Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the leader of the movement to defund the government in protest to President Obama’s signature health care law, lambasted the resolution that ended the 16-day government shutdown as “a lousy deal” and “a classic example of Washington selling out Americans” at an event in San Antonio Saturday.
“Many Senate Republicans rose up against House Republicans,” Cruz said. “The House of Representatives was marching in the battle and the Senate Republicans should have supported them…That is what led directly to this lousy deal.”
Cruz sparked national attention for holding a nearly day-long faux filibuster in mid-September aimed at halting the implementation of the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 1. The move set in motion a government shutdown that teamed the Republican-led House’s refusal to sign on to any budget negotiations that funded the healthcare law against the Democrat-led Senate unwillingness to derail the president’s reforms. Cruz’s efforts inevitably failed: The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, rolled out as expected – albeit with some glitches – and a bipartisan fiscal deal allowed the government to resume functioning on Oct. 17.
“We couldn’t win this fight,” Cruz acknowledged, saying he was nonetheless encouraged. “We have elevated the national debate [on] the harms of Obamacare.”
Cruz hammered the Obama administration over the technical issues in the health care rollout during a speech before the Texas Federation of Republican Women State Convention.
“There is actually a reason why that programming is so challenged, because you can’t see the price until you enter all your information,” Cruz said. “They told the programmers not to show the cost because when they see the price, they’ll say ‘holy cow.’”
“If your goal was to enable more people to buy care, do you think it would be a good idea to pass a law that says the only car everyone can by is a top-of-the-line Cadillac?… That means you drive out the market of the less expensive [insurance policies]” Cruz told the crowd.
A report issued last month showed that individual premiums were expected to cost 16% less than the earlier projections by Congressional Budget Office.
Around 800,000 federal workers were furloughed as a result of the shutdown. The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s estimated that the closure took a $1.5 billion bite out of the U.S. economy over 16 days.