Following the defeat of the American Health Care Act in the GOP-majority House, the White House has signaled that President Donald Trump will seek collaboration with Democratic lawmakers on health care policy.
On March 24, the AHCA was pulled from a House floor vote after the Trump administration determined that it would not have enough votes for passage. The GOP proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare," the bill's failure to pass marked a dramatic setback for Trump's health care agenda.
On March 26, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus suggested that the Trump administration would move forward by revisiting a ACA replacement with some Democratic input.
"We can't be chasing perfect all the time... I think it's time for our folks to come together, and I also think it's time to potentially get a few moderate Democrats on board as well," Priebus told Fox News.
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On March 27, White House press secretary Spicer confirmed that the president would consider working with Democrats to help craft a future health care proposal. When asked during a press conference if Trump was serious about working across party lines, Spicer responded "Absolutely."
"The president's willing to listen to these individuals," Spicer continued, according to The Washington Times.
The day that the AHCA was halted in its tracks, Trump asserted that the fault lay with Democratic lawmakers, who have a minority in the House.
"We had no Democratic support," Trump said from the Oval Office shortly after pulling the AHCA from consideration. "They weren't going to give us a single vote."
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York blasted Trump for his comments.
"They never reached out to us, they never talked to us, they never said how can we work together to make it better," Schumer told CNN. "The failure is of course completely among the Republicans, President Trump and the Congress. They weren't even trying to get Democrats involved."
Schumer added that Democrats were willing to work with the Trump administration on health care legislation if they "Take repeal off the table... we'll work with them on improving Obamacare."
On March 25, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona suggested that the president should reach out to Democrats to find solutions to health care.
"It might be a good idea now for at least an attempted outreach to the Democrats to see if there are areas where we can come to an agreement... there may be areas where we can find agreement with the Democrats," McCain said during a forum in Brussels, Bloomberg Politics reports.
On March 26, independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced that he would introduce legislation to transform U.S. health care into a single-payer system. Asserting that his bill would help Trump achieve his campaign promise to lower prescription drug costs, Sanders urged the White House to collaborate with him.
"President Trump, come on board," Sanders said. "Let's work together."