November 20th, 2013
10:51 AM ET

Sen. Cruz, Cuomo Have Heated Interview

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and CNN "New Day" co-host Chris Cuomo got in a testy exchange over Obamacare on Wednesday.

Cuomo pressed Cruz to offer concrete solutions to Obamacare, rather than just criticize it.

Cuomo: You don't think that you have a responsibility as a U.S. Senator to do better than that in terms of offering a solution for what to do next? Cruz. Well, I – I appreciate your trying to lecture me in the morning, thank you for that.

Cuomo: Not at all, Senator. I'm worried, the same as you. Anybody who looks at the situation has worries. Families need health insurance.

Cruz: Sir, if you're worried, did you speak out for the five million people who've lost their health insurance? Did you speak out…?

Cuomo: We've been covering it doggedly and I'm sure you watch the show. The problem is I don't have the power to fix it. You do. That's what a U.S. Senator does. You sponsor law. You know this. It's not a lecture, it's a concern. I'm asking what are you going to do about it?

Cruz: well, and I share that concern and have every day been working to highlight the millions of people who have lost their job because of Obamacare, the millions of people who have been forced into part-time work. There are single moms, there are young people, Hispanics, African Americans, people struggling who are now on part-time work. You can't feed your kids with 29 hours a week. There's over five million people who have lost their health insurance and the way to fix that is to stop this broken law.

Cruz is talking about people who had individual policies that are no longer available. In many cases, that's because the plans no longer meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The 5 million number is in the range of standard estimates, although no one has an exact figure.

Unlike when people lost policies in the past, all these people are guaranteed the opportunity to purchase new insurance. In many cases, they'll be getting a better deal. In other cases (generally healthy, wealthy people), they will end up paying more.

A fair number of those people would have "lost" the plans with or without Obamacare. These plans are almost all for a one-year term, and they frequently change year-to-year. And, in some cases, insurers could have chosen to continue plans but didn't for any number of business reasons.

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soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Kathleen

    I'm rather tired of hearing that ACA is the law of the land yet the President continually waives corporations, unions, congress and now small business from abiding by it. The President is supposed to defend the laws of the land not change them. That's the job of congress. If all the waivers were taken away as they should be, everyone would see how really devastating this law is especially to the average American. Most of these waivers go away immediately after the next election except for Congress and union waivers. Doesn't that say something that these changes are based on political gain and not constant American pain? And why is congress exempt. They passed the law, they should be forced to adhere to it. And it's obvious that union waivers are only to protect one of the democrat parties largest donors.

    Solutions: Why are middle class and lower middle class families being punished the most and forced to give up good plans for substandard ACA plans and, for example, are forced to pay for pediatrics and maternity when their kids are grown and on their own. The $640 million spent on a bad website could have been given to the 30 million uninsured in the form of Health Savings Accounts to pay for their own doctors visits, deductibles, prescriptions and catastrophic care and the rest of us could have been left alone (that's $21m each, think of even more people that wasted money could have helped) Also, giving people the right to purchase across state lines WOULD drive down costs by creating competition for those dollars. Insurance is supposed to be for catastrophes so you don't go bankrupt, not for the routine doctor visits and screenings. Visits, screenings, tests, prescriptions and deductibles is what tax free health savings accounts are for. Also with HSAs, a person could shop for doctors and drive down doctor/healthcare costs as well because of the competition it creates. A little torte reform would also stop over-testing patients when not necessary to avoid unfounded malpractice suits which would also drive down costs. Why is this a hard concept to grasp? Why is there no logic in the healthcare discussion. And where are journalists on logical solutions instead of propaganda. (Journalism is dead) Media has ignored these solutions since 2009 when republicans first introduced all of these solutions but were ignored by the media and the democrats during the discussions. This was supposed to be about driving down costs NOT taking away choices. America, wake up!

    November 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  2. Zolicon

    No matter what solution the come up with it will not be good enough.

