Because the Senate is still controlled by Democrats, the repeal legislation is expected to go no further than the House, but despite the uphill battle, Republicans are working hard to win over enough Senate Democrats to pass repeal legislation in the Senate as well. On Monday, key Senate Democrats sent a letter to incoming House Speaker John Boehner vehemently opposing the repeal and warning that a full-scale repeal would take away a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs for seniors who fall into a coverage gap known as the doughnut hole. Adding additional concerns to the mix, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported today that repeal would result in adding $230 billion to the federal debt by 2021.
Although a full-scale repeal of the law seems unlikely now, Republicans are expected to be looking at every available opportunity to slow down or roll back the healthcare legislation. Many in the new Congress will be sure to stage strong opposition to new rulemakings and appropriations that are necessary to implement the key components of PPACA in an effort to minimize or delay the practical impact of the law.