Bipartisan effort to improve 'Obamacare' over, GOP senator leading effort says

Bipartisan effort to improve 'Obamacare' over, GOP senator leading effort says
Posted at 4:28 PM, Sep 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-19 18:28:55-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the GOP effort to repeal former President Barack Obama's health care law (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

A bipartisan attempt at shoring up the Affordable Care Act is officially over in the Senate.

The development comes as the GOP has revived its partisan attack on "Obamacare," with Senate leaders and President Donald Trump pushing repeal and replace legislation.

GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander, who chairs the Senate's health committee and had been working with top committee Democrat Patty Murray, says in a statement that they "have not found the necessary consensus among Republicans and Democrats."

But Murray disputed that, alleging GOP leaders "decided to freeze this bipartisan approach."

Alexander and Murray had been aiming for a limited short-term plan to stabilize insurance premiums.

But passage through the House or the Senate would have been an uphill struggle, since most Republicans want to repeal "Obamacare," not improve it.


6:05 p.m.

Fifteen Republican governors are lining up behind the Senate GOP effort to turn much of President Barack Obama's health care law into block grants that states could spend as they wish.

The governors wrote a letter to lawmakers Tuesday saying they "appreciate" the bill by GOP Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham. The White House and Republican leaders hope the Senate will approve the measure next week as the GOP tries reviving its effort to repeal Obama's 2010 law.

The letter came after 10 governors from both parties wrote separately to senators rejecting that bill and calling for a bipartisan health care drive.

The GOP governors said "adequately funded" federal grants to states "are the last, best hope" to replace Obama's law.