Sen. Ted Cruz says he has no regrets over forcing a 16-day government shutdown last month in his effort to defund Obamacare.
Asked by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace at the Aspen Institute’s Washington Ideas Forum on Thursday whether the shutdown was "worth it," he replied, "Absolutely!" according to The Hill.
The Texas Republican also blew off criticism that his efforts may have damaged his own party because he had no chance of succeeding.
"I think stopping Obamacare is the essence of pragmatism," said Cruz, who plans to bring in his own bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. "The most pragmatic thing we could do is say, 'Listen, this isn’t working. Let’s start over.' "
Cruz drew laughter
from the audience when he claimed he had said "we shouldn’t have a shutdown."
"Now, folks here can disagree," he said. "But repeatedly, I voted to keep the government open."
Cruz said that blaming him for hurting the Republican Party "ignores who I think was responsible for the shutdown."
The reason, he continued, that the government operations came to standstill is because "career politicians in both parties are focused on their own re-election instead of the pain people feel in this country. That is not a message people want to hear in Washington."
Cruz also weighed in on Republican and Democratic legislation in the House and Senate aimed at fixing problems with the law. He said they would do "next to nothing for the millions of people who have lost their healthcare."
"One of the next shoes that is going to be dropping is you're going to see more and more people realizing they can't keep their doctor," he said, according to The Atlantic.
"I've gotta tell you, I've got people who are close friends who are cancer survivors who are discovering now they can't go to their cancer doctor because Obamacare has denied them their doctor," he added.
Cruz also claimed that big companies would soon be telling their employees that their employer plans are being dropped in a move to shift them to the exchanges.
Cruz said a bill he plans to introduce to replace Obamacare would permit people to buy insurance from one national exchange market in states where they don't live. Obamacare restricts people from buying insurance outside their own states.
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