- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sen. Ted Cruz said Sunday that Senate Republicans face a “rocky path” toward replacing Obamacare but can navigate through it if they focus on regulating insurance and driving down premiums.

“I think we’re making real progress. In my view, failure is not an option,” Mr. Cruz, Texas Republican, told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Mr. Cruz is proposing a plan that would let insurers offer plans that do not comply with Obamacare’s coverage regulations so long as they offer at least one plan that does.

Conservatives say allowing consumers to buy the type of coverage they want is the best way to drive down premiums, particularly for young and healthy customers who’ve been forced to pay more under the Affordable Care Act’s model.

“You have millions of people who are winners, straight off,” Mr. Cruz said.

However, opponents say consumers will pay less for skimpier benefits, while those who still want or need the type of robust coverage mandated by Obamacare will have to pay more.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, said over the July Fourth recess there is “a real feeling” that Mr. Cruz’s plan is “subterfuge” to get around regulations that protect people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Mr. Cruz said it is true that sicker Americans could face higher costs, but it is better to blunt those costs with taxpayer-funded subsidies and stabilization funds than to force everyday Americans in the risk pool to pay more for their own insurance.

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