Cruz warns against ObamaCare 'bailout'

Cruz warns against ObamaCare 'bailout'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz: 'I'm glad' Disney fired James Gunn over 'horrible' tweets Washington needs to end hidden inflation tax on our capital gains GOP tax writer introduces bill to reduce capital gains taxes 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. 

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The warning against an insurer "bailout" comes as Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderMontana governor raises profile ahead of potential 2020 bid Dems pressure GOP to take legal action supporting pre-existing conditions Trump administration to explore importing prescription drugs MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Top Dems urge Trump officials to reverse suspension of ObamaCare payments Dems launch pressure campaign over migrant families 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.”