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Schumer on health care: 'What McConnell did in the last three days is a game changer for us'

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 04:  Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) (C) is joined by fellow Democrats from both the House and Senate, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (R) following a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the U.S. Capitol January 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. Obama came to Capitol Hill to encourage his fellow Democrats to work to preserve his signature health care law, also known as Obamacare.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is sounding pretty bullish just a few days after GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled Republicans’ deepest desires to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and take another whack at repealing the Affordable Care Act (which would also gut pre-existing conditions coverage).

“Mitch McConnell gave us a gift in the last three days. He showed who the Republican party really is,” Schumer told MSNBC Friday. “What McConnell did in the last three days is a game changer for us.”

Schumer vowed to use McConnell’s comments to bolster Democrats’ closing arguments around health care. In particular, he mentioned how the issue is playing in the Senate race in Nevada, where GOP Sen. Dean Heller voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act after pledging that he wouldn’t. That is not playing well in the state, where the race is very tight, but Heller’s approvals are 8 points underwater. McConnell’s comments are exactly the type of admission that could be a “game changer” in the closing weeks.

Overall, Schumer cast Democrats as running “neck and neck” for majority control of the Senate, saying the party was actually overperforming. “What we have found [is] in states where we thought we’d be way behind, we’re neck and neck. In states where we thought it would be neck and neck, we’re way ahead,” he said. “We’re doing much better than anyone thinks.”

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