Senators reach bipartisan deal aimed at stabilizing Obamacare

Trump halted the insurers' payments last week

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks Oct. 12 before signing the executive order to loosen restrictions on the Affordable Care Act "to promote healthcare choice and competition."

WASHINGTON - A leading Republican senator says he and a top Democrat have reached an agreement on a plan to extend federal payments to health insurers that President Donald Trump has blocked.

GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee tells reporters that the next step will be for him and his negotiating partner -- Democrat Patty Murray -- to win enough support from colleagues to push it through Congress.

Earlier, Alexander said in an interview that he was nearing agreement with Murray to continue federal payments to insurers for two more years. In exchange, Republicans want Congress to give states flexibility to avoid some coverage requirements under President Barack Obama's health care law.

Trump halted the insurers' payments last week, but has said he wants a bipartisan deal to continue them temporarily.

Reporters asked Trump about the deal Tuesday during his joint White House press conference with  the Greece prime minister. Trump said his administration has been involved in the deal. 

"This is a short-term deal," said President Trump. "They are indeed working, but it is a short term solution, so that we don't have this very dangerous period."

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