Ted Cruz is trying to do now what we all envisioned should have happened before repealing Obamacare became an unsightly mess in the House:
WASHINGTON EXAMINER – A member of the Senate Republican healthcare working group is working to build support for an alternative to the House-passed Obamacare repeal bill, one that allows for cross-state insurance purchases, and includes medical malpractice reform, health savings accounts and the expansion of association health plans.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also wants to pass just one bill to get the job done, not two, as currently planned by House Republican leaders.
Cruz said he has been working for weeks with the now-thirteen member group of GOP senators on an Obamacare repeal and replacement plan that would eliminate the need for a second phase of legislation to replace failing healthcare law. Instead of a limited repeal and replace bill followed by another bill later, the GOP wish-list for replacing Obamacare would be packed into a single budget resolution to repeal Obamacare that could pass with only GOP support using a tool called reconciliation.
“I believe the only meaningful healthcare reform will be through reconciliation,” Cruz told the Washington Examiner in an interview.
“I think the answer, very simply, is to put it all in one bucket,” Cruz added. In other words, pass everything under reconciliation, which requires only 51 votes instead of the typical 60.
Cruz believes the provisions can be included in the reconciliation measure without running afoul of the Senate rules.
“Every one of the reforms reduces premiums and has a significant budgetary impact and therefore, under the terms of the statue, those reforms are permissible under reconciliation,” Cruz said.
The Senate working group has been meeting weekly, Cruz said, but will likely be more active now that the House has passed a repeal and replacement measure.
I totally agree with Cruz here, that reconciliation was how Obamacare was passed in the first place and how it should go by the wayside. But it’s also how the health care policies that we all want to see should become law as well.
The sad thing is after the way this was handled in the House, with so many Republicans wanting to keep big parts of Obamacare, I have a hard time believing Cruz can really get this done. Honestly I’m quite discouraged at this point believing if anything gets done, it won’t be anything near what we want.