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 McConnellMcConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster Hickenlooper announces Senate bid Trump orders elimination of student loan debt for thousands of disabled veterans MORE (R-Ky.), Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe Hill's Morning Report - How will Trump be received in Dayton and El Paso? McConnell faces pressure to bring Senate back for gun legislation Criminal justice reform should extend to student financial aid MORE (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators 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. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
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 PenceIceland's prime minister will not be in town for Pence's visit Trump's latest plan to undermine Social Security Nikki Haley voices 'complete support' for Pence 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 KaineA lesson of the Trump, Tlaib, Omar, Netanyahu affair Warren's pledge to avoid first nuclear strike sparks intense pushback Almost three-quarters say minimum age to buy tobacco should be 21: Gallup MORE (Va.), Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes The Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries Biden, Buttigieg bypassing Democratic delegate meeting: report MORE (Colo.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperAmerica is in desperate need of infrastructure investment: Senate highway bill a step in the right direction FARA should apply to Confucius Institutes The 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal MORE (Del.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsThe United States broken patent system is getting worse Biden faces scrutiny for his age from other Democrats Democrats press FBI for details on Kavanaugh investigation MORE (Del.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyLobbying world Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries MORE (Ind.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa Al Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (N.D.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharOvernight Defense: Two US service members killed in Afghanistan | Trump calls on other nations to take up fight against ISIS | Pentagon scraps billion-dollar missile defense program ABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill MORE (Minn.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillEx-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (Mo.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSunday shows - Recession fears dominate Lewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel MORE (N.H.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLawmakers sound alarm on China's disinformation campaign in Hong Kong Facebook users in lawsuit say company failed to warn them of known risks before 2018 breach New intel chief inherits host of challenges MORE (Va.), and Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingBipartisan panel to issue recommendations for defending US against cyberattacks early next year New intel chief inherits host of challenges Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings MORE (Vt.), signed the letter.