WASHINGTON (AP) — Trying to revive health care talks, President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that he had spoken to the Senate's Democratic leader to gauge whether the minority party was interested in helping pass "great" health legislation.
The answer back: Democrats are willing to hear his ideas, but scrapping the Obama health law is a nonstarter.
Trump's latest overture to Democrats follows GOP failures so far to fulfill their yearslong promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act despite controlling the White House and Congress since January.
The president tweeted that he called New York Sen. Chuck Schumer on Friday to discuss the 2010 law, which Trump said "is badly broken, big premiums. Who knows!" Trump said he wanted "to see if the Dems want to do a great HealthCare 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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2017
Schumer said through a spokesman Saturday that Trump "wanted to make another run at repeal and replace and I told the president that's off the table." Schumer said if Trump "wants to work together to improve the existing health care system, we Democrats are open to his suggestions."
Trump has suggested before that he would be open to negotiating with Democrats on health care, but there have been no clear signs of a compromise between Republicans who have sought to scrap former President Barack Obama's law and Democrats who want to protect it.
Schumer said a starting point could be negotiations led by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., who have been discussing a limited bipartisan deal to stabilize state-level markets for individual health insurance policies. People covered under the health law represent about half of those who purchase individual policies.
Trump irritated GOP leaders in Congress when he reached a deal with Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on a spending bill and the debt ceiling. The president has referred to those two Democrats as "Chuck and Nancy."
But the Trump administration announced Friday that it would allow more employers to opt out of no-cost birth control to women by claiming religious or moral objections. The move was one more attempt to roll back Obama's health overhaul, prompting Democrats to question whether Trump is committed to avoiding sabotaging the law.
Trump floated the potential talks as he approved an emergency declaration for a large part of Louisiana and ordered federal assistance for the state as Hurricane Nate approached the central Gulf of Mexico.
The president was also headlining a fundraiser on Saturday night in Greensboro, North Carolina, to benefit his Trump Victory joint fundraising committee with the Republican National Committee. The event was expected to raise $2 million, with donors paying up to $35,000 per couple to serve as co-hosts.
On Twitter, follow Ken Thomas at @KThomasDC.
A charity run, meals for the needy, a long-running music festival and -- shhh! -- holiday shopping were on tap for Thanksgiving Day in San Diego.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County was at its highest amount on Thanksgiving since 2013 Thursday, despite dropping for 10 consecutive days.
The California Highway Patrol arrested 15 in San Diego County on suspicion of drunken driving, during the first night of its annual Thanksgiving "maximum enforcement period."
The always-heated topic of whether to begin holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Day will be raised again Thursday, as many chain stores will open their doors around San Diego one day before the so-called "Black Friday."
A charity run, meals for the needy, a long-running music festival and holiday shopping are on tap for Thursday's Thanksgiving Day in San Diego.
Your living room often becomes your work space if you work from home. If you have kids, the house can be even more chaotic. Well now, more women are able to take 10-15 steps out of their home and into their "she shed."
Around 60,000 passengers are expected to pass through San Diego's Lindbergh Field daily during the upcoming holiday weekend.