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Repealing and replacing Obamacare 'off the table', says Chuck Schumer


Repealing and replacing Obamacare 'off the table', says Chuck Schumer
US news | The Guardian  /  Associated Press in Washington

Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday to say he had called Chuck Schumer to discuss the Affordable Care Act.

Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday to say he had called Chuck Schumer to discuss the Affordable Care Act. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

Senate minority leader addresses Affordable Care Act after tweet from Trump saying the two discussed measure and possibility of 'great' new bill

Repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is "off the table", Chuck Schumer said on Saturday, after Donald Trump tweeted that he had spoken to the Senate minority leader to see if Democrats were interested in helping pass "great" healthcare legislation.

Trump's latest overture to Democrats follows repeated Republican failures to fulfill a seven-year promise to scrap Barack Obama's signature domestic policy achievement, despite controlling the White House and Congress since January.

Trump tweeted on Saturday morning to say that he called Schumer on Friday to discuss the 2010 law, which Trump said "is badly broken, big premiums. Who knows!" Trump wanted, he said, "to see if the Dems want to do a great healthcare bill".

Schumer said through a spokesman that Trump "wanted to make another run at repeal and replace and I told the president that's off the table". If Trump "wants to work together to improve the existing healthcare system," Schumer said, "we Democrats are open to his suggestions."

Trump has suggested before that he would be open to negotiating with Democrats on healthcare, but there have been no clear signs of a compromise between Republicans and Democrats.

Schumer said a starting point could be negotiations led by Lamar Alexander, a Republican senator from Tennessee, and Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat. They have been discussing a limited bipartisan deal to stabilize state-level markets for individual health insurance policies. People covered under the ACA represent about half of those who purchase individual policies.

Trump irritated GOP leaders in Congress last month, when he reached a deal with Schumer and the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, on a spending bill and the debt ceiling. The president has referred to the two Democrats as "Chuck and Nancy".

However, the Trump administration announced on Friday it would allow more employers to opt out of no-cost birth control to women under the ACA by claiming religious or moral objections. The move was just the latest attempt to roll back Obama's health reform, prompting Democrats to question whether Trump is trying to sabotage the law.

Also on Saturday, Trump approved an emergency declaration for a large part of Louisiana and ordered federal assistance for the state as Hurricane Nate approached the central Gulf of Mexico.

The president was due to headline a fundraiser on Saturday night in Greensboro, North Carolina, to benefit his Trump Victory joint fundraising effort with the Republican National Committee. The event was expected to raise $2m, with donors paying up to $35,000 per couple to serve as co-hosts.



Original Article: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/07/obamacare-repeal-healthcare-trump-chuck-schumer

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