Ted Cruz Speaks at TMA Conference Offers Little Insight Into Strategy of Shutdown

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Saturday morning the Texas Medical Association hosted its Fall Conference showcasing Texas Legislators and namely Senator Ted Cruz fresh off of his shutdown breakdown.

Senator Cruz, however, was unfazed. In an effort to rebrand himself as a non-loser he insisted that the Affordable Care Act is still a threat to the country calling it a “massive wealth transfer” and that people with insurance are “currently seeing their premiums skyrocket.”

Find out more about what Ted Cruz said below the jump.  Senator Cruz can only make this bold claim because some private insurance companies are deciding to, instead of absorb the costs internally, are instead passing off any new (or anticipated) costs onto the consumers.

Strangely enough, Senator Cruz somewhat wrote off the current issues that the HealthCare.gov website itself has reportedly been having, saying that the “glitches will all eventually get worked out.”

He hammered away that the Affordable Care is fundamentally wrong and that it is hurting working families, immigrant families and the elderly. He also noted that it is somewhat of a historical accident that health insurance is provided by your employer, although he reluctantly admitted that the Affordable Care Act might change that.

He noted that his fight is still just beginning and as Quorum Report's Scott Braddock noted:

Cruz tried to make the case that the reason his position during the Washington standoff seemed extreme to his critics, including many Republicans, is that he was staking out a point from which to start negations. He said that he would have been happy to see almost anything that would, as he put it, save Americans from the “suffering” they're experiencing because of Obamacare.

He continued to blame Senate Republicans for not standing with him as the government edged toward default. “You don't win a fight when your own team is firing cannons at the people who are standing up and leading,” Cruz said. Cruz said he's been under pressure from people he said are conservative but disagree with him on strategy. Those people, he said, have argued that the better approach would be to let Obamacare inflict its damage then use that as fodder for campaigns to win elections. He called that a “cynical” way to view the fight.

He said he began the fight to defund The Affordable Care Act (and consequently the federal government) six months ago, but by Senator Ted Cruz's vision falls short of the 2012 election, as well as the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act in June of 2012.

The Texas Medical Association also hosted Representatives Sarah Davis and Bennett Ratliff discussing the past legislative sessions in Texas.

When asked if the extremists like the members of the tea party made legislating more difficult they all somewhat shied away from the question. Notably Sarah Davis said, “I don't like the word extremist. We can all cause trouble.”  

But Representative Ratliff responded by citing the existence of too many “scorecard groups” essentially only paying attention to very minute votes, and not seeing a larger broader picture of being an effective representative. He also noted that it was not just the groups but that “too many that care about what grade they get at the end of the session. ”

Sarah Davis, a notable Republican woman from Houston who is one of the only Republicans who actually voted against HB 2 and all of the abortion bills hammered away at the egregiousness of the some of the laws regarding medicine that passed this session, namely the abortion bill.

Davis, when asked if doctors should be worried at all about laws that the Texas Legislature passes, noted “you should be very scared, the Texas Legislature loves to practice medicine.”  

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About Author

Chaille Jolink

Chaille Jolink was born and raised in Austin, Texas and has more than a decade of experience working in Texas politics. Her interest began when she was a Senate Messenger in 2003, and she's since worked for several different legislators and candidates. She started reporting in 2007 for GalleryWatch.com, and has been a contributor to several different publications. Chaille is a graduate of the University of Texas and enjoys fashion, baseball, and playing any team sport. Chaille tweets @ChailleMcCann.

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