Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi Tuesday introduced a budget resolution aimed at repealing the Affordable Care Act.
The Republican senator from Wyoming made the move on the first day of the new, GOP-controlled Congress.
The resolution does not, however, offer details for a plan to replace the ACA, which has afforded insurance coverage to more than 20 million people. Debate on the resolution is expected to begin Wednesday, the same day that President Barack Obama meets with Democrats to discuss strategies to protect his signature healthcare reform law.
Budget reconciliation rules allow Senate Republicans to approve the resolution with just 51 votes, instead of the 60 votes needed to avoid a Democratic filibuster. There are now 52 Republicans in the 100-member chamber.
Under Enzi's budget resolution, the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees and the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee have until Jan. 27 to approve draft reconciliation bills that must specify which parts of the ACA would be repealed and how long to delay implementation of the repeal to allow time to craft a replacement package.
Some congressional Republicans have called for a delay of two to four years in implementing the repeal to allow time to establish a replacement plan.
James Madara, the CEO and executive vice president of the American Medical Association Tuesday released a statement saying Congress should lay out a detailed replacement.
"Patients and other stakeholders should be able to clearly compare current policy to new proposals so they can make informed decisions about whether it represents a step forward in the ongoing process of health reform," he added.