On his nationally syndicated radio talk show program Tuesday, host Mark Levin spoke with Senator Ted Cruz on health care, Cruz suggesting that the worse of two possible bad outcomes that could lead to a Democratic Party-led Congress is if the GOP passes an Obamacare repeal bill that doesn’t repeal Obamacare.
“[T]here are two bad outcomes here: One bad outcome is we fail to actually repeal Obamacare; we fail to honor our promise – that’s a terrible outcome,” Ted Cruz told Mark Levin. “There’s an even worse outcome, which is we pass a bill that is entitled Obamacare repeal, but it doesn’t in fact repeal Obamacare, and that premiums keep skyrocketing and the problems keep getting worse. And I think, if we do that, that’s how you get a speaker Pelosi and a Leader Chuck Schumer, where the voters say, ‘The heck with all of you. None of you stand for anything.’”
Ted Cruz and Mark Levin’s comments come as GOP leadership works on a new health care reform bill in Washington.
Below is a transcript of Mark Levin and Senator Ted Cruz’s comments from the show Tuesday:
Levin: “Now here’s the problem, senator. I don’t know what’s in it, millions of people listening don’t know what’s in it, and we’re going to have d--- little time to figure out what’s in it apart from these, these broad statements of principle. I heard these broad statements of principle on the House side. I didn’t much like what I saw.
“So, as they say, the details are critical here.
Levin: “And it looks like both chambers have surrendered this whole committee process. Now, is one of the reasons because the Democrats are just so d--- hostile, they’ll block everything subcommittees, committees and all the rest of it?”
Cruz: “You know, it is. And I would say, the Senate process has been markedly different. If you look at how the House process worked, when the bill started it was drafted behind closed doors with virtually no input from anybody. Members of the House, rank and file members, had essentially no input on the bill.
“I think that was a mistake.
“And I will say, the Senate, so far, has handled this much better in that we have essentially functioned as a committee of the whole. So the working group, every Republican senator, every member of the conference has been invited to the working group to participate, and my guess is that at least two thirds of them have attended one or more meetings and given their input.
“As a result it is a process that’s not just coming out of a handful of staffers and a leader in a locked room, but it is reflecting the input, I hope, of the full conference.
“I would say if we were doing this in a public committee dynamic – you know, we’ve got an incredibly narrow majority in the Senate, 52 votes. Every Democrat is a hard no. We start out at 48 hard nos, which means, if we lose three Republicans this goes down. I think if we were debating this publicly that there would not be a way to have reasonable, good-faith negotiations where conservatives and moderates could lay out their views, go back and forth and find middle ground, I think what you’d end up with is people grandstanding for the cameras and drawing lines in the sand and shooting at each other, and we wouldn’t get there.
“Now, that being said, if leadership ends up ignoring everything conservatives say, then this process is not going to end with success. If that’s what they do, the bill will fail.
“I hope they don’t do that. I have spent five months assiduously working, trying to focus on the principles that will make this actually solve the problem.
“If we do that, listen, this is going to be public – hopefully, very soon. You’ll see it. I’ll see it.
“I haven’t seen what the underlying bill is, but I’ve been very active in the discussions that I hope have been the inputs to the bill.
“If the bill doesn’t solve the underlying problem, I’ll vote no, and I think there are a number of others who will vote no as well.
“I hope that doesn’t happen. I hope we see a bill that reflects the good-faith collaborative process that we’ve been engaging in, but I don’t know that for sure.”
Levin: “I do know what will happen. Whatever bill comes out, the president will declare victory; the majority, the majority leader will say, ‘This must pass. This is our only chance;’ we’ll be told that it fulfills the promises of repeal and replace, regardless of what it is. I’ve seen this before.
“And you know, just call me a cynic, and we’ll see how this goes.
“Now the president’s said that the House bill was ‘mean,’ that the Senate needs to be more generous, and I cringed because I said the more liberal elements of the Republican Party, that, you now that is, let’s head for the checkbooks. So I got very nervous about that.
“But we’ll see how this plays out. And I absolutely do hope that we have enough time to take a look at this, meaning the audience, the American people and so forth.”
Cruz: “Well, I believe that we will.
“I mean, I can tell you from my perspective that I think there are two critical tests: Number one, that we need to honor our promise to repeal Obamacare, that that’s the central promise that we made for the last seven years. But number two, what I think is vital is that we actually lower health insurance premiums.
“The single biggest reason people are unhappy with Obamacare is it’s caused premiums to skyrocket so that health insurance is unaffordable. We’ve got to fix that problem. And the case that I’ve been making, to the president, to the vice president, to senators and house members is there are two bad outcomes here: One bad outcome is we fail to actually repeal Obamacare; we fail to honor our promise – that’s a terrible outcome. There’s an even worse outcome, which is we pass a bill that is entitled Obamacare repeal, but it doesn’t in fact repeal Obamacare, and that premiums keep skyrocketing and the problems keep getting worse. And I think, if we do that, that’s how you get a speaker Pelosi and a Leader Chuck Schumer, where the voters say, ‘The heck with all of you. None of you stand for anything.’
“I don’t want to see that outcome happen, and I can tell you, I’m working day and night, every waking moment, trying to stop that outcome and instead deliver on what we’ve been promising the voters.”