Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas made Obamacare his number one target upon arriving in the Senate. The first piece of legislation he introduced on Capitol Hill was a bill to repeal President Obama’s signature healthcare law, and he hasn’t wavered in his intense criticism of the law since.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, on the other hand, thinks that Obamacare is the perfect stepping stone to the ultimate goal: Universal healthcare in the model of Western Europe. In his run for president, he praised the Affordable Care Act and promised to expand it into a Medicare-for-all program.
Next Tuesday on CNN, the two ideological opposites will meet on the debate stage in what promises to be a political showdown for the ages.
This unusual event gives both conservatives and liberals the showdown they wanted to see in the 2016 election: A true contrast in political philosophies. In the U.S. Senate, you don’t find anyone to the left of Sanders or to the right of Cruz. They’ve both made names for themselves as outsiders in their respective parties; Sanders, indeed, does not even label himself a Democrat, although he usually votes alongside them. Cruz has been a thorn in the side of the GOP establishment since arriving in Washington, but his star has only grown among conservative voters.
While these two could probably debate every topic imaginable and rarely find common ground, the CNN show will be focused exclusively on Obamacare.
Cruz, who has been at odds with President Trump in the past, said recently that he was overjoyed at the now-realistic chance of scrapping the Affordable Care Act.
“Nothing is more important in this administration than that we actually repeal Obamacare,” he said. “My view is that we should appeal every blasted word of it, that it is a disaster. I would take it out in a back alley and put two bullets in the back of its head.”
Sanders, meanwhile, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post last month vowing to fight for the endangered healthcare law.
“As we enter the new year, our message to Republicans is simple and straightforward: We will not allow you to punish the elderly, disabled veterans, children, the sick and the poor while you reward your billionaire friends,” he wrote.
For those of us who want to see Trump and the Republicans make good on their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, we couldn’t ask for a better spokesman than Cruz. If he brings his A-game to Tuesday’s debate, we’ll even forgive him for that stunt he pulled at the convention last summer. Sometimes it’s good to have an abrasive son of a you-know-what on your side.
Go get ’em, Ted.