President Trump acknowledged that he indeed phoned Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer earlier this week about a possible bipartisan health care bill – an apparent sign that he remains frustrated with the GOP’s inability to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
“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!" Trump tweeted Saturday morning.
The phone call Friday was reported first by Axios.
However, Schumer appeared to put the brakes on any deal that would dismantle ObamaCare, former Democratic President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 heath care law.
Schumer said Saturday that such an effort by Trump to “make another run at repeal and replace” is “off the table.”
“If he wants to work together to improve the existing health care system, we Democrats are open to his suggestions,” Schumer added.
The New York senator instead suggested considering a bipartisan measure by Tennessee GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander and Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray that he says would stabilize the country’s health care system and lower costs.
Fox is told the Trump administration’s announcement Friday to expand employers’ rights of limit insurance coverage for birth control is a problem for Democrats.
Trump speaking to Schumer this week is not the first time that the president crossed party lines to work on health care reform and other major legislative issues.
The president met with Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi in September after Senate Republican leaders failed to several times to pass legislation to dismantle ObamaCare.
Trump’s willingness to work with Democrats -- and perhaps upset his base -- to get a health care bill signed into law indicates just how much he wants a major legislative victory in his first year in the White House.
The president also recently struck a deal with Schumer and Pelosi that would allow Congress to pass hurricane relief funding, raise the federal debt ceiling and keep the government funded through roughly the end of the year.
Trump also recently agreed with Congress’ top two Democrats on a framework deal to pass the so-called DREAMers Act, which would protect roughly 800,000 young illegal immigrants, whose deportation had been deferred under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals order.