U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday he spoke with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to determine whether Democratic lawmakers would be interested in helping pass a health care bill.
“I called Chuck Schumer yesterday to see if the Dems want to do a great HealthCare Bill. ObamaCare is badly broken, big premiums. Who knows!,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.
Schumer responded through a spokesman Saturday morning that he would be willing to listen to Trump’s proposals but repealing and replacing the nation’s current health care law is “off the table.”
Schumer added if Trump “wants to work together to improve the existing health care system, we Democrats are open to his suggestions.”
Trump has previously suggested he would consider negotiating with Democrats on health care, but signs of compromise are nonexistent between Republicans who want to scrap the Affordable Care Act and Democrats who wish to preserve it.
The overture to Schumer is yet another instance in which Trump has approached leaders of the opposition party. Trump irritated Republican congressional leaders when he met last month with Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on a spending bill and the debt ceiling.
The Trump administration announced Friday, however, it would allow more employers choose not to offer no-cost birth control to women by claiming moral or religious objections.
The move, which was condemned by Democratic lawmakers, was the latest attempt by the Trump administration to scrap the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.
Although Republicans control the White House and both houses of Congress, they have failed numerous times to pass their health care legislation in the Senate.