By Justin Sink - 11/13/13 10:49 AM EST
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Wednesday said that former President Clinton's comments about ObamaCare were an effort to distance his wife from the program ahead of a possible 2016 run.
Clinton said President Obama should change the law to allow people to keep their existing plans under ObamaCare. He also said Obama should “honor” the commitment made to those who believed they could keep their old plans.
On Wednesday, Cruz blasted the healthcare reform effort as "fundamentally flawed" and said Clinton's comments should be "a real signal that we ought to get some bipartisan cooperation" to scrap the legislation.
"Nobody can defend it because millions of people are losing their jobs, are in part-time work," Cruz said. "Their premiums are skyrocketing, and they're getting their health insurance canceled. We need to just stop it and start over because it isn't working."
Cruz's comments echo similar sentiments expressed by conservative journalists like Matt Drudge and Ross Douthat on Tuesday.
But some longtime members of Clinton's camp, including Paul Begala, argued that Clinton's comments were “in line” with those made previously by Obama.
“The key here is that President Obama and Democrats want to fix the healthcare law; Republicans want to kill it,” Begala said. “The winning message is, ‘Mend it, don't end it,’ so I am always glad to see Democrats say they want to mend the healthcare law; that's what the American people want.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney also sought to align the two leaders while speaking to reporters on Tuesday.
"The goal here is to achieve what President Clinton and presidents, both Democratic and Republican, sought to achieve in the past, which is to reform our healthcare system in a way that builds on the private sector system that we have, that makes it more affordable, with better coverage, for more Americans,” Carney said.
Clinton will be at the White House next week to receive the Medal of Freedom — the nation's highest civilian honor — from Obama.