Constitutional conservative Ted Cruz shredded RINO Paul Ryan ‘s deceptive and dishonest claim that Obamacare can only be repealed under three phases and said that the “repeal and replace” bill known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA) only repeals two of the 12 free market-killing mandates of Obamacare that have made insurance premiums unnecessarily skyrocket.
Appearing Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation with host John Dickerson, the Texas senator said that he will not vote for a bill that does not lower healthcare insurance premiums and that if Republicans offer up a bill that causes premiums to continue to spiral out of control, voters “will tar and feather” them “in the streets” and it would be justified.
“I’ve got to tell you, if Republicans hold a big press conference and pat ourselves on the back that we’ve repealed Obamacare and everyone’s premiums keep going up, people will be ready to tar and feather us in the streets, and quite rightly,” Cruz told Dickerson, noting that the bill as written would not pass in the U.S. Senate where Republican hold a slim two-vote majority.
Cruz made the case that anyone who believes in the so-called “three bucket solution” with all the goodies in step three is being suckered because it takes eight Democrats and now you can’t get eight Senate Democrats to agree on even saying the words “good morning.”
CRUZ: The number one issue is premiums — premiums, premiums, premiums.
When I am back home in Texas, what I hear from Texans every single day is, I can’t afford health insurance, that Obamacare, the average family’s premiums, they have risen over $5,000 under Obamacare. That’s the central problem.
Now, the current House bill, as drafted, I do not believe it will pass the Senate. It doesn’t fix the problem. My biggest concern with the House bill is, it doesn’t lower premiums. And CBO, in fact, projected that, in the first two years, premiums would rise 10 to 20 percent.
JOHN DICKERSON: Although it did say then they would go down.
SENATOR TED CRUZ: It did.
But I got to tell you, if Republicans hold a big press conference and pat ourselves on the back that we have repealed Obamacare, and everyone’s premiums keep going up, people will be ready to tar and feather us in the streets, and quite rightfully.
JOHN DICKERSON: Do you think, Senator, the same about that coverage question? Twenty-four million, the CBO said.
TED CRUZ: Look, the coverage question, it is actually interrelated to premiums.
If premiums keep going up — one of the big problems with Obamacare, people can’t afford health insurance. You know, a couple of weeks ago, I did a debate with Bernie Sanders, two-hour town hall on Obamacare.
The next day, I was having dinner here in Washington, and two waitresses I know well, they both came up to me and they said — one said, you know what? My premiums have tripled in the last three years. They went from $400 a month to $1,200 a month. She said, for the first time in my life, I don’t have health insurance. She also said, for the first time in my life, this restaurant put me at under 30 hours a week. They put me at 29.99. I don’t have insurance.
The second waitress who I also know well said she was four months’ pregnant, and she had just gotten a notification from her insurance that the doctor that she likes and trusts can’t deliver her baby because he is not covered.
DICKERSON: So, how do you fix it then?
CRUZ: We have got to fix that.
We can do that in the House bill. But the only way to drive down premiums is, we need to repeal the insurance mandates. There are 12 insurance mandates that are in Obamacare. The House bill only touches two of them. We need to repeal those mandates to drive down costs. We need to allow purchases across state lines.
We need to allow association health plans. And we need to allow people to pay premiums from health savings accounts. All of those will make it much more affordable for people to get health insurance.
DICKERSON: The president and the House speaker say that is going to happen, it is going to be a two-step process, first, the American Health Care Act goes through, and then this second set of legislation comes on.
You are chuckling.
CRUZ: That ain’t going to happen.
It’s their so-called three bucket solution, which is all the good stuff is in bucket three? Bucket three takes eight Democrats. Right now, Senate Democrats are opposing everything. You can’t get eight Senate Democrats to agree on saying ‘good morning.’
Anything in bucket three — I have called bucket three the sucker’s bucket. And what I have been urging the president and the administration and leader in both houses, take everything in bucket three, put it in bucket one. We have got to actually fix this problem.
Unlike what Paul Ryan continues to argue in his dog and pony show press conferences and interviews, Ted Cruz contends that Senate rules don’t require that a full repeal of Obamacare would have to be done outside of the budget reconciliation process that only requires a simple majority rather than the typical 60 votes to avoid a filibuster.
Cruz called Ryan’s contention: “fundamentally false.”
DICKERSON: Their argument is that you can’t do it all in this, what you are calling bucket one, in the American Health Care Act that Paul Ryan and the president support because the rules of the Senate just will not allow it, and so that you’re — that is what you are up against here.
CRUZ: But that is fundamentally false.
The rules of the Senate, we’re on what is called budget reconciliation.
CRUZ: It is governed by the Budget Act of 1974.
It lays out a test for what is permissible on reconciliation, six-part test. The central part of the test is, it is budgetary in nature? If it is budgetary in nature, you can do it. If it’s not, you can’t.
You look at the insurance mandates, they impact billions of dollars of federal spending. And I will point out the Obama Justice Department went before the U.S. Supreme Court twice and argued the mandates are integrally related, they’re intertwined with the subsidies, you cannot sever them.
Under the statute, we can do this now in bucket one. And if we don’t, this bill doesn’t pass. And if it doesn’t pass, it is a substantive and political disaster for everyone involved.
Ted Cruz was a leader in the repeal Obamacare effort, conducting a historic marathon filibuster on the Senate floor in 2013 that lasted over 21 hours. Cruz was attempting to put pressure on RINO GOP leadership to defund Obamacare through the budget process.
Many establishment RINO squish-types (Orrin Hatch , John McCain , Mitch McConnell predicted that Cruz’s efforts would cost the House and Senate seats in 2014, gains were achieved largely on the prospects of Republicans keeping their word with a full repeal of Obamacare and replacing it with a free-market system that would lower costs.
“Obamacare isn’t working,” Cruz said during the 2013 filibuster. “There are politicians in this body who are not listening to the people.”
RINOs still are not listening to the American people, as almost any Republican who ran for the House or Senate campaigned on the full repeal of Obamacare, not the AHCA, or RINOCARE, which leaves the Obamacare apparatus in place, meaning that a Democrat administration could very easily put Obamacare back together again.
Cruz concluded by telling Dickerson that he would not be voting for any bill that continues to keep healthcare insurance premiums rising but was still hopeful for “an incredible substantive win for American people.”
DICKERSON: If it doesn’t have these reforms about the mandates in it in the Senate bill, will you not vote for it?
CRUZ: I cannot vote for any bill that keeps premiums rising.
Texans have — look, there has been no issue I have devoted more time and energy to than Obamacare, stopping this disaster. We had a chance for an incredible substantive win for American people.
And I have got to tell you, I am spending night and day meeting with House members, meeting with senators, meetings with the administration. Just yesterday, I spent three hours at Mar-a-Lago with Mike Lee and with Mark Meadows negotiating with the president’s team, trying to fix this bill.
DICKERSON: Does the president get this?
CRUZ: We have had multiple conversations. The vice president and I have had multiple conversations.
As he said on what you played a minute ago, President Trump said, this is one big, fat negotiation.
Here is the central prize. If we lower premiums, and hopefully lower them a lot, that is a victory for the American people. If premiums keep going up, that is a victory for insurance companies and lobbyists, but it’s a loss for the people who elected us.