In the Senate, any one Senator can oppose legislation via filibuster which means: normal legislation requires 60 votes to beat a filibuster. The R's have 51 votes, so they can't meet the 60-vote requirement to pass a partisan Senate bill. However, the Senate can pass a Budget Reconciliation bill, which can only contain basic additions or removals from the budget. No sweeping legislation or procedures; just "adds" and "takeaways".
The R's vowed to cancel ACA. Reconciliation is the only tool they've got to accomplish the thing they vowed. They can't do it in the Senate through normal procedures because of the filibuster/60-vote process, so they're doing it via Budget Reconciliation which only needs 51 votes. Which brings us to the start of this year's sporting events.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the first event for this year's racing, the Senate's midnight cancellation of Obamacare aka ACA at 1am via a budget reconciliation process. If the House approves it, and President Trump signs it, ACA is dead in two years - including such wildly popular features as: 25 year olds on their parent's insurance, no pre-existing conditions, and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHiP).
Why would they do that? Why would they cancel without a replacement at hand? Why would they specifically reject options to preserve the cherished parts, like: CHiP, 25 years old, pre-existing conditions? Because they can cancel (that is, destroy important things) with only 51 votes. You might think that's a problem, I might think that's a problem, but if you think like a thug, like a gangster, you might say: Ooh, maybe I can make this somebody else's problem, and maybe it's an R-opportunity. Because that's thug-thinking.
Whatever they want to introduce as TrumpCare, or R-Care, will need to get 60 votes in the Senate. The 50-vote reconciliation rule can not be used to implement programs. They're going to need D's in the Senate to vote for TrumpCare.
I think the cynical strategy goes like this: With their 51 Senate votes, they've sentenced precious programs to death in two years. Now - just saying - if the D's want to cooperate, maybe the terrible thing won't have to happen. I mean, people can work together, right?
This is just the first event in a two-year race, the timing of which was established by the Budget Reconciliation Bill.
As time progresses, the nation will come around the curve and begin to line up for the straight-away.
In ten months, when they've developed TrumpCare, Team-R is going to look at the Senate Dems and say: Here's our program - sure it does a lot of things you don't like, but hey- it restores 25 year-olds, it restores NoPreExisting Conditions, it restores CHIP. We've heard you on these issues. We've listened. We're meeting you in the middle.
In the final stretch, the R's will say to the Dems: Will 10 of you support TrumpCare to restore these vital programs, or will you make Americans suffer to force a debacle in the name of politics? And the NPR announcer calling the race will be quite excited,
It's Charade in the lead, with Booker and TrumpCare by a neck, and Kabuki close behind, then ChIP and Trumper and Warren and Bernie close - and Booker stumbles, ladies and gentleman, Booker is down, and riders down everywhere and at the wire it's TrumpCare, it's TrumpCare followed by Charade and Kabuki, Chip survived, PreExisting got through, looks like TwentyFive made it, and there's horses and riders everywhere.. There's carnage in the field..
I think the R's will get 10 D-Senators to vote to restore CHiP, 25 year-olds, and NoPreExisting Conditions. This week's news doesn't make any sense if you're a normal human, but it makes a lot of sense if you're a gangster thug.