Call them the Four Republican Horsemen of the Healthcare Apocalypse – Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Ron Johnson – have issued a statement on the newly revealed Senate healthcare bill, stating that they are not ready to support it:
Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor. There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.
Stating that they all want to get to the point where they can vote “yes” on the bill by offering key amendments and corrections, they point to some serious hurdles that must be cleared.
Ted Cruz specifically went into more detail on his personal feelings about the draft legislation. He stated that though there are numerous encouraging components of the bill – expanding association health plans, forbidding of taxpayer funds used for abortions, reining in Medicaid spending – he still has grave concerns about the proposed law’s ability to lower premiums for the American people.
That, according to Cruz, was the whole point of repealing Obamacare in the first place. He counseled:
“Specifically, we should do more to ensure consumers have the freedom to choose among more affordable plans that are tailored for their individual healthcare needs. We should allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines and create a true 50-state marketplace, driving down costs for everyone. We should expand health savings accounts so that consumers can pay health insurance premiums on a pre-tax basis. We should incentivize states to cap punitive damages in medical malpractice lawsuits to further reduce the cost of healthcare.”
In other words, Cruz (and by extension his colleagues Lee, Paul, and Johnson) is advocating this solution for America’s healthcare crisis: “freedom.”
A novel idea. Let’s hope the Republican caucus follows their lead.