Sen. Ted Cruz has voiced the same concerns many conservatives have about the Obamacare replacement bill passed by the House of Representatives–that it’s a “start” with no promise of ever getting the second phase done.
Cruz told the Washington Examiner “I believe the only meaningful healthcare reform will be through reconciliation,” which the Senate can pass on a simple majority vote. That’s a risky proposition, but so isn’t trying to push through additional legislation after the initial bill is passed.
Cruz: “Senate Democrats are listening to their radical left wing base of their party and so no health care reform legislation will garner 60 votes because there are not eight senators who will vote for any of the legislation. I think the answer, very simply, is to put it all in one bucket.”
Once the Senate and House work through a package and President Trump signs it, that may be the only chance Republicans get to repeal and replace Obamacare. And the Democrats would be more than happy to let the GOP own a starter package while blocking the next phases.
Why wouldn’t Democrats do that? After all, we all know their goal is to sweep back into power in 2018 and push through single-payer.
Cruz believes repeal and replace can be done in one bill, avoiding the pitfalls of the “Byrd Rule,” which allows any Senator to harpoon a reconciliation bill if it strays outside specific budget-related tests. The Heritage Foundation published a white paper in agreement with Cruz, but it will take some heavy parliamentary lifting and agreement of GOP senators to make it happen.
One other thing Cruz expressed that’s a bee in conservatives’ bonnets:
“The objective here, the test for success should be, are we reducing the cost of premiums?” Cruz said. “And if we have succeeded, consumers will have more choices, more options, lower premiums and more ability to get health insurance and healthcare for their families.”
Really, isn’t that the goal we are all pushing for?