What we're reading, January 16, 2017: House follows Senate vote to begin Obamacare repeal process; President-elect Donald Trump teases Obamacare replacement to provide insurance for everyone; and acceptance of aid-in-dying legislation grows.
Despite any concerns Republicans may have had about repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a replacement ready to go, the House also voted to start the process of gutting the ACA. Reuters reported that the House has instructed committees to start drafting legislation that would repeal the ACA by January 27. This vote followed Senate approval. In addition to all Democrats voting against the measure, so did 9 Republicans. Once the legislation is drafted, it will need to be approved by both chambers and signed into law by then-President Donald J. Trump.
While there is no replacement yet for the ACA, Trump said he is close to completing a new healthcare law that would provide insurance for everyone. The Washington Post got the scoop with an exclusive phone call with Trump later on Saturday. The president-elect did not reveal any specifics about his plan, but it is unclear if his plan to expand the government’s involvement in healthcare will receive support from those in his own party. Trump also vowed to target pharmaceutical companies over drug prices.
With nearly 20% of Americans living in a state that has some aid-in-dying law, allowing terminally ill adults to end their own lives seems to have become more acceptable in the US. According to The New York Times, the concept of assisted suicide has had support from a substantial majority of Americans for at least 15 years. While the idea gains acceptance and state medical societies shift away from opposing the initiatives, the safeguards on passed legislation can make implementing the practice difficult.