Cruz: Dems trying to cover 'political rear ends'

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea GOP state lawmakers meet to plan possible constitutional convention MORE (R-Texas) says Democrats’ bills to fix ObamaCare are designed to “cover their political rear ends.”

In an interview on CNN’s “New Day,” Cruz said no one is defending the law anymore.

“All of the bills proposed by the Democrats, they’re designed to be political Band-Aids. Their effort is to cover their political rear ends, not to fix the problem,” he said.

Several Democrats facing tough reelection campaigns in 2014 — including Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska) — have proposed bills to fix President Obama's signature legislation, focusing on a way to let people keep their healthcare plans. Several House Democrats who are GOP targets next year voted for a Republican bill that would allow people to "Keep Your Health Plan."

When CNN's Chris Cuomo asked the freshman Tea Party senator how he would solve ObamaCare, Cruz didn’t offer an alternative. Cuomo said it’s Cruz’s responsibility as a senator to provide one. “I appreciate your trying to lecture me in the morning.  Thank you for that,” Cruz replied. 

Coming together to stop ObamaCare, Cruz said, “is the essence of pragmatism.”

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Several million people have already received cancellation notices from health insurance companies, but that’s only the beginning, he warned. 

Americans won’t be able to keep their doctors, small businesses will begin canceling plans in large numbers, and up to 100 million people in employer-based large plans will lose their healthcare, he claimed.

Cuomo asked Cruz if he’s willing to work together with other members of Congress to address the debt and fiscal issues instead of shutting down the government. 

“Let's be very clear. From day one, I’ve been willing to work with anyone, Republicans or Democrats,” he said. “I don't think we should have shut down the government.” 

The shutdown happened, he added, because Obama and the Democrats refused to negotiate on ObamaCare.

Last week, at the Aspen Institute’s Washington Ideas Forum, Cruz said the 16-day government shutdown last month was “worth it.”