Count Cruz as a no.
As the Graham-Cassidy ship continues to sink to the bottom of the abyss of failed GOP attempts to repeal-and-replace Obamacare, the Texas conservative has announced that his voice will likely be added to those advocating its demise.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) September 24, 2017
According to Politico.com:
The Texas Republican said he and Lee offered amendments to the Graham-Cassidy proposal last week that would go further in bringing down Obamacare premiums but that the changes weren’t included in the latest draft of the bill.
“Right now, they don’t have my vote and I don’t think they have Mike Lee’s vote either,” Cruz said during a panel discussion at the Texas Tribune festival in Austin that also included Sen. John Cornyn.
Although it is not known what changes to Graham-Cassidy Cruz would have like to be made, it is very surprising to the bill’s sponsors would not include an amendment from the person who may be the Senate’s most important conservative voice.
In fact, it was one of the major selling points of Graham-Cassidy – especially to conservatives skeptical of it – that conservatives like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee would be allowed to make changes to it.
As argued a few weeks ago in the Weekly Standard:
Graham-Cassidy isn’t entirely to our taste. We have long advocated innovative free-market reforms like the plan backed in July by Ted Cruz and Mike Lee allowing insurers to be free from Obamacare’s regulations so long as they sold one Obamacare-compliant plan. This had promise for fixing the health care system nationwide. But it failed like every other option in the Senate—though Lee and Cruz are free to push for it as an amendment to Cassidy-Graham. At this point, the question for Republicans isn’t whether there is a better alternative to Graham-Cassidy, but whether this plan is an improvement on the status quo. Holding out past September 30 doesn’t create leverage for a better bill, it simply turns the bill to dust.
If as it turns out Senators Lee and Cruz were not free to push for an amendment that “had promise for fixing the health care system nationwide,” then perhaps Graham-Cassidy deserves the death which now seems inevitable.