Washington (CNN)Sen. Ted Cruz urged fellow Republicans Tuesday to quickly “honor the promises” the party made over the years to repeal Obamacare.
“2010, 2014, 2016, I believe were a mandate from the voters. We’re tired of the premiums going up. We’re tired of deductibles going up,” Cruz said at a CNN town hall debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders over the future of Obamacare. “Should Congress move swiftly to repeal Obamacare? Absolutely.”
Cruz and Sanders — two senators with diametrically opposed views of government’s role in health care — faced off at the debate moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash and featuring questions from an audience consisting of both defenders and critics of the Affordable Care Act.
Cruz’s call on his party to “repeal every word of Obamacare” came as the GOP is grappling with how quickly to repeal the law. The party hasn’t yet reached a consensus on an alternative to the law. President Donald Trump said Sunday that a replacement plan may not be rolled out until next year.
The town hall debate underscored the many challenges surrounding efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act — a sweeping health care law that covers some 20 million Americans. The evening began with each lawmaker laying out starkly different views of the controversial law.
But the discussions over creating an alternative to the controversial law has exposed tensions within the GOP. Many Republican lawmakers have grown increasingly wary of the political consequences of a quick and sweeping repeal of Obamacare, and some have more openly begun to discuss “repairing” the law and keeping aspects of it that are popular.
That note of caution clashes with impatience among some conservative members of the GOP conference, who fear that anything short of a swift repeal of Obamacare will be unacceptable to their constituents.