Congress has approved the first step toward dismantling the Affordable Care Act.
By a near party-line 227-198 vote, the House approved a budget Friday that prevents Democrats from using a Senate filibuster to derail a blueprint that would repeal and replace President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law. Nine Republicans joined all voting Democrats in opposing the budget.
The Senate approved the measure Thursday. It does not need the president's signature.
Friday's passage was critical because it takes 60 votes to end filibusters, while Republicans have a 52-48 Senate majority.
Now, Republicans in Congress must decide which parts of Obamacare to end and how to help protect up to 30 million people who received coverage under the ACA's provisions and its Medicaid expansion.
Many in the party have split over how to reform the nation's $3 trillion-a-year health care system.
Still, President-elect Donald Trump has urged Republicans to pass the budget and concurrently find a replacement plan.
"The 'Unaffordable' Care Act will soon be history!" Trump tweeted Friday. He takes the presidential oath next Friday.