    November 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  3. Eve Mallett

    I recently quit watching New Day because of the biased slant on the Affordable Care Act! But you just got me back after the interview with Chris Cuomo and Sen. Cruz! Chris asked the questions that I would have asked a Republican about their solution about health care for Americans. I was so proud of you Chris. We need more journalist to ask the questions the Americans people want to ask the people we elected to represent us!

    November 21, 2013 at 4:03 am | Reply
    • ChrisInAtl

      That's all well and good to have Cuomo ask some tough questions, but there are tough questions and then there are "Democrat talking points". Cuomo was guilty of posing the latter. We know that Cruz didn't shut down the government. Obama was mostly responsible for refusing to consider bill after bill that would have funded all of the government except for the ACA. Really Obama shut down the government because he didn't want to negotiate at all on the ACA that he KNEW was going to result in the cancellation of millions of insurance policies.

      Further, lots of Republican plans have been put forward to address healthcare costs, pre-existing conditions, etc. The Democrats refuse to consider them. A little actual journalism on Cuomo's part would have revealed these bills and obviated the need for his whole attack line of questioning.

      November 21, 2013 at 9:11 am | Reply
      • Bette

        Maybe you should read the ACA, specifically sec2712. Obama did not cancel insurance, the insurance companies cancelled peoples insurance, just like they are raising premiums on others before the ACA is fully implemented. And Ted Cruz has already admitted he helped shut the govt. down so that is not even and issue. And the ACA was not negotiable it is law. And the Republicans had 8 years and never once or since have offered any solution to our healthcare system, as long as the rich have healthcare they could care less about the middleclass or the poor, and that is a fact. Every time a Republican/ Tea Partier is asked about their solution, you get just what Cruz did, a lot of hot air and no solutions.

        November 21, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  4. tio

    I don't understand why people are acting as if their health insurance hasn't been going up for years even before the ACA. Instead of blaming the President they need to blame the insurance companies. Health insurance is no difference than car insurance, homeowner insurance, or any other insurance, you may start out with a great rate but eventually your rates will go up and with car insurance if you have one accident whether its your fault or not insurance companies have been known to cancel your policy. For all of those who are complaining about paying for coverage that they think they don't need, remember that it is better to have health insurance coverage than not to have it. Sure your insurance company may have cancelled your policy but that's is not the President fault, that the insurance companies looking for a way to make more money. Since this President has been in office, I'm amazed at the lack of intelligence many of Americans have when it comes to using common sense and thinking for themselves, so many just repeat what they have heard on TV without checking the facts for themselves. If you are required by law to have car and homeowner insurance, why would you "titch" about health insurance, something that every one will eventually need someday in their lifetime. This whole stupid agreement about healthcare is totally disgusting. America has bigger issues to deal with, like passing a budget, creating jobs, etc. People in this country need to wake up and stop listening to talking heads like Ted Cru z, O'Reilly and Hannitity etc and start thinking for themselves. Ask yourself this question, if you were to become sick in the near future and didn't have health insurance and your house was to go into foreclosure due to your medical expenses, do you really think any of those men I mention would help you, if you do then you are dumber that a box of rocks, point being it time for the American People to wake up and smell the coffee stop "titching" about things that you yourself have not looked into and constantly relied on other to tell you about. Do your own research. Having Health Insurance is a matter of "Life or Death" and it can determine what quanlity of life you will continue to have on this earth.

    November 20, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Reply
    • ChrisInAtl

      Government destroyed the market for health insurance decades ago when they used tax policy and regulation to tie insurance to employers and when they refused to allow insurance companies to compete.

      These days it isn't even "insurance", it's really "how people pay doctor bills". The ACA accelerates the misguided notion of health insurance as a piggy bank, eliminates many competitive forces, and is premised upon some very poor notions of how much young people want to fund healthcare for older people voluntarily.

      As with student loans, now that the government has itself wedged firmly in healthcare, expect the situation to continue to worsen and naturally the government will have new solutions that cost more money, create more bureaucracy, and destroy more American wealth.

      November 21, 2013 at 9:17 am | Reply
    • Bette

      Thank You, you hit the nail squarely on the head, I just don't get why anyone would not want everyone to have healthcare. Look at the single payer solution in Sweden, it does work and works well.

