After it became clear that Donald Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton for President, a lot of the news coverage focused on one of Donald Trump’s key policy promises: that, “on day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.” But fully repealing Obamacare—let alone replacing it with better reforms—will be far more difficult than a lot of observers believe.
To start, full repeal of Obamacare can’t happen unless 60 U.S. senators vote for it, thanks to the filibuster. And there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate for full repeal; if advocates are lucky, there will be 52. (In 2017, Republicans will control either 51 or 52 Senate seats, depending on the outcome of a runoff in Louisiana.)
Republicans could, in theory, get rid of the filibuster, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and others have routine expressed opposition to that idea.