Ted Cruz’s Obamacare Substitute: He Cares, Really!

Senator Cruz proposes a bill that has no chance of becoming law that will repeal the Affordable Care Act, cause millions of Americans to lose health insurance coverage and, as an alternative, allows health insurance policies to be sold across state lines.

Click here to read a mostly objective article from The Hill about the Cruz plan which he unveiled on March 2.

Click here for a more humorous (but mostly true) take on Cruz’s health insurance plan was in The Daily Beast.  This article stated in part:

Ted Cruz cares about people in need. Stop laughing. Okay, you can laugh a little.

The Texas right-wing firebrand (by way of Calgary, Canada) unveiled his alternative to Obamacare on Tuesday. I guess we can call it “Cruzcare” or maybe even, “TeddyCare.” You see, Cruz is apparently deeply concerned about the 7.5 million Americans in 36 states who might lose federal government subsidies now provided by Obamacare to buy health insurance in a few months. That very scenario could happen if the Supreme Court rules against the Obama administration in the case of King v. Burwell that was heard by the Court yesterday.

But believing that Cruz cares about anything other than getting headlines and anyone other than his far-right base is like believing Justin Bieber cares about the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.


But now Cruz, whose own health benefits are bestowed through his wife’s policy thanks to her great position at Goldman Sachs, tells us he wants to help those Americans who might no longer be able to afford health insurance.

So what has Cruz offered? Well, to his credit, he actually drafted a piece of legislation, titled the “Health Care Choice Act of 2015.” (PDF)


So what does the Cruz plan offer? Well, it repeals most, not all of Obamacare, such as the personal mandate. Although in a statement released Tuesday, Cruz made it clear he’s as obsessed as ever that “every last word of Obamacare must be repealed.”

The way Cruz’s plan will work is to allow people to buy health insurance across state lines. I get in theory that could translate into lower premiums given the increased competition. Some health care experts dispute that hypothesis. Others warn of a “race to the bottom” because once one state lowered rates by cutting services offered, other states might start to do the same. But even assuming Cruz’s idea has merit, how can a person who doesn’t have the money to afford even those lower rates without a subsidy secure coverage?

This is especially worrisome for those who now receive subsidies but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. That gap already exists for some and it would likely become worse under Cruz’s plan, callously resulting in millions losing health insurance for themselves and their families.

Even some of Cruz’s fellow Republican recognize this very problem. To remedy this, three GOP senators, Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), proposed a plan that provides temporary subsidies so that people in need can “keep the coverage they picked for a transitional period.” As these senators noted in a March 1 op-ed they penned for The Washington Post, “It would be unfair to allow families to lose their coverage, particularly in the middle of the year.”

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