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Republicans obscure health-care bill”

The ACA (colloquially called “Obamacare”), a major reform of health care in the United States, was passed in 2010 by the 111th Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in 2010 after nearly a year of bipartisan debate.[39] The ACA draws from many conservative ideas proposed by the Heritage Foundation in the 1980s and 1990s, which included a mandate that all have coverage (to prevent “free riders”), subsidy tax credits, and Medicaid reform.[40] Heritage proposed funding program costs by taxing health insurance premiums paid by employers on behalf of workers (presently exempt from income),[40] which would have affected all workers covered by employers, while ACA primarily relied on tax rate increases on roughly the top 5% of households.[41]

From President Obama’s inauguration in January 2009 until the November 2010 elections, both houses of Congress and the presidency were controlled by the Democratic Party. During the 2012 presidential election, Republican nominee Mitt Romney, running against Obama, promised to repeal the ACA, despite its similarity to Romneycare.[42] After Romney’s defeat, the ACA remained in effect for the duration of Obama’s presidency despite Republican efforts to repeal it. In the 114th Congress, Republicans passed a bill that would have repealed much of the ACA, but the bill was vetoed by President Obama.[43] After winning the 2016 presidential election, President Donald Trump promised to “repeal and replace” the ACA with a new law.[44] The 2016 elections left Republicans in control of the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government, but with fifty-two seats in the one-hundred member Senate, Republicans would still have to rely on at least some Senate Democrats to overcome a filibuster.[45] However, Senate rules provide for a special budget rule called reconciliation, which allows certain budget-related bills to bypass the filibuster and be enacted with a simple majority vote.[45] Republican leaders were seeking to pass the AHCA through the Senate by using the reconciliation rule.[45][46]