The US Senate has taken a first
concrete step towards dismantling
the Affordable Care Act, popularly
known as Obamacare, voting to
instruct key committees to draft
legislation repealing President Barack Obama’s signature health insurance scheme.
Following the 51-48 vote on
Thursday, the resolution now will go to the House of Representatives,
which is expected to vote on it this
Scrapping Obamacare is a top
priority for the Republican majorities in both chambers of the US Congress and for President-elect Donald Trump.
Republicans have said the process of repealing Obamacare could take
months, and developing areplacement plan could take longer.
However, they are under pressure to act fast from Trump, who said on
Wednesday that the repeal and
replacement should happen
Some 20 million previously uninsured Americans gained health coverage through Obamacare. Coverage was extended by expanding Medicaid and through online exchanges where consumers can receive income-based subsidies.
Republicans have launched repeated legal and legislative efforts to unravel the law, criticising it as government overreach. They say they want to replace it by giving states, not the federal government, more control.