      November 21, 2013 at 10:39 am | Reply
      • ChrisInAtl

        Sweden is smaller than many US states and very homogenous its cultural makeup. You can no more graft Sweden's healthcare solution onto a much larger/diverse country like the US than you can graft US style of democracy onto Afghanistan.

        November 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  5. George

    Chris, nice job. Until republicans prioritize fixing problems and stop whining like sore losers no one should take them seriously, especially Cruz. The status quo does not make the health care system better. It seems to me the reason the republicans do not want a public system because they want their rich corporate constituents to control health care for their employees. This way corporations we'll be able to control employees with health care handcuffs. I think republicans are just scared that people will be able to exercise real freedom by employing themselves and purchase an affordable health care plan and no longer be beholden to corporate America. Affordable health care is freedom.

    November 20, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  6. Ken

    I had high hopes for the show New Day after having to endure Soledad O'Brien for so long. But I've really had enough of listening to Chris Cuomo trying to fill in the same slot of morning leftist that O'Brien held. I'm looking for the news to be presented in an unbiased, professional manner. Not someone ranting and acting like a clown and carrying water for the Obama administration. Get rid of this guy and put a professional on the show.

    November 20, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Reply
    • ChrisInAtl

      It's really obvious that Cuomo's line of questioning could very easily come from a blogger on Huffpo or KOS. That would be okay if when he interviewed Democrats his questions sounded liked they came from Mark Levin or TheRightScoop.

      November 21, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  7. Ken

    I had high hopes for the show New Day after having to endure Soledad O'Brien for so long. But I've really had enough of listening to Chris Cuomo trying to fill in the same slot of morning a**hole that O'Brien held. I'm looking for the news to be presented in an unbiased, professional manner. Not someone ranting and acting like a fool and carrying water for the Obama administration. Get rid of this guy and put a professional on the show.

    November 20, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  8. Boyd Carter

    Chris, I’m surprised that no one is pressing Ted Cruz on his example of the constituent who said that he’s lost his health insurance and his child has diabetes. Can Ted produce this “example” and have the claim investigated. Was it lost due to Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) or lost because it was a substandard policy that Obamacare would have eliminated. Does Ted not realize that his example is precisely what Obamacare would not allow to happen? Overall, I found Ted’s logic to be faulty at almost every point. I think Ted would be more effective if he brushed up on his logic and dropped the demagoguery.

    November 20, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  9. James

    Good Job Chris!!

    November 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  10. Bill

    Assuming that Ted Cruz is wrong and doesn't have any plans to fix the healthcare law. Chris, you are a journalist, and you must be respectful and not rude. A journalist is supposed to ask a question and accept any given answer no matter what it seems to be. The American people who judge the answer/attitude. Chris, I am international person, and I lived with a dictator for many years. Believe me that's what I used to hate most about madia. Journalists ask questions and want to hear an answer that they want!!!!!!No, that's not a democratic approach! WRONG. By the way this issue is increasing in CNN and Fox. It's not because the president is democratic or republican, so you are in a powerful position. That's a third world country mindset! I hope that helps!
    God Bless America!

    November 20, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • King

      Bill, a journalist's first and foremost duty is to seek the truth! Where the heck did you get the notion that a journalist is supposed to accept the first answer they get no matter what it is? That is simply justthe most ignorant statement a person could make about this profession. Cruz is guilty of doing the same thing alot of the GOP has been doing, and that is firing off accusations and rants but refuse to provide their own actual course of action or solutons. Chris did a great job holding him to the task of actually being an elected official and do the job he was supposed to do; legislate.

      November 21, 2013 at 10:44 am | Reply
      • ChrisInAtl

        Cruz was elected to represent his constituents. Overwhelmingly they sent him to office to reduce the size of government and fight Obamacare. He's doing exactly what he was elected to do. If you want to complain about people in Washington not doing their jobs, you should be complaining that the President proposes no realistic and viable budget proposals. You should be complaining that the House and Senate pass Continuing Resolutions rather than passing itemized budgets as they were intended to do. You should be complaining that the President should not be rewriting the law he promoted to give waivers to his chosen constituents. You should be complaining that none of the key actors pushing the ACA read the thing before it was passed.

