Cruz: ‘Let’s Use Warren Buffett’s Taxes’ to Subsidize Health Care for the Sick, Not a 28-Year-Old
DICKERSON: Here’s what is embedded in Senator Grassley’s critique, though. His argument is that one vestigial Obamacare plan that you allow will attract all the sick people, that the premiums there will skyrocket. And so you may be offering people preexisting conditions in that single plan, but the premiums will be so out of sight, that, in effect, you’re not really offering it.
CRUZ: But, again, that argument is simply not accurate.
If you look at how it would operate, yes, it is true that some young healthy people may choose to purchase freedom plans at much, much lower...
DICKERSON: They would be crazy not to.
CRUZ: And so they’d get much, much lower premiums. And so, number one, you have millions of people who are winners straight off, young people. Young people get hammered by Obamacare. Millions of young people suddenly have much lower premiums.
But let’s focus on what you just asked, the relatively small pool of people with preexisting conditions, significant illnesses on the individual market. You’re dealing with roughly four to five million people out of a country of 330 million people.
DICKERSON: But the sickest among us.
CRUZ: In the individual market, yes.
In every other market, in the group market, preexisting conditions protections are there. Everywhere else, the preexisting conditions are there. The individual market is a relatively small slice, and this is an even smaller slice.
Now, what I would say is, in Congress, that there is wide agreement that we’re going to provide significant assistance to people with serious medical conditions and preexisting conditions. The question is, how do we do it?
What Obamacare does is, it takes millions of young people, millions of people just starting out their career, and it jacks up their premiums, it doubles or triples their premiums, and then it uses that money, not for those people, but to cross-subsidize those who are sick.
I think that’s unfair. If you have got a 28-year-old woman who is just starting her career, she’s making $30,000 a year, trying to make ends meet, I think doubling her premiums is wrong and it’s unfair.
My view is, we ought to do it with direct taxpayer funds. Let’s use Warren Buffett’s taxes and not that of a 28-year-old woman starting her career. And let me point out, the Senate bill has billions in taxpayer subsidies and stabilization funds, so that the premiums for preexisting conditions stay stabilized and low.
DICKERSON: OK. It will be worked out this week. Senator, thank you so much for being with us.
And we will be back in a moment.