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GOP senator to Dems: 'Quit being passive' on healthcare reform

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) on Tuesday called on Senate Democrats to take a more active role in putting together a healthcare reform bill with the GOP, saying they've been "passive" in the process so far.

"Right now, Democrats are sitting on the sidelines in the Senate," Cassidy said on CNN's "New Day." "They say things — 'Well, I haven't been called yet.' My god, quit being passive. Come forward with proposals to help those middle-class families paying too much for their premiums."

Senate Republicans are working on a healthcare bill after the House last week passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that repeals core elements of ObamaCare.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Biden, Senate GOP take step toward infrastructure deal as other plans hit speed bumps Senate GOP to give Biden infrastructure counteroffer next week Masks shed at White House; McConnell: 'Free at last' MORE (R-Ky.) has created a 13-man working group to tackle that measure. The panel is made up exclusively of Republicans.

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Democrats are far from eager to repeal or replace former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTop Democrat buys Funny Or Die Michelle Obama describes Barack's favorite movies: 'Everybody is sad, then they die' Obama calls on governments to 'do their part' in increasing global vaccine supply MORE's signature domestic achievement. The House passed the AHCA last week without a single Democrat backing it.

The partisan divide over the AHCA closely mirrors the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Not a single Republican in the House or Senate cast a vote in favor of the measure, and the GOP made repealing ObamaCare a central plank in its campaigns since 2010. 

"In our country, the best change is that which is representing across the political spectrum," Cassidy said. "ObamaCare was jammed through by Democrats and it has never been satisfactory since.

"If we can have Democrats and Republicans come together, not on a Republican plan, not on a Democratic plan, but on an American plan, that'll work for the American people."