Al Franken tweets a wry response after GOP's move to repeal health care law

Al Franken put out a well-executed tweet about the Obamacare repeal maneuvers.

In case you missed it, on Wednesday night the U.S. Senate took its first step on the journey to repeal large parts of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Among those in attendance at the late-night vote was Minnesota's Democratic Sen. Al Franken, who voted against the budget resolution put forward in the GOP-led Senate. In fact, all Democrats voted against the resolution.

He explained his reasoning in a tweet on Thursday, which is as amusing as you'd expect from a Saturday Night Live alumnus.

Franken's tweet is also repeating a talking point Democrats have been going to for awhile – including Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey over the weekend.

They and others are referring to the fact that for all the maneuvers to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republican lawmakers haven't put forward any concrete plans for how they intend to replace it so that millions of Americans don't lose their health insurance. The Washington Post wrote about this last week.

President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants the Affordable Care Act to be repealed, and has offered broad outlines on alterations – including changing rules on how insurance can be sold across state lines, tweaks to tax law to allow deductions on premium payments, and other measures. But it's up to Congress to repeal or pass laws, so whether Trump's suggestions ever get into a bill isn't known.

What does last night's vote mean?

As NBC News reports, the 51-48 vote in the early hours of Thursday morning lays the groundwork for the stripping back of the ACA.

The actual bill passed by the Senate was a budget resolution, but it sets out that major parts of the ACA can be repealed through the process of "reconciliation."

The only Republican not to vote for the resolution was Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Reconciliation bills cannot be filibustered (which requires a 60-40 majority to be overturned) so only require a simple majority to pass, NPR reports. With Republicans holding 52 of the 100 Senate seats it will mean certain aspects of the health act – also dubbed "Obamacare" – are vulnerable to repeal irrespective of Democrats' efforts to stop it.

Gothamist reports parts of the act that can be repealed through reconciliation relate to government spending or taxation – like making health insurance required, and subsidizing Medicaid funds.

But Congress can't use reconciliation to repeal measures requiring companies to provide insurance for people with pre-existing conditions, or allowing young adults to stay on their parents' plans.

The resolution will now go to the U.S. House. The vote to repeal the health care law will come after a replacement is worked out, with Republicans giving themselves a deadline of Jan 27, NBC News notes.

Next Up

Yia Vang - media photo - crop 2

Union Hmong Kitchen will move into Mpls. food hall

Chef Yia Vang said they're "so excited to settle in and have a home."

ISSAboveYou - Duluth North Shore - Oct 18 2021

Watch: Mille Lacs, Duluth captured in stunning video from ISS

The space station provides a vantage point 260 miles above the Earth's surface.


Ladies and gentlemen, The Weeknd has canceled his St. Paul show

He's made changes to his 2022 tour that involves scrapping his Xcel Energy Center gig.

Pixabay - police lights, tape

Man released from custody after admitting to fatal shooting in ND

Authorities said there is no threat to the public.


MN water tower in the running for Tank of the Year

It was the only water tank to receive more than 5,000 votes.

first snow

Any sign of snow in the forecast for Minnesota?

The stars could align for some flurries in northern Minnesota this week, but that's about it.

Flickr - 14 year old vaccine shot - Navy Medicine

Walz announces $200 reward for kids 12-17 who get COVID shots

Those ages have the lowest vaccination rates among all eligible age groups.


How Minnesota's congresspeople voted on the American Health Care Act

The new health care bill passed the House, and now heads to the Senate.

After Trump directive, the House is expected to vote on health plan today

The bill has come in for criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.

(Very) early 2020 polling finds Al Franken vs. Donald Trump would be a tie

Al Franken has said he won't be running in 2020, which hasn't stopped a pollster testing the waters.

Now the big health care vote in Congress is set for Friday

The White House says negotiations are over and it's time to approve the bill on the table or let Obamacare stay.

Millions more wouldn't have insurance under House GOP's health care plan, report says

There's little change between the new plan and the earlier version of the AHCA that failed.

The Republican health care plan vote is dead – so what happens next?

Republican support for the new health care overhaul wasn't strong enough to get it passed.

Al Franken: Rural Minnesota 'hated' GOP healthcare bill

The Minnesota senator was appearing on The Late Show.

Al Franken says he won't be running for president in 2020

The Minnesota senator has been touted recently as a possible Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2020.