Schumer expresses hope for bipartisan ObamaCare fixes

Schumer expresses hope for bipartisan ObamaCare fixes
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer: GOP efforts to identify FBI informant 'close to crossing a legal line' Patients deserve the 'right to try' How the embassy move widens the partisan divide over Israel MORE (D-N.Y.) on Friday urged Republicans to work across the aisle after the failure of their repeal bill.

"I hope we can work together to make the system better in a bipartisan way," Schumer said at a press conference. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress GOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress Parkland father calls out Trump, McConnell, Ryan after Santa Fe shooting MORE (R-Ky.) invited Democrats to offer their ideas on healthcare in his speech on the Senate floor after the failed repeal vote. But he expressed skepticism about Democrats' ideas, saying he didn't want to be "bailing out insurance companies with no thought of any kind of reform."

Schumer, though, argued that he thought there could be bipartisan support for some ideas to help stabilize the insurance markets under ObamaCare. 

He called for guaranteeing ObamaCare payments to insurers known as cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), which are key to keeping insurers in the market and preventing premium spikes. 

President Trump has threatened to cancel those payments to cause chaos in the market and try to bring Democrats to the negotiating table. 

Some Republican lawmakers have also called for guaranteeing the CSR payments. 

Schumer also called for "reinsurance," which is funding to help pay for the costs of sick ObamaCare enrollees and try to prevent those patients' costs from driving up premiums.

"At the very beginning we should stabilize the system," Schumer said. 

He pointed to hearings in the Health Committee that Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderGOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by CVS Health - A pivotal day for House Republicans on immigration GOP, Dem lawmakers come together for McCain documentary MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Trump official won't OK lifetime limits on Medicaid Dems warn against changes to federal family planning program Overnight Health Care: Drug company under scrutiny for Michael Cohen payments | New Ebola outbreak | FDA addresses EpiPen shortage MORE (D-Wash.) plan to hold.

Schumer said he spoke with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanStudents arrested protesting gun violence outside Paul Ryan’s office Parkland father calls out Trump, McConnell, Ryan after Santa Fe shooting GOP revolts multiply against retiring Ryan MORE (R-Wis.) Friday morning about healthcare and argued that if Trump stayed out of the way, congressional leaders could get a lot done. 

Trump early Friday tweeted that he wanted to let ObamaCare "implode," to bring Democrats to the table. 

"It’ll hurt the American people and it’ll hurt him," Schumer warned of that approach.