Schumer Calls Cruz Health Care Bill Amendment A ‘Hoax’

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer attacked a proposed amendment by Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to the GOP’s health care bill as a “hoax.”

“Make no mistake, the Cruz amendment is a hoax. Under the guise of lowering premiums, it makes healthcare more expensive because deductibles and copayments would be so onerous that many Americans would pay much more out of their pockets than they pay today. It’s a foolhardy trade to exchange lower premiums for far more expensive deductibles and copayments,” Schumer said in a statement Thursday.

The New York Democrat went on to say, “In addition, Americans with pre-existing conditions will almost certainly be left without access to affordable and quality health care, making this even worse than the House bill on this issue. The only way to truly improve our nation’s health care system is for the Trump administration to stop sabotaging the marketplaces and for Republicans to finally heed Democrats’ requests to come together and work in a bipartisan way.”

Cruz’s amendment, which is an attempt to bring together Republicans and Democrats on the flailing legislation, would enable insurers to sell plans that do not comply with Obamacare insurance regulations — on the condition that they also sell plans that fulfill those rules.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina told reporters last week, “If the Cruz consumer choice amendment gets there, yes I can support it without the MacArthur amendment in there because I think it gives everybody some options.”

New Jersey Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur previously proposed an amendment would enable states to apply for waivers that would exempt them from certain Obamacare insurance conditions.

“Right now I’m looking at the Cruz consumer choice amendment as the primary vehicle that makes the most sense to me,” Meadows said, “and I applaud him for stepping out.”

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