WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans showed signs Tuesday of reaching out to Democrats for a joint if modest effort to buttress health insurance markets, four days after the GOP effort to unilaterally uproot and reshape the Obama health care law crumpled in the Senate.
The Republican chairman of the Senate health committee, Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander, said he’d seek bipartisan legislation extending for one year federal payments to insurers that help millions of low- and moderate-income Americans afford coverage. President Donald Trump has threatened to halt those subsidies in hopes of forcing Democrats to make concessions, which the Senate’s top Democrat on Tuesday called “not what an adult does.”
The No. 2 Senate Republican also seemed to imply the two parties should seek common health care ground. Texas Sen. John Cornyn said on the Senate floor, “We are forced to work together to try to solve these problems, and I think frankly bipartisan solutions tend to be more durable.”
In addition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rebuffed Trump’s demands that the Senate change its rules so it can pass a health overhaul with a simple majority vote. McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate lacks the votes to end filibusters of legislation like Trump wants, and noted that getting the 60 votes needed to end filibusters wasn’t why Republicans lost.
“It’s pretty obvious that our problem with health care was not the Democrats. We didn’t have 50 Republicans,” McConnell told reporters.
The prospects for passing bipartisan health care legislation remain uncertain,…
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