In January 2017, Congress decided to use the lesser known legislative vehicle called budget reconciliation for repealing the ACA. Created by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, budget reconciliation allows for expedited consideration of certain tax, spending, and debt limit legislation. In the Senate, reconciliation bills are not subject to filibuster and the scope of amendments is limited, giving this process real advantages for enacting controversial budget and tax measures such as ACA repeal.
Congress has enacted 20 budget reconciliation bills since 1980, the first year they employed the process. Use of this less-than-common approach led some in Washington to proclaim it “flawless.”
Or so they thought. The plan may still work somewhat by repealing the main provisions of the ACA, although there may be no replacement ready to take its place, leading many observers to point out that the road map to repeal is far from complete.