Schumer expresses hope for bipartisan ObamaCare fixes

Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (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 McConnell (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. 

{mosads}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 Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) plan to hold.

Schumer said he spoke with Speaker Paul Ryan (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.

Tags Charles Schumer Lamar Alexander Mitch McConnell Patty Murray Paul Ryan
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