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Congress approves first step toward repeal of health care law

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Posted at 3:34 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 11:32:04-05

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress has approved the first step toward dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law.

Republicans have pushed a budget through Congress that provides an early but crucial victory in the effort.

The budget prevents Democrats from using a Senate filibuster to derail a bill annulling and replacing the law. That's critical because it takes 60 votes to end filibusters, while Republicans have a 52-48 Senate majority.

The real work lies ahead. Republicans must decide which parts of Obama's statute to erase, what a new version should look like and how to protect 20 million people getting health coverage under the 2010 law.

The House approved the budget Friday by a near party-line 227-198 vote.

The Senate approved the measure Thursday. It does not need the president's signature.