        November 21, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  11. Peggy

    Thank you for getting past the political sound bites to explore the issues! I will make sure and watch your show for more of this kind of important coverage. and by the way... Ted's pat "free-market = solution" is an easy unintelligent answer to a complex issue. Did we not learn from our unbridled application of and trust in the free market sans any oversight that brought down the economy?

    November 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  12. Hackman

    Chris, although i don't agree with everything Ted Cruz has to say.......the law is not working, not just the website. You can't have this many people with cancelled policies, small businesses coming forward with significant increases in cost, and we have not even started the employer mandate. My employer is implementing now and as a retired employee on fixed income, my insurance is going up 40%, deductible from 500 to 1500, and out of pocket doubled. I understand you come from a powerful democratic family but with the latest poll numbers...48% say fix it, 43% say repeal it, and ONLY 7% think it is working well it is hard to justify your position.

    November 20, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  13. Median me

    Great interview Chris. Awesome questions even though he didn't answer on how to improve the system he just wanted to continue to tear it down. Why ? We all know he want to continue to hurt Obama and is working and poor class people. I only wish I had their health care. Do you know how scarey it is to have no care or what you have is so expensive you're affraid to use it. Well that is most of us. He and member of congress don't know because they are to bussy on their high horse putting the rest of us down. Our President knows our journey because he's been there . He just doing what we the people sent him there to do. Mr Cruz stop the madness and let's work together. The world is watching. Peace. Work out the bugs im the systems and we will be able to move forward healthy Americans Thanks again Chris.

    November 20, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      Does anyone really believe that anything the republicans could put forward to make the law better would be brought to the senate floor by Harry Reid. Don't forget, Harry Reid won't even bring forward Mary Landrieu (democrat) bill unless the president gives his personal approval.

      November 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  14. jcav22

    We've been covering it doggedly and I'm sure you watch the show.

    BULL. You haven't been covering it doggedly at all until just recently. When the government shut down, the Republicans were warning everyone about the disaster about to hit. FOX was covering this debacle for 4 years, just like others in the IRS, Benghazi, etc.

    MSNBC and CNN should fire everyone and hire journalist who are going to report the real news, not what their poster child wants them to.

    November 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  15. Sandy

    Cuomo has no idea what he is talking about. Yes, Mr. Cuomo my insurance has gone up because of the healthcare act. My notification letter came days after the act went into effect. Our increase was $210 a pay period, which brings our total premium payment to almost $800 a month. But that okay....as long as some lazy piece of trash has the ability to now have all the health care options that my family has....it's not like I go to work sick or well, work long hours, save my money, send two sons through college, all while saving for retirement. Please give the lazy more....I just love helping out.

    November 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • Frank

      KMA B**** I'm not lazy, or a piece of trash you ignormaus I work 2 jobs and the ACA helped me.

      November 20, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  16. King

    Way to stick to your Guns Chris!

    November 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  17. HenryMiller

    I understand that Chris Cuomo is, like his brother and father, an ardent Leftist, but he ought, nevertheless, to be bright enough to understand this: That not all of the county's ills can be addressed by dictates from Washington.

    Healthcare, under the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution, is one of those things "reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Article I, Section 8, contains not one word delegating to the US Congress the power to impose a national healthcare system. It was inappropriate for Mr Cuomo to try to pressure Senator Cruz into enunciating a "Republican plan" for dealing with health care when health care is simply not within the purview of the responsibilities Constitutionally delegated to the federal government.

    November 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  18. King

    Speaking of Health care and such, what about the man who got set up and framed in Oklahoma by the Attorney General and had his business illegally shut down while stealing millions from state medicaid funds that was supposed to be used for diabetic children and adult supplies? It seems Republican-led states are are the reason the health care law is needed most.

    November 20, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Reply

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