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Affordable Care Act Reform: What's Going to Happen to Obamacare Now That Republicans Are in Control of the Senate?

First Posted: Nov 08, 2014 02:35 PM EST
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Now that the Republicans control both the House and Senate, there is talk that they will continue their mission to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or at least make major changes to the law.

However, critics point out that despite their efforts, the GOP won't be able to repeal the law because they don't have the 60 seats needed in the Senate to override a Democratic-led filibuster or a presidential veto.

Plus, health insurance companies have profited from the ACA, or Obamacare.

"The five major national health insurers have all seen their stock price at least double -- one has almost tripled - since the ACA was enacted, and they've all been raising their earnings estimates," said Jay Angoff, who helped construct health reform at the Health and Human Services department, according to NBC News. "Republicans are not going to try to repeal a law that has been such a boon to insurers: They are still a Republican constituency group."

"It's much more symbolic than it is about the reality of repealing the tax," said Sherry Glied, dean of the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. "This is a move they think they can win. ... Republicans can say they repealed a part of the Affordable Care Act and that they worked with Democrats."

"This is a complete red herring issue," Professor Allan Lichtman of history at American University said. "Not one American in 100 can tell you what a medical device tax is and why it matters. ... It's the easiest shot that the Affordable Care Act that the Republicans have."

In addition, many Americans are happy with the individual benefits they have received under Obamacare, including the fact that parents can keep their children under their plan up until the age of 26 years old.

"We are encouraged by the commitments made by congressional leaders to get repeal of the medical device tax accomplished, as every passing day jobs and cutting-edge research are being lost," Mark Leahey, president and CEO of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association, said in a statement. 

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