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McConnell no longer rejecting bipartisan health care talks

Timothy D. Easley / AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear he doesn't want to negotiate with Democrats on health care — but he's no longer dismissing the option. Here's what he said today at a Rotary Club lunch in Kentucky when asked whether he might need bipartisan cooperation to pass a health care bill, per AP:

"If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur ... We've got the insurance markets imploding all over the country, including in this state."

Between the lines: Just two weeks ago, McConnell told reporters that he'd rather not deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer because Republicans wouldn't be able to achieve any of their health care priorities, including rewrites of Medicaid and insurance rules. But he's not blind to the spectacle of Republicans running away from the health care bill — and his comments suggest he knows he may need a backup plan.