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Ted Cruz Explains His Obamacare Strategy

Ted Cruz
After UnitedHealth announced it would significantly scale back its participation in Obamacare, Ted Cruz repeated his call to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. (Reuters photo)

UnitedHealth announced Tuesday it would be withdrawing from all but a few states under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare."

In response, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced his plans for repealing and replacing the health care law in the "first days" of his presidency. He said UnitedHealth's announcement was just the latest in a string of Obamacare failures that have resulted in American families losing their doctors, having few or no insurance options, and facing skyrocketing premiums and deductibles.

"Sadly, none of this comes as a surprise," he said. "Conservatives predicted this result years ago, and yet here we are, with health insurance that is worse and costs more, with a system that kills jobs and lowers paychecks, and with a federal government that stands between Americans and their doctors."

Cruz said the "slow-rolling catastrophe" of Obamacare has been "lost" on Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and his other rival, Ohio Gov. John Kasich. He says Kasich "actually expanded Obamacare" as governor, while Trump "wants to go further than Obamacare" by implementing universal health care.

"Both John Kasich and Donald Trump would dig the country deeper into the Obamacare hole," he said. "That's why I have consistently opposed Obamacare and will begin the process of repealing and replacing this disastrous law from the first days of my administration as president.

"We literally cannot afford to have Obama's signature failure continue to drag down our economy, destroy what's left of our health care market, and punish American families. I will repeal Obamacare and replace it with health care that's personal, portable and affordable and stops getting in between patients and their doctors."

In February, Cruz unveiled a three-point plan to "repeal and replace" Obamacare:

1. Creation of a nationwide marketplace
The first component of Cruz's plan involves the creation of a nationwide marketplace that consumers in all 50 states would use to shop for health insurance, instead of each state having their own exchange.

2. Expansion of health savings accounts
Second, Cruz wants to expand the use of health savings accounts, or HSAs, so people can pay for routine healthcare needs in a tax-advantaged way.

3. De-linking health insurance from the workplace
Last, Cruz wants to remove the current ties most Americans have between their health insurance and their job. A majority of Americans sign up for health insurance in the workplace, meaning if they change jobs or are laid off, they'll lose their coverage.

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