Cruz warns against ObamaCare 'bailout'

Cruz warns against ObamaCare 'bailout'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care: Trump eases rules on insurance outside ObamaCare | HHS office on religious rights gets 300 complaints in a month | GOP chair eyes opioid bill vote by Memorial Day HHS official put on leave amid probe into social media posts Trump, Pence to address CPAC this week MORE (R-Texas) on Friday warned against a "bailout" of insurance companies, a warning shot as other Republicans work with Democrats on a bill to stabilize ObamaCare markets. 

“It would be a serious mistake to bail out insurance companies, rather than provide relief to the millions of Americans who are hurting under Obamacare," Cruz said in a statement. 

Cruz acknowledged that the Senate had failed again this week to pass a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but said that Republicans cannot give up and have to keep working. 


The warning against an insurer "bailout" comes as Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care: Trump health chief backs CDC research on gun violence | GOP negotiators meet on ObamaCare market fix | Groups sue over cuts to teen pregnancy program GOP negotiators meet on ObamaCare market fix 30 million people will experience eating disorders — the CDC needs to help MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn Murray30 million people will experience eating disorders — the CDC needs to help Mulvaney remarks on Trump budget plan spark confusion Overnight Finance: Mulvaney sparks confusion with budget remarks | Trump spars with lawmakers on tariffs | Treasury looks to kill 300 tax regs | Intel chief's warning on debt MORE (R-Wash.) are negotiating a bill aimed at stabilizing ObamaCare, which is expected to include funding for key payments to insurance companies known as cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). 

Alexander and Murray are getting close to a deal, but they face a tough task in selling any agreement to the many Republicans that are wary of stabilizing ObamaCare. 

Critics deride funding the CSR payments as a "bailout.” Defenders counter that the payments are simply reimbursing insurers for giving discounts to low-income enrollees that are mandated by law, and that the payments are key to avoiding premium increases and instability. 

Cruz called to "narrow our focus" on repealing ObamaCare around lower costs and "consumer freedom."

"The American people did not send us here to bail out insurance companies," he said. "They sent us here to repeal and replace Obamacare. Failure is not an option.”