Ted Cruz weighs in on coronavirus crisis and health care

The Texas senator discusses America's health care system.
3:48 | 09/28/20

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Transcript for Ted Cruz weighs in on coronavirus crisis and health care
Hi, senator Cruz. You were speaking earlier about the -- what voters are concerning themselves with, their everyday needs, and I would ask if the supreme court nomination is the most pressing issue for Americans right now when we're in the middle of a pandemic with over 200 lives lost. The primary duty of government is to protect the American people. Shouldn't all of your focus as well as everyone in D.C. Go towards saving lives right now? Well, listen. I think we should continue doing everything reasonably possible to protect people, and to fight this pan democrating. We collectively as a country have taken extraordinary steps to fight the coronavirus pandemic. I think we also need a real sense of urgency about getting people back to work. 51 million Americans have lost their jobs in the last six months. It's the biggest economic disaster since the great depression, and I got to tell you in the senate right now it's frustrating because senate Democrats and house Democrats are refusing to cut a deal, refusing to do anything, and I think our priority should be reopen the economy, let small businesses reopen. Do it safely. Listen to sound science. We can socially distance. We can make reasonable steps, but people are hurting right now. I introduced legislation called the recovery act that would reduce taxes, reduce regulations on the millions of small businesses that are right now opening their doors, but they're right on the edge between surviving and going under. We ought to be focused on that. Unfortunately -- Well -- Go ahead? I can question you about that then? Yeah. Because in terms of businesses being -- being closed and people losing their jobs, they're also at risk of losing their health care because the supreme court is set to hear the latest constitutional challenge to the affordable care act just days after the election, and if this gets overturned, more than 20 million Americans stand to lose their health care coverage in the middle of a pandemic. Republicans have had I believe ten years to come up with a viable replacement yet still don't have one. So I want you on the record here. Can you guarantee that everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions will have immediate access to affordable and adequate health care coverage if the affordable care act gets overturned and I'm not talking about president trump's executive order or anything like that. Is there a replacement? Well, there are a number of proposals for replacements that I have put forward, that others have put forward, and I'll start where you started which is pre-existing conditions. That's the number one talking point Democrats are using this election year. Let me just be clear. Everyone agrees people with pre-existing conditions should be protected. 100 senators -- all 100 senators. Every Republican agrees we should protect pre-existing conditions. If you look at Obamacare -- I hear from Texans all the time who point out that Obamacare caused health insurance premiums to skyrocket, and what Texans say to me, I hear moms all the time who say, I can't afford health insurance anymore, and what I think we should do in terms of a replacement plan, and I have laid this out in great detail is we ought to have more choice, more options. It should go with you from job to job so even if you get fired, you keep your health insurance. People with pre-existi conditions should be protected, but we need to be lowering premiums and I think there is widespread agreement on that despite the fear mongering that a lot of Democrats are doing on it right now.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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