Republican Senator Alexander to consult on bipartisan healthcare plan

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) speaks with reporters ahead of the party luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Republican Senator Lamar Alexander said Tuesday that he would again consult with Democratic colleague Patty Murray on a bipartisan deal to repair Obamacare - a week after pulling out of those talks.

Alexander, in a statement, said he would seek “consensus on a limited bipartisan plan that could be enacted into law to help lower premiums and make insurance available to the 18 million Americans in the individual market in 2018 and 2019.”

Alexander and Murray had been working to protect payments made to insurers to compensate for discounts to low-income Americans enrolled in Obamacare. Alexander pulled out of the talks a week ago as a Republican bill to repeal Obamacare gained momentum, but support for that bill has now collapsed.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Jonathan Oatis