The healthcare issue continues to be at an impasse, with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and the White House on Tuesday informing Senate Republican leaders they oppose a bipartisan Obamacare stabilization bill, according to a report in Politico.
The Senate in July defeated an effort to pass legislation to gut major portions of Obamacare, and governors at a hearing before the Senate health committee earlier this month told Congress and President Donald Trump to get their act together to strengthen Obamacare and stabilize the individual marketplace.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the Republican chairman of the committee, said then he would work with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and other senators to come up with a bipartisan healthcare bill.
“I’m going to sit down with Sen. Murray and with other senators and come to a conclusion about what I think we can pass,” Alexander said. “I want to be able to take to Sen. [Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell and Sen. [Chuck] Schumer a consensus proposal within 10 days or so.”
But Ryan and the White House said Tuesday they would not back the plan, mainly because of concerns Democrats are not willing to bend enough. The stabilization bill would have Congress provide Obamacare subsidies while allowing states more flexibility.
“Our focus is on repealing and replacing this failing law, and we are encouraged the Senate is making progress,” AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, told Politico.
Alexander backtracked Tuesday and said he now had doubts about a bipartisan bill.
“I know how to get bipartisan results,” Alexander told The Hill. But “I’m not a magician, and it requires my persuading McConnell, Speaker Ryan, the president, that we’re right about it.”