On today’s edition of “Face the Nation” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz defended his Consumer Freedom amendment against attacks from Democrats and Republicans.
Host John Dickerson started off the discussion by saying, “it looks like the bill is in trouble in the Senate.” Cruz responded positively:
“I think we’re making real progress. In my view, failure’s not an option. This has been a central promise Republicans have made to the voters for seven years. I think we’ve got to deliver. . . . And the way to deliver, . . . the way to get this done, let’s focus on lowering premiums. The biggest reason so many millions of people are unhappy with ObamaCare is that it’s made their premiums skyrocket. If we can fix that with commonsense solutions, give people more choices, more options, more freedoms, and lower premiums, that’ll be a win. And that’s how we unify our conference.
John Dickerson then confronted Sen. Cruz with a video clip in which fellow Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley saying, “There’s a real feeling that that’s subterfuge to get around pre-existing conditions. And if it is, in fact, subterfuge, and it has the effect of annihilating the pre-existing condition requirement that we have in the existing bill, then obviously I would object to that.”
In his response, Cruz rebutted Senate Minority and resistance Leader Chuck Schumer:
I think it’s important for Republicans not to be deceived by the attacks that are coming out of Chuck Schumer and the Democrats. You know, Chuck Schumer this week blasted the Consumer Freedom Amendment, which is, I think, critical to getting this done. Yes. Because Schumer doesn’t want us to pass this. Schumer wants this to fail. And so no Republican should be deceived when Schumer made the argument, he called it a hoax.
Now, look, I’ll note that Schumer and Obama, they know a lot about healthcare hoaxes. You know, ObamaCare was sold to the American people on a whole series of lies. “If you like your plan you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.” And so what we need to focus on is how do we actually deliver results for the people who are hurting under ObamaCare.
Pressed by Dickerson to respond to Grassley’s attack that the Consumer Freedom amendment is a “subterfuge to get around pre-existing conditions,” Cruz explained how his amendment actually works:
What it says is you the consumer, you the patient, should have the freedom to choose the insurance you want. It shouldn’t be the government dictating what insurance you can buy. So that if an insurance company offers at least one plan that’s consistent with a Title One [ObamaCare] mandate, so that meets all of the mandates that you’ve got to provide right now . . .
If they offer at least one plan, they can also offer additional plans that consumers may desire. That means you’re not taking away anything that is there right now. All of the protection for pre-existing conditions are there. But what you are adding is additional options. So all the people right now who can’t afford insurance suddenly will have options of lower premiums where they’ll be able to afford coverage that they don’t have now.
Cruz also explained that the Senate Health Care bill contains billions in taxpayer subsidies and stabilization funds so that the premiums for pre-existing conditions stay stabilized and low. Cruz says that is better than how ObamaCare takes millions of young people, millions of people just starting out their career, and jacks up their premiums — doubles or triples their premiums, and then it uses that money not for those people, but to cross subsidize those who are sick:
My view is, we ought to do it with direct taxpayer funds. Let’s use Warren Buffett’s taxes and not that of a 28-year-old woman starting her career.
You can watch the video of the discussion below:
The entire transcript of the interview can be found here.