According to Politico, the Republican top brass are meeting with budget experts to find out how they might gut the Affordable Care Act by selective defunding. Reams of documents, hours of slide presentations and much debate are schooling the parliamentarians in arcane ways to nix the president’s signature legacy. Obama would of course veto any serious challenges to the ACA but the amount of time and effort the Senate is spending on research may indicate a possible overthrow of the Medicaid expansion, subsidies for purchasing health insurance or the individual mandate.
Private talks over the matter began in the summer of 2012, when the GOP thought it would take back the White House and Senate. But with control of both chambers in 2015, the budget strategy has picked up new urgency and will be a prime focal point of a rare joint Senate-House GOP retreat in January in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Plus, the GOP moves in the next Congress could very well set precedents that will tell lawmakers just how far they can go in gutting the law through the filibuster-proof budget process; if Republicans succeed, they will have new hope if they take the White House in 2016 and don’t have to worry about a presidential veto.