The parties have plenty of reasons not to cooperate, including raw feelings and deep ideological differences. But several Democrats and Republicans, feeling the urgency of a partial collapse of Obamacare, have been quietly talking behind the scenes.
Three Republican senators – John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – voted 'no' to kill the bill, joining the Democrats, who unanimously voted in opposition.
After the repeal measure was defeated in the Senate Wednesday, the GOP moved to a pared down version that would simply remove some of the most unpopular parts of the Affordable Care Act.
In a dramatic vote Tuesday, senators agreed to open debate on a modified health care bill. Later that evening, the Senate blocked the proposal – a signal that a new approach must be taken if any revised health care legislation is to pass.
The unraveling of Republicans' go-it-alone approach could well end up involving Democrats in the search for a solution to rising premiums and insurers pulling out of the Affordable Care Act.
What has emerged after more than 60 repeal attempts under President Obama is a GOP plan that keeps the broad structure of the Affordable Care Act.