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Here's what needs to be done on health care, says Democratic governor

  • The time has come to get Republicans and Democrats, including governors, in the same room to work on a health-care solution, Gov. John Hickenlooper said.
  • On Tuesday, Republicans decided not to hold a Senate vote on their latest health-care bill this week after it failed to garner enough support for passage.
  • Hickenlooper, who has been working with GOP Gov. John Kasich of Ohio on a bipartisan plan, said the first step is to determine how to stabilize the private health-care markets.

The time has come to get Republicans and Democrats, including governors, in the same room to work on a health-care solution, Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., told CNBC on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Republicans decided not to hold a Senate vote on their latest health-care bill this week after it failed to garner enough support for passage.

Hickenlooper, who has been working with Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio on a bipartisan plan, said the first step is to determine how to stabilize the private health-care markets.

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray were working on a short-term solution, but last week they said they failed to reach a bipartisan consensus. However, Hickenlooper said he's "hopeful" they will continue their work.

"Once we get that, then I think it's time to roll up our sleeves — Republicans and Democrats," Hickenlooper said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

"We have to begin looking at how do we control costs going forward. What's it look like to really take on health care and the Affordable Care Act?" he added.

And that discussion should include governors, who have to implement the rules and regulations that come out of Washington, he said.

"Let's get … some governors in there as well and say what can work and what can we really look at," he said. "We all agree that we want to control this ridiculous medical inflation that we've been seeing for the last 30 years, long before the Affordable Care Act."

Partisanship getting 'worse and worse'

While there have been reports that Kasich and Hickenlooper were mulling a joint run for the White House in 2020, Hickenlooper told CNBC, "We're trying to prove that a Republican and Democrat can work together not that they can run together."

"The name on the ticket would just be too long. It would be impossible," he joked.

In August, Axios and CNN reported the idea had been discussed. Both men have denied the reports.

However, Hickenlooper did say that "partisanship has gotten worse and worse," in part because of election attack ads.

"You never see Coke and Pepsi doing attacks to each other, it would depress the product category of soft drinks," he said. "What we're doing is depressing the product category of democracy."

— Reuters contributed to this report.