In an official statement Thursday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz called House passage of the American Health Care Act “an important first step” but also made clear that much work is still needed, saying that he and his Senate colleagues “should continue to improve the bill”.
Cruz also praised the House Freedom Caucus for its hard-fought efforts to ensure that AHCA 2.0 was better than its predecessor – which was withdrawn by Speaker Paul Ryan in March due to lack of support. Though both conservative and moderate House Republicans balked at that first effort, it was the Freedom Caucus that led the fight.
In an interview on the Trey Ware show on Thursday, Cruz acknowledged that “getting it out of the Senate is not going to be easy”.
Senator Rand Paul was far less generous when asked by Neil Cavuto about the new version.
“I think the House Freedom Caucus made the bill a lot less bad. But what I’m still concerned with is, this will be the first time that Republicans have affirmatively put their stamp of approval on a program where federal government money is paid to insurance companies … it boggles my mind how that became a Republican idea … it’s gonna take a little bit of work to get me to a “Yes” vote but I do have an open mind … I really want to repeal it [Obamacare], I just don’t want to replace it with Obamacare Lite”.
The official statement from Sen. Cruz’ office: