It's a new Congress, and for Sen. Ted Cruz, a new proposed Obamacare Repeal Act.
On Monday, the Texas Republican introduced legislation to ditch President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform law — and give lawmakers time "to start over, to pass true market-based reforms
," according to a statement.
The conservative lawmaker introduced the repeal legislation as his first bill as a U.S. senator in the 113th Congress, the statement notes.
The text of Cruz’s bill on the 2,700-page Affordable Care Act — which gave rise to another 10,000 pages of regulations — barely runs on to the third page, the National Review notes
And it comes as Cruz has been encouraging the use of the "budget reconciliation process" to allow a simple majority to get legislation through the Senate that would undo as much of the healthcare law as possible, Roll Call has reported
Reconciliation bills are immune from a filibuster but require passage of a joint congressional budget resolution, and the legislation is limited to budget-related issues, Roll Call notes.
"This repeal bill is pro-growth, pro-jobs, and pro-liberty," Cruz says in his statement on the bill.
"It provides time for Congress to start over, to pass true market-based reforms that will allow the purchase of insurance across state lines, expand health savings accounts, and make health insurance personal, portable, and affordable."
According to Cruz, the legislation "fully repeals Obamacare effective 180 days after its enactment, and provides Congress and the states the intervening six months to develop and vote on patient-oriented healthcare reform that will incrementally unravel Obamacare's structural damage to our healthcare system and economy."
It has 44 co-sponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell .
National Review notes its sponsors also include several leading members of the Obamacare working group considering the GOP’s possible response to a lawsuit challenging Obamacare
before the Supreme Court.
If the court rules against the administration, Americans who enrolled for Obamacare through the federal exchanges would not qualify for subsidies.
"We must send this bill to the president's desk," Cruz urges in his statement.
"If he vetoes it, the GOP Congress should pass bill after bill to stop Obamacare. Each will have broad support among the American people, and Democrats in both chambers will be hard-pressed not to support them.
"The president will be faced with a clear choice: Either listen to the American people, who have never supported this law, or ignore them, and ignore the disastrous harms to millions of families, young people, and the most vulnerable among us," Cruz adds.
Cruz said he also plans to introduce additional pieces of legislation, starting with measures to allow American families to shop around the country for insurance and to reform the Food and Drug Administration "to more efficiently deliver greater life-saving medical therapies for all Americans."
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