Republicans can repeal Obamacare with a 51-vote majority in the U.S. Senate through budget reconciliation, according to an architect of the health care law, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who also made a death panel-style indictment of the Republican budget.
“I think they could do it,” Waxman told Newsmakers when asked about reconciliation. “I think the American people have to understand that if they vote for Romney and they vote for Republicans to have control of the house and the senate, there’s a good chance that the health care bill will be wiped out and all these benefits will be wiped out.”
After denouncing Republicans for saying that Obamacare would lead to death panels — people who ration health care and thus end up denying care to some people — Waxman deployed the same kind of argument against Republicans.
“[T]he states will have to tell a lot of people at the very bottom — very poor people who are often disabled — that you’re not going to get care anymore in order to keep tax cuts for billionaires,” he said, citing Republican budget plans for Medicaid.
Waxman’s comment on reconciliation corroborates a main Republican talking point coming out of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“[T]he chief justice said it is a tax, and taxes are clearly what we call reconcilable,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on Fox News Sunday. “That’s the kind of measure that can be pursued with 51 votes in the Senate. And if I’m the leader of the majority next year, I commit to the American people that the repeal of “Obama-care” will be job one.”