Trump Tries to Revive Health Care Debate With Phone Call to Schumer

Slate Politics 9 months ago

President Donald Trump confirmed Saturday morning that he called Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to explore whether Democrats “want to do a great HealthCare Bill,” Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday morning. The president made sure it was clear he has no idea what could happen next: “Who knows!”

Trump made the call in an effort to seek a “path forward on health care,” according to a GOP source who talked to Axios, which was the first to break the story on Friday night. But Schumer quickly put out his own statement making it clear that a repeal of Obamacare was out of the question.

“The president wanted to make another run at repeal and replace and I told the president that's off the table,” Schumer said. “If he wants to work together to improve the existing health care system, we Democrats are open to his suggestions. A good place to start might be the Alexander-Murray negotiations that would stabilize the system and lower costs."

This is, of course, hardly the first time the president tries to team up with Schumer. But everyone quotes a Democratic aide who clearly wants to tone down expectations that there will be bipartisan cooperation on the issue at a time when there is lots of anger about the way the Trump administration is allowing employers to claim a religious or moral objection to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. “Particularly after the birth control decision yesterday, the administration has to stop sabotaging the law before anything real can happen,” the aide said.

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