Trump's New Outreach to Democrats: Health Care


Trying to revive health care talks, President Trump tweeted Saturday that he had spoken to the Senate's Democratic leader to gauge whether the minority party was interested in helping pass "great" health legislation.

In a statement, Schumer told the president that Obamacare repeal is "off the table" and he should join other Republicans who are working with Democrats to improve the existing law.

"I called Chuck Schumer yesterday to see if the Dems want to do a great HealthCare Bill. ObamaCare is badly broken, big premiums", Trump wrote.

Trump's latest attempt at terminating Obamacare and reaching a deal on health care comes after several Republican failures to fulfill their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare since they took over both the White House and Congress last January.

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Schumer said Saturday that such an effort by Trump to "make another run at repeal and replace" is "off the table". Axios first reported Trump's call to Schumer on Friday. "A good place to start might be the Alexander-Murray negotiations that would stabilize the system and lower costs".

Trump's recent communication with Schumer comes just a month after he had reached an agreement with Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi over raising the debt ceiling and funding the government in the afthermath of Hurricane Harvey. He also discussed a plan to restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections with Democrats, but it's not clear that Trump and Democrats will ultimately agree on the matter. Whether Congressional Republicans would go along with a Trump-Schumer health care deal, though, is more uncertain. Since the health care law was passed in 2009, GOP leadership voted to repeal the law 54 times.

Through those negotiations, Senate Health, Education and Pensions Committee chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and the committee's ranking member Patty Murray, D-Washington, are looking to stabilize the health care market under Obamacare for the short term.

So it makes sense that, with nothing else going for him on health care at the moment, Trump has called up Schumer to talk a deal.