Cruz: House's ObamaCare repeal bill can't pass the Senate
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration Live coverage: High drama as hardline immigration bill fails, compromise vote delayed Trump renews call to end filibuster amid immigration furor MORE (R-Texas) warned Wednesday that a House bill to repeal ObamaCare can't pass the Senate without substantial changes.

"The House bill is a beginning. The House bill as drafted, I do not believe, would pass the United States Senate," he said.

Cruz's comments come ahead of a dinner meeting with President Trump on Wednesday night.

Cruz, despite his reservations on the House legislation, predicted that lawmakers would eventually be able to reach a deal.

"I believe we can and will repeal ObamaCare," he told reporters. "I believe at the end of the day we will get to yes."

The House bill, released on Monday night, is coming under heavy fire from conservatives.

In addition to Cruz, Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP senators call for probe of federal grants on climate change Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Key ObamaCare groups in limbo | Opioids sending thousands of kids into foster care | House passes bill allowing Medicaid to pay for opioid treatments US watchdog: 'We failed' to stem Afghan opium production MORE (R-Ky.) has come out against the legislation. Senate GOP leadership can only afford to lose two Republican votes on repeal if they want to clear the Senate.

Cruz noted that he's in active negotiations with House and Senate lawmakers as well as the administration.

"There is not nearly enough in the House bill to drive down the cost of premiums," he said. "I [also] believe there [are] significant challenges with the Medicaid expansion provision."

Cruz said he wants to block grant Medicaid funding to the states, reducing the amount of federal oversight on how that money is spent.

What happens to ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion is a key concern for a group of centrist Republicans who are warning that they could vote against a bill that negatively impacts the funding in their home states.