- Associated Press - Thursday, July 6, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Latest on Ted Cruz discussing the fate of the GOP-backed health care overhaul in the Senate (all times local):

7:10 p.m.:

Sen. Ted Cruz is being heckled for opposing the Obama administration’s health care law at a town hall in Austin.

The Republican took several sympathetic questions but, about 20 minutes into the event, opponents began yelling. They urged him to vote against a GOP-backed Senate bill to repeal and replace the health care law.

Cruz replied “let’s talk about Obamacare,” to which Austin retiree Gary Marsh replied, “Can I please request that you refer to it as the Affordable Care Act?” Cruz shot back: “You can request it. But I’m gonna decline.”

Marsh then stood up and defended the health care law for several minutes. Cruz gave a lengthy answer explaining why he thinks it should be repealed.

Police stood near the hecklers, but no one was removed.

___

12:15 p.m.:

Sen. Ted Cruz is expressing doubt about whether the Republican-backed plan to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law will pass the Senate.

Speaking Thursday on San Antonio’s KTSA Radio, Cruz said, “It is precarious.” He said the GOP’s Senate majority “is so narrow, I don’t know if we can get it done or not.”

Back in Texas with the Senate out of session, Cruz was also appearing at an Austin town hall later Thursday.

He rejected the original version of the health care overhaul but is pushing a conservative alternative aiming to cut costs by giving states greater flexibility to create separate higher-risk pools.

Seeking compromise is a departure for Cruz, who long relished being a conservative insurgent who infuriated Senate establishment leaders from both parties.

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