Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) confronted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday night for supporting a government-run health care program while seeking to defund Obamacare, a law that relies on private insurers, hospitals, and doctors to expand coverage to the uninsured.
The Michigan senator made her remarks as Cruz took to the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to adopt a piecemeal funding bill restoring services to Veterans Administration, including the veterans health care system.
Since the shutdown, Republicans have advanced at least six piecemeal nondefense appropriations bills, with another eight on the docket. Together, these 14 measures would allocate approximately $83.1 billion in funding, or less than 18 percent of the total amount of nondefense funding in the original House-passed continuing resolution.
“I’m wondering if your motion includes the full funding of the VA medical system, which is a completely government run, government controlled health care system,” Stabenow asked Cruz.
“I would readily support legislation fully funding the VA because the VA is a vital government system, it is a promise we have made and it is unrelated to Obamacare,” Cruz replied. Watch it:
Since undergoing major reforms during the Clinton administration, the fully integrated structure of government doctors and hospitals in the Veterans Health Administration provides veterans with benefits that are the envy of the rest of the health care system. A study by the RAND Corporation found that “VA patients were more likely to receive recommended care” and “received consistently better care across the board, including screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow up.”