In the wake of the Republican failure to repeal Obamacare, Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi extended olive branches to their Republican colleagues, urging bipartisan work to tweak the ACA.
“First, let me say it’s been a long, long road for both sides,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said in floor remarks sent to PoliticusUSA. “First, I would suggest we turn the page, we turn — it’s time to turn the page. I would say to my dear friend, the Majority Leader, we are not celebrating. We are relieved. And millions and millions of people who would have been so drastically hurt by the three proposals put forward will at least retain their health care, be able to deal with preexisting conditions, deal with nursing homes and opioids that Medicaid paid for. We are relieved, not for ourselves but for the American people.”
“But, as I said, over and over again, Obamacare was hardly perfect. It did a lot of good things, but it needs improvement. And I hope one part offing it up that page is that we go — and I hope that one part of turning that page is that we go back to regular order, work in the committees together to improve Obamacare,” the Democratic Senator said.
Schumer urged bipartisan work, “We have good leaders, the Senator from Tennessee and the Senator from Washington, the Senator from Utah, the Senator from Oregon. They have worked well together in the past. And they can work well together in the future. There are suggestions that we are interested in, that come from members on the other side of the aisle — the Senator from Maine, the Senator from Louisiana.”
“So let’s turn the page and work together to improve our healthcare system, and let’s turn the page in another way. All of us were so inspired by the speech and the life of the Senator from Arizona, and he asked us to go back to regular order, to bring back the Senate that some of us who have been here a while remember,” Schumer said, referencing Senator John McCain’s call to return to regular order late Thursday night, that was the sign of doom for the Republican bill.
“Maybe this can be a moment where we start doing that. Both sides will have to give. The blame hardly falls on one side or the other,” Schumer continued, pressing on both sides to work together. “But if we can take this moment, a solemn moment, and start working this body the way it had always worked until the last decade or so, with both sides to blame for the deterioration, we will do a better job for our country, a better job for this body, a better job for ourselves.”
“The American people have spoken loud and clear against the higher costs and monstrous cruelty of Trumpcare,” Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement sent to PoliticusUSA. “Now, Congress must finally pivot to the long overdue bipartisan work to update and improve the Affordable Care Act and to continue to lower Americans’ health costs.”
“The collapse of Trumpcare is a tribute to the power of the American people to organize, mobilize and make their voices heard. As ever, Democrats extend the hand of friendship to our Republican colleagues to join us in forging constructive progress to improve working families’ health care.”
Republicans have been saying for seven years that they had an Obamacare alternative, but they didn’t. The sparse, 8 page “skinny bill” was written on their lunch break and not revealed until 10 PM, just hours before they voted on it.
It’s not a surprise that it failed; it’s a surprise that it was so close to being passed. This shows you how desperate Republicans are, and that’s not a good thing for the country.
Democrats are trying to extend an olive branch Friday morning, with the goal of tweaking Obamacare. Senator Mitch McConnell, on the other hand, is busy blaming Democrats for his failure and claiming that they – hold on to your hats – failed to work on health care “in a serious way.”
A “serious way” must be Republican for crafting bills in the dark, threatening senators’ states to force the senator to vote yes, failing to be transparent and accountable, and making a big stink about issues in Obamacare that their bill actually made worse or didn’t address at all.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
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