Cruz: House's ObamaCare repeal bill can't pass the Senate
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCornyn campaign, Patton Oswalt trade jabs over comedian's support for Senate candidate MJ Hegar announces Texas Senate bid Liberal survey: Sanders cruising, Buttigieg rising MORE (R-Texas) warned Wednesday that a House bill to repeal ObamaCare can't pass the Senate without substantial changes.

"The House bill is a beginning. The House bill as drafted, I do not believe, would pass the United States Senate," he said.

Cruz's comments come ahead of a dinner meeting with President Trump on Wednesday night.


Cruz, despite his reservations on the House legislation, predicted that lawmakers would eventually be able to reach a deal.

"I believe we can and will repeal ObamaCare," he told reporters. "I believe at the end of the day we will get to yes."

The House bill, released on Monday night, is coming under heavy fire from conservatives.

In addition to Cruz, Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulDem super PAC campaign urges Republicans to back impeachment Booker, Harris have missed most Senate votes Trump vetoes measure ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen MORE (R-Ky.) has come out against the legislation. Senate GOP leadership can only afford to lose two Republican votes on repeal if they want to clear the Senate.

Cruz noted that he's in active negotiations with House and Senate lawmakers as well as the administration.

"There is not nearly enough in the House bill to drive down the cost of premiums," he said. "I [also] believe there [are] significant challenges with the Medicaid expansion provision."

Cruz said he wants to block grant Medicaid funding to the states, reducing the amount of federal oversight on how that money is spent.

What happens to ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion is a key concern for a group of centrist Republicans who are warning that they could vote against a bill that negatively impacts the funding in their home states.