*A campaign stop at an Iowa middle school turned into an uncomfortable situation for Ted Cruz.
The New York Times reports that Mike Valde was among those who attended the event at the school’s cafeteria in Hubbard on Saturday. When speaking in front of Cruz, Valde touched on President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act or Obamacare … as he told a sad story about his brother-in-law Mark, a barber Valde described as “a small-business man.”
According to Valde, Mark worked so hard that he never took any paid time off. Prior to Obamacare, Mark never received health insurance. It wasn’t until the health plan became available that Mark was able to afford health care for himself.
As he continued his story, the room became silent when Valde mentioned that Mark started feeling sick and went to a doctor.
“Mark never had health care until Obama care,” Valde continued as he posed a relevant question to Cruz, a vocal opponent of Obamacare. “What are you going to replace it with?”
After expressing his condolences, Cruz responded to Valde with familiar remarks he’s used before to slam Obamacare, saying that “millions of Americans” had lost their jobs and their doctors as a result of the Obamacare. In addition, the GOP presidential hopeful stated that many people had “seen their premiums skyrocket” since Obamacare took effect.
“Anyone whose premiums have dropped $2,500, as President Obama promised, should vote for Hillary Clinton,” Cruz joked to laughter from many in the room while referencing a pledge Obama made about a pledge made about premiums dropping. “I’ll take everybody else.”
A less than amused Valde continued to press Cruz on the issue at hand as he repeated his question.
“My question is, what are you going to replace it with?” said Valde, who admitted later in an interview that he intends to caucus for Clinton.
Although he said he was getting there, Cruz stated that he had to make the problems with the Obamacare known.
“There are millions of stories on the other side,” the Texas senator explained as he described voters who liked their insurance plans but lost them because the plans didn’t provide the level of coverage the Obamacare required. From there, Cruz touched on details of his plan, which the Times’ noted includes a way to allow people to purchase insurance across state lines.
Mr. Cruz turned back to Mr. Valde. “Your father-in-law, he couldn’t afford it,” Cruz told Valde, who had to correct the politician.
“Brother-in-law,” Valde said.
“Your brother-in-law couldn’t afford it,” said Cruz.
As the back and forth went on, Valde brought his point back full circle.
“Right,” Valde said to Cruz. “But he could afford it — he finally got it under Obama.”
“He would have gotten it earlier, if he could have afforded it earlier,” Cruz stated. “But because of government regulations he couldn’t.”
At the end of their interaction, Valde sat down as Cruz wrapped up his appearance.
Note: Cruz still didn’t answer Valde’s question of what is he going to replace Obamacare with if he repeals it?