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Senate Democrats Agree to Work with Trump, on One Condition

by Countable | 3.30.17

Since the failure of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), President Trump and some Republicans in Congress have expressed a willingness to work with Democrats on health care reform. At the same time, Trump has continued to blame the bill’s failure in part on Democrats.

Now, all but four sitting Democratic senators have responded by penning a letter to the president, offering to work with him on a new health care reform strategy -- as long as, they wrote, "you abandon your efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and undermine the U.S. health care system." The full text of the letter is below.

The Democrats are asking Trump to rescind an executive order he signed on his first day in office, which gives federal agencies broad powers to dismantle regulations established under the ACA. The order remains in effect despite the failure of the Republican health care bill and could seriously contribute to the "explosion" of the ACA that President Trump has insisted is inevitable.

In the letter, the Senators call on the president to "commit to putting an end to all efforts to unravel the ACA, undermine the health care system, increase costs, or hurt patients, providers and families."

Some moderate Republicans insist collaboration is the only way to get the necessary bi-partisan support to move legislation forward. In a CNN interview on March 25 Sen. Charlie Dent (R-PA), a member of the moderate ‘Tuesday Group’, said:

"If we're going to have a durable, sustainable healthcare reform in this country, it must be done on a bipartisan basis. The failure of the Democrats - and I voted against Obamacare at the time, their failure was they jammed this thing through on a partisan basis and we've been fighting about it ever since. We, as Republicans, should not make that same mistake, trying to jam this thing through, muscle it through on a partisan basis.... We need a bipartisan, durable, sustainable solution."

President Trump has not responded to the Senators’ letter directly, but Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price testified before the House Appropriations Committee that the administration is still committed to deregulation as outlined in the president's January 20 executive order.

— Asha Sanaker

Tell your representatives what you think!

The full text of the Senators' letter:

Dear President Trump:

We respectfully request that you abandon your efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and undermine the U.S. health care system so that we can work together to improve the law and lower the cost of health care for all Americans.

To do that, your Administration must commit to putting an end to all efforts to unravel the ACA, undermine the health care system, increase costs, or hurt patients, providers and families. As a first step, we request that you rescind your ACA executive order signed on January 20th [1].

While we would welcome your sincere interest in bipartisan work to improve quality, lower costs, and expand coverage, we are concerned by your recent statement indicating it would be a good thing to make the ACA "explode," [2] which would hurt millions of Americans. Instead, we urge you to use your executive authority to support a stable, competitive insurance marketplace.

Members of the Democratic caucus remain ready and willing to work with you on policies that would improve the stability of the individual insurance market. We ask that you begin the work of improving health care for millions of Americans by rescinding your January 20th executive order.

Sincerely,

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Ben Cardin (D-MD)

Thomas Carper (D-DE)

Robert Casey (D-PA)

Chris Coons (D-DE)

Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)

Joe Donnelly (D-IN)

Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Al Franken (D-MN)

Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Kamala Harris (D-CA)

Maggie Hassan (D-NH)

Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI)

Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Claire McCaskill (D-MO)

Edward Markey (D-MA)

Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Patty Murray (D-WA)

Bill Nelson (D-FL)

Gary Peters (D-MI)

Jack Reed (D-RI)

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Brian Schatz (D-HI)

Charles Schumer (D-NY)

Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Tom Udall (D-NM)

Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Mark Warner (D-VA)

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

Ron Wyden (D-OR)

(Photo Credit: Public Domain)

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