit on time for debate, eliminates the possibility of a filibuster. Reconciliation and other similar procedures for limiting debate in the Senate (which I’ve written on elsewhere) are often described as “arcane,” and certainly, the coming weeks are likely to bring several procedural twists, likely with big policy implications, worth watching. Given the centrality of the law’s repeal to Republican messaging—the House has voted on repeal more than 60 times—the political implications of the foregoing debate are large as well. Here are three key questions I’ll be watching for the answers to as the debate unfolds, as they’ll tell us much about the both the policy and political implications of Republicans’ repeal efforts.

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