Bye, Bye Repeal? Schumer Claims Dems Have To Keep Obamacare

Robert Donachie | Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer believes the bipartisan bill to shore up Obamacare markets has enough votes to pass, he said Thursday.

This is a starkly different message than some of his Republican colleagues that aren’t in favor of the proposal.

GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington released a bill to fix Obamacare Wednesday. The bill, known as The Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act, would continue funding Obamacare subsidies, provide funding for the Affordable Care Act’s navigator and outreach programs and fund basic health plans.

The bill has enough votes to pass the Senate under regular order, which requires 60 yes votes and allows senators who are opposed to filibuster, Schumer told reporters Thursday. The minority leader thinks all 48 Democrats in the Senate will vote “yes.”

The legislation also has 12 Republican cosponsors: Sens. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John McCain of Arizona, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Richard Burr of North Carolina.

Other Republicans, including President Donald Trump, are not too thrilled with the proposal.

“I am supportive of Lamar as a person & also of the process, but I can never support bailing out ins co’s who have made a fortune w/ O’Care,” the president tweeted Wednesday morning.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan wants senators to focus on repealing Obamacare and making good on a seven-year campaign promise.

“The speaker does not see anything that changes his view that the Senate should keep its focus on repeal and replace of Obamacare,” Doug Andres, a spokesman for Ryan, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was unwilling to say whether or not he would support the bill, but has thrown his full weight behind the numerous repeal attempts in the Senate in 2017.

“We haven’t had a chance to think about a way forward yet,” McConnell told reporters at the Capitol Hill Tuesday.

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch would not vote for the bill if it comes up for a vote in the Senate and he believes Alexander-Murray has “stalled out,” the Utah Republican said Wednesday.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who voted against a number of Republican repeal attempts in 2017, has been a vocal opponent of anything that would be a bailout for insurance companies. Paul also worked closely with the president on his recent Obamacare executive order, which he says has “the potential to be amazing.”

WATCH: Trump signs executive order on healthcare

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