- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday that once the Republican health insurance bill is dead, the Senate can begin to have a healthy conversation on fixing Obamacare’s individual market problems.

“I think the day after this Republican repeal goes down, we can start an honest, bipartisan negotiation — that says we are not going to repeal. We are definitely going to start a bipartisan basis to repair it. I know there are Republican senators ready for that to happen,” Mr. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, said on CNN.

He said the main problem is in the individual marketplace where the premiums have skyrocketed.

“Keep in mind this perspective we’re talking about 5 to 6 percent of the health insurance market of America, but it’s an important group of people. Many of them are currently getting subsidies to pay their premiums, but those who are not are facing what you described. Can we fix this problem? You bet we can,” Mr. Durbin said.

He also said not to underestimate Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s power to woo Republican senators, though.

“I don’t underestimate the power of Mitch McConnell with these incentives to bring some Republicans around. But still they’re facing that number, 22 million Americans losing their health insurance. It’s a devastating statistic,” Mr. Durbin said.

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