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GOP Senator Ted Cruz has acknowledged that Republicans in the US Senate are facing an uphill task to pass legislation to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s signature health insurance program, known as Obamacare.
“For seven years the Republicans have been promising, ‘If only you elect us, we’ll repeal Obamacare,’ ” Cruz said in a radio interview on Saturday.
“I think the consequences of failure would be catastrophic. But it’s going to take senators across the Republican conference being willing to sit down in good faith,” he stated.
On Thursday, the US House of Representatives narrowly, 217 to 213, passed the bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). No Democrats backed the bill, but some 20 Republicans voted in opposition.
Cruz said the slim Republican majority in the Senate would make reaching an agreement on healthcare reform a “difficult task,” adding that a number of obstacles ranging from the ideological to the geographical could pose a challenge for the AHCA bill.
Most of the Republican politicians have long vowed to repeal Obamacare, which covers some 20 million Americans.
“In the Senate we have a difficult task ahead of us,” Cruz said. “We have a very narrow majority. We have just 52 Republicans — hold at least 50 of those 52 Republicans to pass the bill.”
This is despite the fact that health care experts from across the political spectrum have said that the Republican health care bill is unworkable and suffers from fatal flaws and could lead to Americans dropping out of the health care market.
Experts agree that the bill fails to reach the objectives laid forth by Trump, which includes affordable coverage for everyone, lower deductibles and health care costs and better care.