Ted Cruz is campaigning hard in Indiana, because he knows that if Trump wins the state it’s lights out time for him and his presidential aspirations. Cruz was out pressing the flesh this weekend in Evansville, trying to show Hoosiers, the media and Americans in general that he is indeed human and not some demon from the underworld, as former House speaker John Boehner has alleged.
By all accounts Cruz was actually doing a pretty good job of making friends and influencing people on Friday evening at The Pie Pan restaurant. The Evansville Courier & Press says that the candidate spent over an hour at the meet and greet. He didn’t make a speech, but spent the time pressing the flesh and talking issues with people in the crowd.
Of course one of the issues he discussed was Obamacare. He reportedly told one man, “The top two legislative agenda items I’ve got are repealing Obamacare and passing a simple flat tax, abolishing the IRS.”
But if he thought he was going to be able to skate through the evening without getting pushback about the Affordable Care Act, Cruz was mistaken. Pool video from the event caught the senator as he was introduced to a disabled man in a wheelchair named Scott.
The first part of the conversation is drowned out by background noise. But soon the man who introduced Scott can be heard telling Cruz that if the Affordable Care Act is repealed “people like him won’t be able to get insurance at all.” Of course, current House Speaker Paul Ryan has said as much, recently advancing the idea of putting people with pre-existing conditions into “high-risk pools” which would be largely unaffordable for many.
Cruz responds saying, “There’s no doubt we need to provide care.”
The man cuts him off, “But it was never done before. It was never done. Nobody did it.”
Which, of course, is the truth. Cruz wasn’t in Congress then, but his Republican colleagues derailed what they ridiculed as “Hillarycare” in the early 1990s, and never brought a bill with their own ideas to the floor of Congress. The GOP also controlled Washington lock, stock and barrel from January 2001 to January 2007, yet they never put forward a single proposal for fixing the concerns about health care and insurance coverage.
Cruz responds to the man with his same tired, false talking point. “I can tell you millions have lost their health care at the same time,” he says. Factcheck.org called out that lie two years ago, pointing out that the millions Cruz refers to are those who had policies that didn’t meet the standards of Obamacare. Factcheck points out that those who had their policies cancelled didn’t “lose” their insurance — they were offered ACA-compliant policies to replace the one they had.
“Well, but it made a difference to some,” the man says, pointing to Scott.
“Some” is an understatement. According to a 2015 Rand Corporation report, 16.9 million people have gained coverage since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Listen to Ted Cruz tell a disabled man that he wants to get rid of Obamacare:
Featured image via Dailymotion screen capture