Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday called on Republicans to work across the aisle on healthcare a day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced a plan to vote on a straight Obamacare repeal bill in the coming days.
"It's time to move on. It's time to start over," Schumer said in his remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday morning. "Rather than repeating the same failed partisan process yet again, Republicans should work with Democrats on a bill that lowers premiums, provides long-term stability to the markets, and improves our healthcare system."
"Now that their one-party effort has largely failed, we hope they will change their tune," he continued.
He reiterated his call to Republicans a day after Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., announced that they would not vote on a motion to proceed on the GOP's "repeal and replace" bill, forcing McConnell to move to Plan B and try a bill to phase out of Obamacare after two years, which is also in trouble because of Republican opposition. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Vax., who both hail from Medicaid expansion states, announced Tuesday morning that they would not support any measure that does not repeal and replace the healthcare law simultaneously.
Schumer pointed to Republicans who have called for a bipartisan approach to healthcare after the Better Care Reconciliation Act's failure, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Another Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, has also talked up his discussions with Democrats about moving forward on reforming healthcare. The Democratic leader argued that any more days spent discussing a straight repeal bill is "another day wasted."
"The idea hasn't magically gotten better with age. It is still nothing more than a cut-and-run approach to healthcare that will leave millions of Americans out in the cold and raise costs on everyone," Schumer said. "Every day that Republicans spend on trying to pass their now-failed partisan Trumpcare bill ... is another day wasted, another day that could have been spent working on real improvements to our healthcare system."