Repeal and reconciliation: Understand bewildering D.C. budget lingo, process

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at Follow her on Facebook.

us-capitolWe all understand what “repeal” means. But what does a nice-sounding word like “reconciliation” have to do with unraveling the Affordable Care Act?

The repeal process is underway – the Republican-controlled Congress got to work even before President-elect Donald Trump took office. But it’s a multistep process involving arcane budget rules. And there is plenty that can go wrong – a few Senate Republicans are already grumbling about the idea of voting to repeal the ACA and waiting two or three years to replace it.

This tip sheet by Sarah Ferris – who covered health in Congress for The Hill for the past few years – will help you understand it.

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