Trump calls Schumer to broker bipartisan healthcare bill: 5 things to know

President Donald Trump reached out to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Friday to discuss healthcare alternatives.

Here are five things to know about the exchange.

1. President Trump expressed optimism on Twitter about reaching a potential deal. He tweeted Saturday: "I called Chuck Schumer yesterday to see if the Dems want to do a great HealthCare Bill. ObamaCare is badly broken, big premiums. Who knows!"

2. Mr. Schumer said Democrats would be willing to work on improving the healthcare system, but are not willing to compromise on another ACA repeal and replace plan. "The president wanted to make another run at repeal and replace, and I told the president that's off the table," Mr. Schumer said in a statement, according to The New York Times. "If he wants to work together to improve the existing healthcare 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," he said, referring to negotiations between Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash.

3. President Trump has worked with Mr. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to negotiate other deals. For example, in September, President Trump brokered a deal with Mr. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi to raise the debt ceiling, according to The Washington Post.

4. Mr. Schumer has indicated in the past he is willing to work with President Trump on healthcare. In June, he extended an olive branch to work on a bipartisan healthcare plan, according to a report from The Hill. "I repeat the offer I made to President Trump and my Republican friends yesterday: Let's start over. Drop this fundamentally flawed approach ... and we can discuss the problems that our Americans are actually concerned about: the cost, the quality and availability on healthcare," Mr. Schumer said, according to The Hill.

5. However, President Trump's attempt to negotiate comes amid the administration's move to dismantle parts of the ACA, which could jeopardize a potential compromise. On Friday, the Trump administration ended the ACA's birth control mandate, allowing employers to opt out of covering contraception based on religious belief or moral conviction. This move was unpopular among Democrats. Mr. Schumer tweeted the rules were "the latest in a series of moves the Trump Admin has made to sabotage our healthcare system."

 

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