Sen. Cruz Delivers Floor Speech Urging Colleagues to Protect Healthcare Choice in the District of Columbia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today delivered remarks on the Senate floor urging his colleagues to adopt his amendment to the minibus appropriations bill, which would protect the right of individuals to make their own healthcare choices, and stop federal funds from being used to reimplement Obamacare’s individual health insurance mandate in the District of Columbia. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) are cosponsors.

Congress repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last year. In June 2018, D.C. quietly reimposed the individual mandate, penalizing those who either decide not to purchase or are unable to afford D.C.-mandated plans.

Sen. Cruz’s remarks may be viewed here and below.

“Madame President, one of the most significant victories for the American people that was in the tax cut legislation we passed last year, was this body and the Congress came together and repealed the Obamacare individual mandate.

“The individual mandate is one of the cruelest and most unfair aspects of Obamacare. Every year the IRS fined about 6.5 million Americans because they couldn’t afford health insurance.

“Well sadly, the reaction of Democratic politicians in the District of Columbia is to reimpose those fines on the poorest residents in D.C.

“Now my assumption is many if not all of our Democratic colleagues will vote to do exactly that right now. But let me point out that in D.C. in 2015, 7,150 people were fined by the IRS and that of those, 75 percent had less than $50,000 a year in income and 3 percent had less than $25,000 in income.

‘So if you vote to table this amendment, you are voting to raise taxes on low income D.C. residents who are struggling to make ends meet.”