For the first time since 1928, Republicans control the House of Representatives, Senate and presidency, and they say they’re not planning on wasting this historic opportunity to promote conservative policies and reforms, especially when it comes to healthcare.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the day after the Republicans’ historic election that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act is “pretty high” on the GOP agenda for 2017. “I would be shocked if we didn’t move forward to keep our commitment to the American people,” McConnell said.

And move forward they must. The Affordable Care Act has been nothing short of a massive, highly divisive policy failure. In 2016 alone, health insurance giants Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealth all announced the end if their involvement in most of the ACA exchanges in 2017. This, along with decisions by other insurers to leave the government exchanges, means 1.4 million people in 32 states will be forced to find new health insurance providers or plans.

Health insurance plans are also becoming much more expensive. The Department of Health and Human Services announced at the end of October that insurance premiums for the midlevel benchmark plan will increase by an average of 25 percent in states participating in, the federal health insurance exchange.

Despite clear majorities in the House and Senate and President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to fix Obamacare, Democrats have already pledged to work tirelessly to stop any effort to make significant free-market reforms to the ACA. The only way for Democrats to accomplish this is to take advantage of current Senate rules that require three-fifths of legislators, 60 votes, to end debate on pending legislation, a procedure called “cloture,” so that the Senate may conduct an up-or-down vote on a bill. Republicans will likely end up with 52 seats in the Senate after the runoff election ends in Louisiana, which means they would need eight Democratic senators to agree to end debate for there to be any hope of replacing Obamacare.

Based on the rhetoric coming out of the Democratic Party, that seems unlikely to happen. The Affordable Care Act is outgoing President Barack Obama’s signature and most important legislation. Much political capital was spent getting it passed in 2010, and it’s almost inconceivable they’ll allow it to be ripped to shreds by Republicans without an intense fight.

Perhaps the only way then for Republicans to keep their promise to fix Obamacare is to implement what many refer to as the “nuclear option,” an unnecessarily dire way of saying senators should use a parliamentary procedure to override the 60-vote cloture requirement to end debate with a simple majority so that a bill could receive an up-or-down vote.

The reason many refer to such a tactic as “nuclear” is because it violates the Senate’s supposedly longstanding tradition of empowering the minority party and promoting debate. If the “nuclear option” is used, critics say, the minority party — in this case, the Democrats — will someday use the procedural rule when they take control of Congress again, effectively changing the dynamics of the Senate forever to make it more favorable for the majority party.

History, however, shows Democrats have a long history of using the nuclear option and other tactics to ram through legislation and judicial appointments as a way to stop protesting Republicans. Prior to the 20th century, the Senate had few ways to stop endless debate. Tradition had always mandated senators have the power to filibuster any legislation to act as a sort of check on the comparably quick actions of the House of Representatives. The modern cloture rule was imposed at the behest of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson in 1917 to stop dissenting voices who opposed his progressive agenda.

The 1917 rule required two-thirds of the Senate to agree before debate could be halted, but that didn’t satisfy Democrats. In 1975, they revised the rule so that only three-fifths of the Senate is needed, making it easier to silence the Republican minority in Congress.

Most recently, in 2013, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and his fellow Democrats, with the approval of Obama, used the nuclear option to push through federal judicial nominees that had been blocked by Republicans.

Republicans and some Democrats warned Reid the decision could lead to Republicans using the same strategy in the future. Reid responded with: “It’s time to change the Senate before this institution becomes obsolete.”

If Republicans go “nuclear,” they will merely be following Reid’s example, despite inevitable cries they are violating centuries-old Senate tradition, as Democrats have done many times. But what is more important: violating tradition or reforming a broken healthcare system that is causing millions of people to suffer and costing hundreds of billions of dollars?

Republicans have a duty to uphold their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, Senate traditions be damned.