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Senate Dems to Abandon Bipartisan Health Care Fixes if Trumpcare Passes

A letter sent by 43 Senate Democrats tells GOP leadership ‘you’re on your own,’ when it comes to health care reform, if the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passes.

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Senate Democrats are prepared to block any health care reform efforts – no matter how bipartisan – if the GOP passes AHCA, or ‘Trumpcare,’ through reconciliation.

More from David Weigel:

Senate Democrats have warned House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that they’ll oppose the “phase three” health-care bills, casting doubt on the Republican strategy to win passage of the American Health Care Act on the promise that big reforms will come later.

…All but five members of the 48-member Democratic caucus signed the letter[.]

The only problem? Many of these “phase three” changes have bipartisan support. The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act, which “restore[d] antitrust laws to the health insurance industry,” passed 416-7 in the House on Wednesday.

The letter, “spearheaded by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.),” and given a signature and blessing by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, appears to signal that Senate Democrats will block even bipartisan efforts at health care reform.

This is a different tune than the 2016 election season, when Senate Democrats like Tom Carper (D-DE) hoped “Republicans will join them to make smaller fixes” to Obamacare, “especially if Clinton wins the presidency in November.”

It’s even a different tune than January 2017, when 13 Senate Democrats – including several signatories to this week’s letter – asked the GOP to work with them on changes to Obamacare.

It appears losing the presidential election and seeing a Republican-led health care proposal has changed these Senate Democrats’ minds.