KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Cruz And His Crusade To Derail The Health Law

According to press reports, just as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was stirring up interest among the tea party and other grass roots conservatives, his anti-health law strategy was also causing differences among his GOP colleagues.  

Los Angeles Times: Ted Cruz's Senate Talkathon Is Over, But He's Still Talking
He said he hoped the public would carry his message of opposition to President Obama's health care law and pressure Republicans to support his drive to prevent federal spending on it. "At this point, the debate is in the hands of the American people," said Cruz, who even in the halls of the Capitol sounded as if he were still speaking in the chamber. "At this point, I think I have spoken long enough." But he hadn't. Within the hour, he was on Rush Limbaugh's afternoon radio talk show (Memoli, 9/25).

The New York Times: Cruz, Tea Party Hero, Rankles Senate G.O.P. Colleagues
Ted Cruz’s crusade to dismantle President Obama’s health care law has helped cement his status as an emerging hero of the Tea Party and conservative grass roots. But it is stoking resentment and derision from many other Republicans, including his own Senate colleagues, who see his campaign as impractical, self-interested and potentially damaging to the party’s electoral efforts in 2014 and beyond (Peters, 9/25).

The Associated Press: GOP Definer Or Divider? Either Way, Cruz Puts Forth Conservative Case Against Obamacare
Stunt or principled stand, Sen. Ted Cruz’s talkathon against Obamacare scored 21 hours of cable television time to describe the president’s signature law in the most conservative terms. By noon Wednesday when the Texas freshman finally sat down, tea party groups supporting him were in full fundraising mode (Kellman, 9/25).

The New York Times: A New Senator Stops Talking, And A Vote On Spending Nears
On Sunday he made clear that he opposed cutting off debate — called cloture — unless the majority leader, Harry Reid, agreed that 60 votes be required to strip the bill of language that would gut the health care law. On “Fox News Sunday,” Mr. Cruz, a freshman from Texas, declared his opposition to “any vote for cloture, any vote to allow Harry Reid to add funding for Obamacare with just a 51-vote threshold.” “A vote for cloture is a vote for Obamacare,” Mr. Cruz said. Yet after the vote on Wednesday, Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, said Mr. Cruz had never intended to oppose the motion to take up the bill, an assertion contradicted by Mr. Cruz’s words and procedural motions for days before the tally (Weisman, 9/25).

Texas Tribune: Cruz's Speech Further Propels Him Into National Spotlight
For more than 21 hours, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz spoke about why the nation should defund the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare." And although his floor speech might not succeed in accomplishing that policy goal, the national spotlight is squarely on the freshman senator from Texas who is considered a possible presidential contender in 2016. ... "He's now going to be the leading national politician fighting Obamacare, and that’s extraordinarily valuable territory to own," said Republican political consultant Matt Mackowiak of Austin. "We have some strong conservatives for 2016, but few of them have fought for something in a meaningful way" (MacLaggan, 9/25).

CBS News: Ted Cruz’s Epic Speech, Fact Checked
Throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, assisted at times by his conservative colleagues, (Sen. Ted) Cruz (R-Texas) bemoaned the impact of the health care law, hailed his efforts to stop it, and to fill time, he rambled on about some of his favorite movies and children's books. Some of his remarks -- including the very insistence the Senate can defund the health care law -- took some liberties with the truth. Here's a look at some of Cruz's questionable statements (Condon, 9/25).

Miami Herald: Sen. Marco Rubio Plays Tag Team With Sen. Ted Cruz In Slamming Obamacare On Senate Floor
And at 6 a.m. Wednesday, just as most people were waking up on the East Coast and just in time for the morning news programs, Rubio took to the Senate floor to relieve Sen. Ted Cruz quasi-filibuster over Obamacare. For nearly an hour, as the semi-filibuster entered its 16th hour, Rubio spoke without notes and gave a standard but impassioned stump speech that hopped from the American Dream to broken schools to free enterprise to Obamacare to debt (Caputo, 9/25).

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