Dems to GOP leadership: Help us to fix ObamaCare
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats are making a long-shot bid to Senate GOP leadership urging them to work with them to fix — rather than repeal — ObamaCare. 

Thirteen senators sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellObama: Filibuster makes it 'almost impossible' to govern Ethics panel calls on House, Senate leaders to act on anti-sexual harassment bill Don’t fret the lame duck MORE (R-Ky.), Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care — Presented by The Partnership for Safe Medicines — GOP lawmaker pushes back on Trump drug pricing plan | Pfizer to raise prices on 41 drugs next year | Grassley opts for Finance gavel GOP lawmaker pushes back on Trump drug pricing proposal Congress needs to wake up to nuclear security threat MORE (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOvernight Health Care: Drug industry nervous about Grassley | CDC warns public not to eat romaine lettuce | Sanders unveils new drug pricing bill Lawmakers considering multibillion-dollar bailout for some retirees with failing pensions: report The Hill's Morning Report — Are Pelosi’s Democratic detractors going too far? MORE (R-Utah) arguing for improvements to the Affordable Care Act but warning that repealing the law would have "negative impacts." 
 
"The American people deserve a constructive bipartisan conversation about improvements we know need to be made to our health care system, and that will require time for the two sides to work together," the Democrats wrote. 
 
They added that any changes "must protect" provisions of ObamaCare that have allowed millions of Americans to gain insurance. 
 
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The letter comes as the rhetorical battle over repealing ObamaCare began in earnest this week, with President Obama and Vice President-elect Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceUK, Italy and China are 3 big economic powder kegs Pence: US will hold those responsible for Khashoggi's murder accountable Trump privately asking aides if Pence is loyal: report MORE huddling with lawmakers to hash out strategy. 
 
House and Senate Republicans are expected to pass guidelines for repealing ObamaCare next week, though they remain divided on how and when to replace the law. 
 
McConnell separately rejected any push to fix ObamaCare on Thursday morning, saying lawmakers have a "moral imperative" to repeal and replace the law. 
 
"ObamaCare's failure is the fault of ... those who forced it on our country. Not the American people, not the Republicans," he added. "We didn't cause this problem." 
 
But Democrats warned in their letter Thursday that moving forward without a replacement plan would open up Republicans to political backlash for roiling the healthcare market and potentially impacting Medicare beneficiaries. 
 
"Those who support repeal assume the responsibility of mitigating the unnecessary and avoidable chaos this will create," they wrote. 
 
Democratic Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Border deployment 'peaked' at 5,800 troops | Trump sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | Senators offer bill to press Trump on Saudis | Paul effort to block Bahrain arms sale fails Overnight Defense: What the midterms mean for defense panels | Pompeo cancels North Korea meeting | Trump eyes Kim summit in early 2019 | Pentagon drops name for border mission Five takeaways from a divisive midterm election MORE (Va.), Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetEagles player sits out national anthem Trump administration denied it has ‘secret’ committee seeking negative information on marijuana: report Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens MORE (Colo.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Health Care: Top Trump refugee official taking new HHS job | Tom Price joins new Georgia governor's transition | FDA tobacco crackdown draws ire from the right Company hiked price for opioid overdose treatment 600 percent: Senate report Overnight Energy: Trump to nominate Wheeler as EPA chief | House votes to remove protections for gray wolves | Lawmakers aim to pass disaster funds for California fires MORE (Del.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsHillicon Valley: Facebook reeling after NYT report | Dems want DOJ probe | HQ2 brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Judge upholds Russian troll farm indictments | Cyber moonshot panel unveils recommendations Senators introduce Trump-backed criminal justice bill Dems press Justice Department to probe Facebook over political attacks MORE (Del.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBanking panel showcases 2020 Dems Trump to nominate former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as next EPA administrator Indiana New Members 2019 MORE (Ind.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampBanking panel showcases 2020 Dems Trump to nominate former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as next EPA administrator North Dakota New Members 2019 MORE (N.D.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharDrug industry nervous about Grassley’s new role Some of us Midwesterners think maybe Amy Klobuchar would do OK as president Hillicon Valley: Facebook reeling after NYT report | Dems want DOJ probe | HQ2 brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Judge upholds Russian troll farm indictments | Cyber moonshot panel unveils recommendations MORE (Minn.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillWhy Democratic policies outperform Democratic politicians in rural America Josh Hawley will defend the First Amendment and religious liberty Missouri New Members 2019 MORE (Mo.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenDems slam Trump for siding with Saudi Arabia in Khashoggi killing Senators push back on Russian official's candidacy for Interpol president Sunday shows preview: New members preview agendas after Democratic House takeover MORE (N.H.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDems slam Trump for siding with Saudi Arabia in Khashoggi killing CIA's report complicates US response to Khashoggi murder Banking panel showcases 2020 Dems MORE (Va.), and Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingDems slam Trump’s energy regulator nominee GOP nerves on edge after Sinema takes lead over McSally Collusion judgment looms for key Senate panel MORE (Vt.), signed the letter.