Republicans failed on their own to pass a healthcare reform bill early Friday morning, but the early signs show that working with Democrats on legislation won't be any easier.
After the GOP bill failed 49-51, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately explained what Republicans were not going to give up in any talks with the Democrats.
"I can say, and pretty safe in saying for most of the people on this side of the aisle, that bailing out insurance companies with no thought of any kind of reform is not something I want to be part of," he said.
Bipartisanship is seen by many as the last, best chance for a healthcare reform bill in the Senate, but McConnell's comment goes directly against what Democrats are hoping to get if the talks ever go anywhere. Democrats have called for funding cost-sharing payments to insurers to reimburse them for reducing co-pays and deductibles for low-income Obamacare customers.
The White House has not said whether it would continue to fund the cost-sharing payments, but Trump has repeatedly said he wants to let Obamacare implode to force Democrats to negotiate on a repeal plan.
Democrats have also called for funding a reinsurance program that would help cover the sickest patients for insurers.
Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said that reinsurance, cost-sharing payments, and the individual mandate requiring people to buy insurance are necessary to fix the individual market, which includes Obamacare's exchanges. He also took aim at McConnell's statements about bailouts to insurers.
"If it turns out we do the three things that I mention, then I am told we can lower premiums by as much as 25 to 35 percent," he said Friday morning after the vote. "That would result in savings for people to get their insurance and savings for the Treasury."
Democrats have not said how much money they would want for reinsurance.
Last year, the Obama administration paid out $7 billion in cost-sharing reduction payments. Several insurers have said they need to know if the cost-sharing payments will exist in 2018. If the payments are cut off, more insurers could leave the exchanges or sharply raise premiums.
Not everyone in the Republican conference is sold on the idea of bipartisan talks.
"I don't believe Democrats have any interest in doing anything productive," said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. "For seven years, they have said to the millions of people living under Obamacare we do not hear you and we are unwilling to do anything."
But other senators want to try it. One Republican who voted against the "skinny" bill, which would have repealed parts of Obamacare and would have served as a vehicle to kick-start talks with the House, called for bipartisanship.
"In developing legislation, our focus should be on the impact on people, premiums, and providers," Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Friday. Collins was one of three Republicans, with Sens. Lisa Murkowski and John McCain, who voted against the "skinny repeal."
McCain seemed to agree, and said the Senate needs to "hold hearings, receive input from both sides of the aisle, heed the recommendations of the nation's governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people."
There are some immediate opportunities to reach bipartisan legislation on the individual market. For example, the Senate must reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program by the end of September. The program has wide bipartisan support and may be used as a vehicle for other insurance reforms.
And while Republicans may not have an appetite for a large reinsurance program, some experts say other measures to improve insurance markets may have more bipartisan support.
"Allowing health savings accounts to be used to pay premiums, an idea advocated by conservatives, could provide premium relief to middle-class consumers and help to shore up the market," said Larry Levitt, senior vice president for the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.