Cruz ties ACA to Trump votes
Cruz trying to connect map of places with few insurer options to places that voted for Trump— Peter Sullivan (@PeterSullivan4) February 8, 2017
Sanders on Cruz's birth in Canada: "Look at the results!"
Cruz says that he's familiar with Canada's single-payer healthcare, having been born there.
In fact, he says his birth there could be Sanders's best argument against Canadian healthcare.
"Look at the results!" Sanders jokes.
Sanders asked about bad ObamaCare plan; Sanders and Cruz clash on rationing
Florida nurse practitioner Melissa Borkowski wants to know why her plan—$1,000 monthly insurance with a hefty $13,000 deductible—is so bad.
"Why should my family be forced to pay so much for an insurance plan that is essentially useless?" Borkowski says.
Sanders agrees that it's "totally absurd"—but asks why the U.S. pays so much as a country on healthcare, instead touting single-payer healthcare in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Cruz uses his response to say U.S. healthcare costs so much because it's so good. Single-payer, Cruz claims, means rationing.
"We get a lot more, and a lot better healthcare," Cruz says.
Sanders counters that the U.S. already has rationing in the form of medical procedures people who need them can't pay for.
"It's just people don't have the money to buy what they need," Sanders says.
Cruz, Sanders find common ground on reimportation—briefly
It's not all barbs between the senators, who have mostly jousted past one another on different healthcare issues. Cruz touts drug reimportation—a method to lower prescription drug costs that Sanders also recently voted for—as a way to lower costs.
President Trump has also made gestures toward reimportation.
But Cruz quickly pivots to complaints about FDA regulations holding back new drugs.
Cruz opens by saying ObamaCare promises broken
Sanders warns about ObamaCare repeal
Sanders kicks off the night by listing the people who could be affected by ObamaCare repeal. If you're one of the people who has received insurance because ofthe Affordable Care Act, Sanders says: "Forget about it, you're gone, you're off health insurance"
Sanders touts one of ObamaCare's more popular provisions—a ban on denying insurance over preexisting conditions. Without ObamaCare, Sanders says, people who would have been denied insurance will "be paying those bills for the rest of your life, or maybe you'll go bankrupt."
But Sanders, who called for single-payer healthcare during his campaign, isn't here just to defend the status quo in the health industry. He closes his opening statement with a call for single-payer healthcare, with ObamaCare as a step towards that.
"The United States is the only major country on earth not to guarantee healthcare to all people as a right," Sanders says. "I believe that we should move in that direction."
Cruz, Sanders to debate ObamaCare
Former presidential hopefuls and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will debate ObamaCare and what could replace it Tuesday night on CNN.
The 90-minute debate will air live online and on the network starting at 9 PM ET. CNN's Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate.
Reporters from The Hill will post updates and context on the debate here. Healthcare reporter Peter Sullivan will also be sending Twitter updates about the debate.
Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, worry that a botched repeal effort could hurt their reelection chances, according to a secret recording taken at their party retreat in Philadelphia.
Cruz has offered his own ObamaCare replacement plan which featured longtime Republican goals of allowing health insurance to be purchased across state lines and the elimination of a mandate to purchase insurance.
For his part, Sanders called for a single-payer healthcare program to replace the Affordable Care Act that he dubbed "Medicare for All."
Both Cruz and Sanders were frustrated in their 2016 presidential bids, losing to Trump and Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonCheney: Russian election interference could be ‘act of war’ Conservatism's worst enemy? The Freedom Caucus. The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE respectively in their party's primaries.