Schumer expresses hope for bipartisan ObamaCare fixes

Schumer expresses hope for bipartisan ObamaCare fixes
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats press Schumer on removing Confederate statues from Capitol Democrats' do-or-die moment Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan MORE (D-N.Y.) on Friday urged Republicans to work across the aisle after the failure of their repeal bill.

"I hope we can work together to make the system better in a bipartisan way," Schumer said at a press conference. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation We don't need platinum to solve the debt ceiling crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (R-Ky.) invited Democrats to offer their ideas on healthcare in his speech on the Senate floor after the failed repeal vote. But he expressed skepticism about Democrats' ideas, saying he didn't want to be "bailing out insurance companies with no thought of any kind of reform."

Schumer, though, argued that he thought there could be bipartisan support for some ideas to help stabilize the insurance markets under ObamaCare. 

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He called for guaranteeing ObamaCare payments to insurers known as cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), which are key to keeping insurers in the market and preventing premium spikes. 

President Trump has threatened to cancel those payments to cause chaos in the market and try to bring Democrats to the negotiating table. 

Some Republican lawmakers have also called for guaranteeing the CSR payments. 

Schumer also called for "reinsurance," which is funding to help pay for the costs of sick ObamaCare enrollees and try to prevent those patients' costs from driving up premiums.

"At the very beginning we should stabilize the system," Schumer said. 

He pointed to hearings in the Health Committee that Sens. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration Authorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayBuilding strong public health capacity across the US Texas abortion law creates 2022 headache for GOP Top Democrat says he'll push to address fossil fuel tax breaks in spending bill MORE (D-Wash.) plan to hold.

Schumer said he spoke with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (R-Wis.) Friday morning about healthcare and argued that if Trump stayed out of the way, congressional leaders could get a lot done. 

Trump early Friday tweeted that he wanted to let ObamaCare "implode," to bring Democrats to the table. 

"It’ll hurt the American people and it’ll hurt him," Schumer warned of that approach.