Trump Confirms That He Called Schumer to Discuss Health Care

  • Contact follows two failures this year to repeal Obamacare
  • ‘Who knows!’ Trump writes on Twitter about Schumer call

Donald Trump reached out to Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer on Friday as the president seeks to revive legislation overhauling U.S. health-care laws with the help of the pivotal New York deal maker.

Schumer during a news conference on Oct. 3.

Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

“I called Chuck Schumer yesterday to see if the Dems want to do a great HealthCare Bill,” the president wrote on Twitter Saturday morning. “ObamaCare is badly broken, big premiums. Who knows!"

Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress, have failed twice this year to repeal the Affordable Care Act despite promising to do so for the past seven years.

Schumer offered his account of the conversation with Trump.

“The president wanted to make another run at repeal and replace and I told the president that’s off the table,” the senator said in a statement. “If he wants to work together to improve the existing health care system, we Democrats are open to his suggestions. A good place to start might be the Alexander-Murray negotiations that would stabilize the system and lower costs.”

Schumer was referring to prior talks between Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Washington state Democrat Patty Murray.

Axios reported the president’s conversation with Schumer earlier.

Trump, who campaigned on getting tough about immigration, baffled fellow Republicans in September when he struck a deal with Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to permanently safeguard from deportation almost 1 million people brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

Senate Republicans in late September abandoned their last-ditch effort to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law using a fast-track legislative procedure, when it became clear Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t have enough votes to pass the measure with a simple majority.

— With assistance by Andrew M Harris

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