Cruz to Obama: Apologize in Speech for Lost Health Coverage

Image: Cruz to Obama: Apologize in Speech for Lost Health Coverage

Monday, 27 Jan 2014 09:08 PM

By Greg Richter

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Sen. Ted Cruz has a suggestion to President Barack Obama for his State of the Union address Tuesday: look the American people in the eye and say he's sorry to everyone who has lost health insurance under Obamacare.

"Unfortunately, the odds are not high" he'll do it, Cruz, R-Texas., said on Fox News Channel's "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren." 

"This president has not taken responsibility for the harm that has come from his policies," Cruz said Monday.

Van Susteren noted that Obama did apologize in a November TV interview.

"An apology is empty if there's no action after it," Cruz responded.

The senator said he goes home to Texas almost every weekend and meets people who say they've lost their coverage and are scared.

Though 48 million were reported to have been without health insurance before the Affordable Care Act began accepting enrollments Oct. 1, there have been only 3 million new enrollees, and only 330,000 of those didn't already have coverage, Cruz said.

It would have been cheaper to have sent each of them $1 million, which would have cost only one-sixth as much as has been spent, he said.

"And it wouldn't have messed up everyone else's insurance," he said.

Open enrollment lasts through the end of March, but actual signups to date haven't met projections. Also, young, healthy people, who were supposed to have provided the plan's financial support, have been slow to sign on.

Asked by Van Susteren what he saw as Obamacare's "breaking point," Cruz said there were a series of them. The first came in the fall, when 5 million people lost their healthcare coverage because of the law. The second, which is happening now, is the spikes in premiums seen by younger people.

The final shoes to drop will come in the spring, he said, when premiums go up for everyone and people realize they can't see their current doctors. Finally, he said, large companies will drop their employees as the employer mandate kicks in and let them fend for themselves on the healthcare exchanges.

Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Orrin Hatch of Utah, and Richard Burr of North Carolina on Monday presented their own alternative to Obamacare, the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment Act, or CARE Act. It would keep parts of Obamacare but give more power to states and individuals.

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