The Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010 and it is highly regarded as the signature piece of legislation under Obama Administration. Nevertheless, the Republicans in America have been trying feverishly to replace this act. Since the enactment, there have been numerous voting at the House of Representatives to replace or delay the act. Interestingly, none of them helped the Republicans in its mission to replace the act.
However, they could repeal certain key pieces of ACA through a procedure called ‘reconciliation.’ The reconciliation is an up-or-down vote in the Senate. The Republicans, with help of both the houses of Congress under the GOP, used this special procedure to freeze some of the elements in the ACA.
In a voting held at the House and the Senate in December and January, a reconciliation bill was passed, although only the Republicans used their voting power. The bill repealed a major part of the ACA. In effect, the bill gutted the ACA.
Reports indicate that it was the first time that President Obama was presented with a legislation that gutted a previous bill that he signed despite having the power to veto the bill. Undoubtedly, the bill was officially rejected by the President later on January 8.
Now, a congressional override can diffuse the Presidential veto but it has to secure a super majority in the voting. If 2/3rd of the voters in the Congress vote in favor of overriding the Presidential veto, the Republican’s bill will be approved and will take effect later on.
There is a majority for the GOP in both the Senate and the House. However, it is still doubtful whether they could make a majority to override the Presidential veto, as their majority for the override threshold is low. Lately, the attempt to override the Presidential veto was failed at the House of Representatives. In fact, the majority voted in favor of overriding the Presidential veto but it was pretty below the override threshold.
Meanwhile, the Democrats are also making use of the reconciliation procedure to implement the major provisions in the ACA at the earliest. They are also taking steps to repeal a group of existing legislations such as Employer and Individual Mandates, Medical Device Tax, Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), Cadillac Tax, and Auto-Enrollment for large employers.