Friday, July 7, 2017

Cruz respectfully diffuses leftist Health Care trolls

"Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;"
Romans 12:10

We attended Senator Cruz's event last night in Austin; the Trib reports:
In the town halls and a flurry of media appearances this week across Texas, Cruz has been pitching his Consumer Freedom Amendment, which would allow insurers to continue selling plans that meet Obamacare requirements but also plans that do not comply with the law. The amendment has the backing of the White House and influential conservative groups, but it appears to be an open question — at best — whether some of his fellow Republicans in the Senate, especially the more moderate ones, could vote for it.

In recent days, Cruz has acknowledged the Senate bill remains in a precarious position, saying he is not sure lawmakers will ultimately be able to get it done. If they do not, Cruz told reporters Thursday in Austin, President Donald Trump is “absolutely right” in his suggestion that they should instead focus on repealing the law first and replacing it later. Asked if he anticipates being blamed should the current effort collapse, Cruz offered the closest thing to a moment of self-reflection since he embarked on the home-state tour.

“I’ve been in politics long enough,” he said. “I anticipate being blamed for the weather and anything else that happens.”

Cruz’s remark came after the town hall in Austin, where a health care-related question from an audience member led to a nearly 20-minute exchange with another part of the room that was less friendly to him. Much of that back and forth was between Cruz and Gary Marsh, a 67-year-old retiree from Austin who grilled Cruz on why he is not working to “fix” the problems he sees with Obamacare instead of repealing.

At one point, the moderator tried to move on, but Cruz stopped him, saying he wanted to give Marsh a chance to respond — something he had promised at the outset of the conversation.


Cruz said that when private plans are required to provide all of Obamacare’s essential health benefits, like mental health, care becomes untenably costly for the average American.

“Obamacare, the last seven years, has proven to be a manifest disaster," Cruz said.
The trib article is basically accurate, but we'll add some personal observations:

  • The event was open to the public on a first come, first serve, basis; the ratio of friendly to hostile attendees was approximately two-thirds to one-third.
  • There were approximately 100 or so usual suspect protesters outside the event.  We recognized several of the faces from various events over the years.  Still, nothing compared to the chaos at the Capitol on sine die.
  • As the event was primarily intended to discuss veterans issues, during the early part Senator Cruz mentioned a statistic that we found flabbergasting: Apparently, the Veterans administration has more personnel on its payroll than the United States Navy.
  • Cruz spoke several times about the necessity to national security of Auditing the Pentagon.
  • After about 25 minutes, the discussion veered into Obamacare repeal after a questioner asked how it would impact various VA programs.  While the crowd ratio was as we described above, there were 5 or 6 who showed up with no agenda besides disrupting the event.  As a good lawyer, Senator Cruz made them ask specific questions, to which he then insisted upon not being interrupted while he answered; that led to the exchange over so-called 'essential health benefits' mentioned in the Trib article.
  • One thing we haven't seen mentioned in any press reports: After the event, several left-leaning Austinites came forward to thank Senator Cruz for an open exchange of ideas and to apologize for the disruptive attendees.
  • During our one-on-one conversation after the event, Senator Cruz agreed with this author that one of the most infuriating aspects of the whole Obamacare repeal discussion is the degree to which people are insisting that we need to preserve medicaid expansion to fight the alleged opioid 'epidemic,' when medicaid expansion is what's subsidizing this so-called 'crisis.'

You can view the full event yourself [Note: The section on Obamacare begins at approximately the 27 minute mark]:

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