Sanders and Cruz debate ObamaCare on CNN: live coverage – BY PETER SULLIVAN AND WILL SOMMER – 02/07/17 08:48 PM EST


bernie_sanders_ted_cruzCruz, Sanders close debate on ObamaCare: Broken promises or a step in the right direction

The debate came to an end with Sen. Ted Cruz arguing ObamaCare had failed to live up to its promises, while Sen. Bernie Sanders said it is a step in the right direction.

Cruz pointed to promises like “If you like your plan, you can keep it,” as proof say the law had failed.

“Those are broken promises,” he said.

Cruz called for more options for American consumers.

“It was government control that messed this all up,” he said, adding: “Instead we’re going to give you choice.”

He called for the institution of long-promoted Republican policies like allowing insurance to be sold across state lines and expanding Health Savings Accounts.

Sanders stressed his theme that ObamaCare is a step in the right direction toward a single-payer system.

He said ObamaCare had provided crucial consumer protections, like for people with pre-existing conditions. “Under Ted’s idea all of that is gone, you are on your own,” Sanders said.

But he said there is more work to be done, since some people are still struggling. “What kind of craziness is this?” he said. “We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world.”

Cruz, Sanders find a bit of agreement

The senators found some agreement on the area of high drug prices, saying that lower-cost drugs should be imported from abroad.

Sanders, though, called for going further and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

“The pharmaceutical industry owns the United States Congress,” Sanders said.

“It’s not just Republicans,” he added.

In addition to importation, Cruz pointed to speeding up the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process for new drugs.

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