Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is so determined to repeal and replace Obamacare that he wants to keep Congress from going on vacation until it is done.
Speaking on Fox News’ Hannity Monday night, Cruz made it clear that Republicans in Congress should make the repeal and replacement of Obamacare a priority. He also stressed finalizing the GOP health care plan, which he and several other Republicans have stalled until changes are made.
Despite having the majority in both houses of Congress, the Republican party has been unable to come to a consensus on a replacement plan. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been one of the main voices of opposition, as he is upset that he was left out of the drafting of the GOP health care replacement bill.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joined the growing chorus of lawmakers calling on Congress to forego its August recess until it passes legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
“It’s crazy that we would be taking a recess,” Cruz told Fox News’ “Hannity” Monday night. “There are a bunch of us, myself included, that have been urging leadership back from January [to] not take any recesses.
“Let’s work every day, let’s work weekends, let’s work until we get the job done,” Cruz added. “We have a job to do and a short window of time, and so we ought to stop taking recesses, stop taking time off and just keep going until we get it done.”
Cruz has proposed an amendment letting insurers sell any policies they wish, so long as they also offer polices that cover a list of services required by ObamaCare. Vice President Mike Pence endorsed the amendment Monday on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.
Cruz told host Sean Hannity Monday night that his amendment was “the knob of the battle” in the Senate. “[It] says you, the consumer, you have the right to choose what health insurance you want to buy.”
Much of the Republican opposition is based on two concerns. One, the bill must pass a Constitutional test. With the original Obamacare plan already ruled Constitutional by the Supreme Court, and changes could face serious legal challenges. Second, the replacement plan must guarantee that Americans who had no other option but to purchase Obamacare not lose their coverage. Such a move would be a political and public relations disaster, to say nothing of the moral implications of leaving individuals with health problem uninsured with no new option.
Some Republicans have insisted Obamacare be repealed first, with a replacement coming at some point in the future. However, with so many insurance companies leaving the Obamacare exchange and offering no plans in some states, many of those insured under Obamacare would have no other insurance plan to buy. That would put the pressure on local governments, who would be left treating patients who go to emergency rooms for health care.