Pressed On Obamacare Replacement, Ted Cruz Dodges The Question

By Jonathan Cohn
Top-Polling GOP Candidates Participate In First Republican Presidential DebateFor a moment during Thursday’s GOP debate, it looked like a leading Republican presidential candidate might actually explain how he intends to replace Obamacare.

And then — poof — the moment passed.

It happened when Fox News host and moderator Bret Baier asked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) about the Affordable Care Act — and decided to press Cruz on what he intended to do about people now getting health insurance because of the law.

“If you repeal Obamacare, as you say you will, will you be fine if millions of people don’t have health insurance? And what is your specific plan for covering the uninsured?” Baier asked.

It’s a fine question. The House, under Republican control, has voted more than 50 times to repeal the health care law. Just a few weeks ago, the Senate, also under GOP control, finally passed a repeal bill, as well. But neither chamber has had so much as a committee hearing to design a replacement. And with the notable exception of Jeb Bush, who actually put together a health care proposal with details, the Republican presidential candidates have been nearly as silent.

So how did Cruz answer the question? He began by offering a familiar, one-sided account of the the law’s impact — saying it had raised premiums, taken insurance away from millions and caused millions more to lose their part-time jobs. Then he promised to “repeal every word of Obamacare,” prompting strong applause.

At this point Cruz had made two misleading statements — about premiums and people losing policies — and one statement — about part-time jobs — that was just plain false. But he still hadn’t answered Baier’s question.

And it turned out he had no intention of doing so. Cruz proceeded to explain that, with the health care law gone, he’d do three things: allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, decouple employment and insurance, and allow more people to use health savings accounts.

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Source: More Fitness

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