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Bipartisan effort in Senate to improve ‘Obamacare’ over; Sen. Murray blames GOP leaders

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Sen. Patty Murray (GETTY IMAGES)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan attempt at shoring up the Affordable Care Act is officially over in the Senate.

The development comes as the GOP has revived its partisan attack on “Obamacare,” with Senate leaders and President Donald Trump pushing repeal and replace legislation.

GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander, who chairs the Senate’s health committee and had been working with top committee Democrat Patty Murray, says in a statement that they “have not found the necessary consensus among Republicans and Democrats.”

But Murray disputed that, alleging GOP leaders “decided to freeze this bipartisan approach.”

Alexander and Murray had been aiming for a limited short-term plan to stabilize insurance premiums. But passage through the House or the Senate would have been an uphill struggle, since most Republicans want to repeal “Obamacare,” not improve it.