Senate

Dems to McConnell: Work with us to stabilize health insurance market

Greg Nash

Top Senate Democrats are urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up legislation stabilizing the healthcare insurance market after the Kentucky Republican warned senators would need to act if the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal bill fails. 

Sens. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Patty Murray (Wash.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) — the top four Democrats in the Senate — sent McConnell a letter on Monday asking him to “focus on immediately advancing policies” to stabilize the market. 

“We stand ready to work on … reforms to the current system and urge you to join us in advancing measures that would have an immediate impact on improving the health care system for American families,” they wrote. 

{mosads}The senators included suggestions for what bills McConnell could take up, including four Democratic proposals they argued would make “common sense reforms” to healthcare. 

The letter comes as Senate Republicans are returning to Washington increasingly pessimistic about their chances to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told CBS on Sunday that the GOP healthcare bill was “probably going to be dead.” 

Top Republicans, including McConnell, have warned that Republicans would be forced to work with Democrats if they can’t come up with a deal that would win over at least 50 GOP senators. 

“If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to private health insurance markets must occur,” McConnell said at a Rotary Club meeting in Kentucky late last week. 

Any move to pass additional legislation would likely require 60 votes, meaning Republicans would need to win over at least eight Senate Democrats. 

McConnell is struggling to win support from both conservatives and moderates on the Senate’s ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill. 

Roughly 10 Senate Republicans are publicly opposed to the current version of the bill. Leaders have sent two versions of an updated bill to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) as they search for a path forward. 

Tags Debbie Stabenow Dick Durbin John McCain Mitch McConnell Patty Murray
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