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GOP chairman declares bipartisan ObamaCare fix dead

GOP chairman declares bipartisan ObamaCare fix dead
© Greg Nash
The Senate Health Committee chairman on Tuesday released a statement ending a bipartisan effort to find an ObamaCare fix amid a new GOP push to repeal the law.
 
"During the last month, we have worked hard and in good faith, but have not found the necessary consensus among Republicans and Democrats to put a bill in the Senate leaders’ hands that could be enacted," Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderCongress addressed surprise medical bills, but the issue is not resolved Trump renominates Judy Shelton in last-ditch bid to reshape Fed Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE (R-Tenn.) said in the statement.
 
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumers's (D-N.Y.) office dismissed Alexander's statement about the bipartisan efforts, saying the announcement Tuesday was "not about substance" while pointing to the last-ditch GOP repeal push being led by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHere's who Biden is now considering for budget chief House Democratic leaders back Shalanda Young for OMB after Tanden withdrawal The Memo: Is Trump mounting a comeback — or finally fading? MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyBill CassidyTrump was unhinged and unchanged at CPAC Republicans, please save your party Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra MORE (R-La.).
 
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"We gave them many of the things they asked for, including copper plans and wide waiver authority. The Republican leadership is so eager to pass Graham-Cassidy that they’re scuttling a balanced, bipartisan negotiation," Schumer spokesman Matt House said in a statement.
 
The effort at a bipartisan deal to stabilize ObamaCare markets had always faced headwinds, given the polarizing nature of the issue. But the effort faced even higher obstacles in recent days as Republicans refocused on a GOP-only effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. 
 
That atmosphere made it very difficult to work in a bipartisan way on the law. Alexander acknowledged that to reporters earlier on Tuesday, and also blamed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Democrats deals to bolster support for relief bill | Biden tries to keep Democrats together | Retailers fear a return of the mask wars Democrats cut deals to bolster support for relief bill Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case MORE's (I-Vt.) announcement of single-payer legislation last week for creating a partisan atmosphere as well. 
 
The announcement comes after Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBoehner book jacket teases slams against Cruz, Trump CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be Cruz hires Trump campaign press aide as communications director MORE (R-Wis.) and the White House said they would not agree to a bipartisan deal out of the committee, fearing a "bailout" of ObamaCare. 
 
 
Democrats said earlier on Tuesday that they had made concessions to Republicans on giving flexibility to states to change ObamaCare rules. 
 
The goal of the bipartisan deal was to provide funding for key ObamaCare payments known as cost-sharing reductions in exchange for new flexibility for states. Democrats blamed Republican leadership for killing the health committee’s bipartisan effort to clear the way for the new repeal effort. 
 
“I am disappointed that Republican leaders have decided to freeze this bipartisan approach and are trying to jam through a partisan Trumpcare bill, but I am confident that we can reach a deal if we keep working together — and I am committed to getting that done,” Murray said in a statement. 
 
– This story was last updated at 7:37 p.m. to add further comments