- Caitlin Owens
- Feb 17
Mitch McConnell says GOP will pass health and tax reform without Democrats
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
The Senate majority leader said today that Republicans will pass their health and tax agendas without Democratic votes, the Associated Press reports. This is a departure from GOP talk of eventually bringing Democrats to the table to help with reforms to the health care system after Republicans repeal Obamacare.
Reality check: Republicans can't do everything they want to on health care without Democratic votes, under Senate rules. They can do a lot through a process called budget reconciliation, which allows them to pass budget-related policy with just 51 votes. But they can't touch central elements of Obamacare, such as:
- The law's ban on discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions, either through denying them coverage or charging them higher premiums.
- The law's requirement that insurers offer a defined set of benefits, known as the essential health benefits.
- The regulation on how much of an insurer's income can be profit.