KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Senator’s Marathon Stand Against Health Law May Do Little To Stop Senate Measure

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's winding, marathon speech on the Senate floor and aimed at bringing attention to efforts to block money for Obamacare's implementation but may have little effect.

The Washington Post: Sen. Cruz Continues Night-Long Attack On Obamacare
To most Americans, it looked like a traditional filibuster, fixed in the popular imagination by Jimmy Stewart's performance in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." But parliamentary procedures already in place dictate that Cruz will have to yield the floor by Wednesday afternoon at the latest. With Senate passage all but certain on a bill that will include funding for the health-care law, commonly known as Obamacare, Cruz's strategy will give House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and his colleagues only a few hours to respond with a different version of the legislation (O'Keefe and Kane, 9/25).

The New York Times: Senator Persists Battling Health Law, Irking Even Many In His Own Party
Facing an increasingly likely defeat in his tangled procedural fight over funding the government, Senator Ted Cruz took to the Senate floor on Tuesday and declared he would speak "until I cannot stand" to rally voters against the health care law (Weisman, 9/24).

Los Angeles Times: Sen. Ted Cruz Digs In As Shutdown Looms
Three hours into his Senate speech-a-thon, Sen. Ted Cruz recalled that Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster criticizing U.S. drone policy was seen at first as "curious if not quixotic," but ultimately "transformed the debate." Cruz, a Texas Republican, took control of the Senate floor Tuesday to herald his campaign to eliminate the money needed to implement President Obama's health care law. He hoped for a galvanizing moment similar to the one sparked by his Kentucky colleague in March (Memoli, 9/24).

The Wall Street Journal: Cruz's Defiant Stand Is Also A Lonely One
Wearing black tennis shoes in lieu of his customary boots, the Republican took to the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon in front of a handful of lawmakers and vowed to speak until he was "no longer able to stand" in resistance to President Barack Obama's health care law. It technically was just a long speech that stretched late into the night -- not a filibuster -- and couldn't significantly delay a Senate vote expected Wednesday. But Mr. Cruz's defiant stand exemplified his unyielding brand of conservatism that, less than a year into his Senate career, has fueled speculation that he might run for president (Peterson and Hook, 9/24).

Dallas Morning News: Cruz Wages Lonely, Marathon Talk On Defunding Obamacare
Condemned from all sides, Sen. Ted Cruz launched a talkathon Tuesday intended to cripple Obamacare but aimed -- inconveniently -- at a bill that would deliver exactly what he asked for (Gillman, 9/25).

The New York Times: About New York: A Republican Calls Another a 'Fraud'
[Repubican Rep. Peter] King said precisely what he thought of the Cruz tactic: "It is just a form of governmental terrorism." Strong coffee, which Mr. King began pouring last week, a near-solitary voice against what he saw as a cynical maneuver to delude ordinary Republican voters into thinking that President Obama's health care law could be effectively repealed without winning elections or court cases. Now, other Republicans are beginning to speak against Mr. Cruz and what he has wrought (Dwyer, 9/24).

And in other news about Sen. Cruz's efforts on health care -

Politico: Ted Cruz, David Vitter Clash On Obamacare Exemption
Republicans want members of Congress on the Obamacare exchanges without subsidies, but they're split on who else should be there, too. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wants to broaden Sen. David Vitter (R-La.)'s proposal to put lawmakers on the exchanges without a tax subsidy to include all federal employees. But Vitter's camp says such a move would only make it easier for Democrats to defeat it (Haberkorn and Everett, 9/24).

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