July 23, 2017

You work with the Minority Leader you have, not the Minority Leader you want.

I would much rather have someone like Kirsten Gillibrand acting as leader of the Democrats in the Senate. But Chuck Schumer is what we're stuck with, and as far as he goes he went pretty far in the direction of committing to universal public option coverage as the Democrats position on healthcare.

Talking with George Stephanopolos on ABC's This Week, Schumer said this:

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- it's going to be bold enough. I mean even your New York colleague, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, talking about health care, says if you really want to get prices down, you have to go to single payer health care.

Will Democrats unify behind single payer health care?

SCHUMER: Well, our economic agenda -- we've talked so much about health care that we are not going to address that in this agenda.

We've been talking about it. And let me just say, the first thing we're going to do should -- first, I think that this -- the TrumpCare will not pass. It just is...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You think it's dead?

SCHUMER: I think it's very unlikely to pass, because it's rotten to the core. People are not for reducing taxes on rich people or getting rid of Medicaid, which is a very, very middle class, now, thing, as well as for poor people.

So the first things we're going to propose -- if the Republican -- and the Republicans hopefully will join us, once they abandon this rotten bill, is some cost-sharing, which the insurance companies say will help bring down premiums and stabilize the market, something else that Republicans have often supported, which is reinsurance, proposed by Tom Carper and Tim Kaine.

And Claire McCaskill has proposed something in the bare counties, B-A-R-E -- you can -- if you can't get insurance in those counties, you can get the same kind of health insurance we get.

Then we're going to look at broader things -- single payer is one of them...


SCHUMER: -- Medicare...

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- on the table?

SCHUMER: -- well, a -- sure. Many things are on the table. Medicare for people above 55 is on the table. A buy-in to Medicare is on the table. A buy-in to Medicaid is on the table.

On the broader issues, we will start examining them once we stabilize the system.

And our Republican colleagues have said should -- even Mitch McConnell alluded to the fact that should their bill fail, they'll work with us these first stabilization things.

Then Democrats and Republicans, who will have different ideas, should sit down and talk about how we can improve the system. And the one thing we insist on, we not do what they did, which is just 10 Republicans, four Republicans in a room, not even including us. Regular order -- hearings, committees, go through the process.

But on this agenda, we are going to really shake things up and we're going to fill the vacuum that Donald Trump left when he campaigned on some of the things like this and then abandoned them for the hard right Koch brothers.

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