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Senators fail to reach bipartisan deal on Obamacare repair


Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., speaks to reporters as he boards the Senate subway in the Capitol on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.

Bill Clark | CQ Roll Call | Getty Images

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., speaks to reporters as he boards the Senate subway in the Capitol on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander said on Tuesday that he had failed to reach an agreement with Democrats on a bipartisan effort to stabilize Obamacare insurance markets.

In a statement, Alexander said he and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray “have worked hard and in good faith, but have not found the necessary consensus among Republicans and Democrats to put a bill in the Senate leaders’ hands that could be enacted.”

Alexander and Murray had been working to protect the government payments made to insurers to help reduce medical expenses for low-income Americans enrolled in Obamacare. Alexander also wanted states to have more flexibility to design insurance plans under the program.

Murray, meanwhile, said Tuesday that she thought a bipartisan deal to repair Obamacare was still possible, despite Alexander’s announcement.

Murray, in a statement, said she had made some “tough concessions” in the talks, when it came to giving states more flexibility under Obamacare. She was disappointed that Republican leaders had decided to “freeze” the bipartisan approach “but I am confident that we can reach a deal if we keep working together, and I am committed to getting that done.”

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