Cruz, Freedom Caucus chairman lay out health plan demands: 'The time to act is now upon us'
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, argue in a new op-ed that the current GOP effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare does not go far enough.
"After years of talk, we know that the Republican repeal-and-replace effort will soon be judged by three criteria: Does it make health care more affordable? Does it give consumers more choices? Does it provide Americans more control over their families’ health care?" the lawmakers wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
"As of now, the House’s bill neither fully repeals ObamaCare nor passes these three tests," they added.
Cruz and Meadows, however, argue that there is "a path forward" toward consensus in the House and the Senate.
"First, we must lower insurance premiums. Nothing matters more. The current House bill would not achieve this, because it doesn’t repeal all of ObamaCare’s insurance mandates," the lawmakers wrote.
The lawmakers say Republicans risk a backlash from the voters who will blame the GOP for lack of meaningful reform.
"We cannot give voters a procedural excuse for why we couldn’t get the job done," they wrote.
Second, the lawmakers say Republicans "shouldn’t replace ObamaCare’s subsidies with yet another health-care entitlement."
"Instead, we should implement nonrefundable tax credits, which can be deducted from payroll taxes for lower earners," they wrote.
Lastly, Cruz and Meadows advocate for an immediate freeze to ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion.
"A freeze wouldn’t take away coverage from any person currently enrolled—it wouldn’t pull the rug out from anybody—but it would prevent states from adding more enrollees to the expansion population, which the federal government would be responsible for funding," the pair wrote.
"The time to act is now upon us. If Republicans join together with united purpose and tackle these areas of concern, we will have finally delivered on our promise."