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U.S. senator unveils rare bipartisan healthcare initiative

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Bipartisan legislation to help stabilize Obamacare was unveiled in the U.S. Senate on Thursday with 22 sponsors in the 100-member chamber, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander said on Thursday.

"The bill has 22 sponsors, half Democrat, half Republican," said Alexander, speaking on the Senate floor. Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat, indicated there were 24 sponsors, however.

The measure would continue for two years federal subsidy payments for lower-income people to pay out-of-pocket costs under the Affordable Care Act. President Donald Trump has ordered a halt to those payments and has vacillated on his support or opposition to this legislation. (Reporting by Richard Cowan and Amanda Becker; Editing by James Dalgleish)