If you're wondering who was at the center of the strategy to defund the law known as Obamacare, Sen. Ted Cruz is not afraid to take credit.
"I want to briefly talk about what was accomplished in this fight over last two months," Cruz said. “So we said, ‘All right, the most important constitutional check and balance Congress has on the executive is the power of the purse. Why don't we fund the entire federal government, but don't fund Obamacare?’”
Speaking to a room full of medical professionals in Austin on Saturday, Cruz explained how the plan came together, and how it eventually fell apart.
“To use the analogy, if the House of Representatives was marching into battle, I think the Senate Republicans should have come like the cavalry to support them,” Cruz said. “Instead, about half the Senate Republican conference came in like an air force dive bombing them.”
Senator Cruz was invited to town Saturday by the Texas Medical Association, a group that advocates for more than 40,000 physicians. Dr. Clifford Moy says he and his fellow professionals share many of Cruz's concerns about the law, but they take a more nuanced approach.
“What we really want to do is to keep what's good, fix what's broken and get in there what's missing from the legislation,” Moy said.
That includes taking a second look at payment rates to doctors and who gets to decide on them. But, he says, there are parts of the law the group supports.
“We really are appreciative of the changes in insurance, doing away with preexisting condition limitations, just to make the insurance product itself more accessible and affordable to patients,” Moy said.
As for Senator Cruz's strategy, TMA doctors say the cure is more important than the treatment when it comes to Washington.
"The tactics of how to get there may or may not be important,” Moy said. “The most important thing to do is increase access to healthcare in America.”
That’s a message he hopes lawmakers from both sides will take with them when they return to Washington.
Cruz says the fight over the Affordable Care Act isn't over. He indicated a new battle could come up in January, when the budget deal struck last Wednesday comes to an end and Congress has to negotiate a new funding plan.