Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health System hosts roundtable health care discussion with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz

Published on Saturday, 11 February 2017 19:56 - Written by LOUANNA CAMPBELL, lcampbell@tylerpaper.com

Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health System hosted a roundtable discussion with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Saturday in Tyler. He toured the hospital and met privately with about 50 medical professionals to discuss health care concerns and priorities for the community and the industry.

Cruz said there was no area where there was a greater mandate for change than health care with the new administration.

“Obamacare is not working the way we thought it would, and it’s creating a great deal of grief in this country,” he said. “If people in Tyler would have seen their insurance premiums drop, they would actually be happy with Obamacare. The complexity of paperwork and the government micromanaging every aspect of health care is frustrating to the health care industry.”

Cruz reiterated parts of his Tuesday health care debate with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. He assured the physicians and health care professionals in the Bradley Conference Room that he was there to listen to their concerns, their problems, and what they are optimistic and pessimistic about.

With attention on repeal and even replacement of the Affordable Care Act by the new administration, many questions remain unanswered concerning the time frame of those actions and when and if there will be changes to premiums and deductibles.

Cruz said he believes the administration and elected officials need to move quickly in months, if not weeks, to repeal Obamacare. He believes budget reconciliation is the path to repeal, but there is fear of a lengthy battle to make any changes.

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“The reason for that is the Senate Democrats are filibustering everything and budget reconciliation is one of the few vehicles that cannot be filibustered,” he said. “The question on replacement is how much of a replacement can we get in the budget reconciliation. That’s a procedural question that I am arguing.

“We need to put in as much as possible about empowering patients and expanding options in the budget reconciliation bill. If it’s not allowed, replacement will be under regular order, which means that the Democrats will filibuster.”