Schumer: I told Trump that ObamaCare repeal was ‘off the table’
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Saturday he told President Trump that Democrats would be open to stabilizing the health-care system, but that another push to repeal and replace ObamaCare was “off the table.”
“The president wanted to make another run at repeal and replace and I told the president that’s off the table,” Schumer said in a statement on his call with Trump on Friday, news of which the president confirmed in a tweet.
“If he wants to work together to improve the existing health care system, we Democrats are open to his suggestions. A good place to start might be the Alexander-Murray negotiations that would stabilize the system and lower costs,” Schumer added.
A Democratic aide told The Hill in an email Saturday, “Particularly after the birth control decision yesterday, the administration has to stop sabotaging the law before anything real can happen.”
Trump tweeted Saturday morning that he had called the Democratic leader the previous day “to see if the Dems want to do a great HealthCare Bill.”
“ObamaCare is badly broken, big premiums. Who knows!” Trump added.
Republicans pushed for months while maintaining unified control of government to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but multiple efforts as recently as last month collapsed in the Senate due to a lack of GOP support, forcing the party to shift its focus to tax reform before the end of the year.
Trump has notably bucked his party before in seeking to make a legislative deal. In early September, Trump sided with Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over GOP leaders on a short-term bill to fund the government, raise the debt ceiling for three months and provide hurricane and disaster recovery aid.
The president’s outreach to Schumer this week comes as leaders of the Senate Health Committee are trying to rally Republicans and Democrats around a short-term plan aimed at lowering ObamaCare premiums for 2018 and 2019.
The committee’s chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), said this week that continuing cost-sharing reduction subsidies for two years was integral to a stabilization package being negotiated with Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the panel’s top Democrat.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.