(CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and CNN "New Day" co-host Chris Cuomo got in a testy exchange over Obamacare on Wednesday.
Cuomo pressed Cruz to offer concrete solutions to Obamacare, rather than just criticize it.
Cuomo: You don't think that you have a responsibility as a U.S. Senator to do better than that in terms of offering a solution for what to do next?
Cruz. Well, I - I appreciate your trying to lecture me in the morning, thank you for that.
Cuomo: Not at all, Senator. I'm worried, the same as you. Anybody who looks at the situation has worries. Families need health insurance.
Cruz: Sir, if you're worried, did you speak out for the five million people who've lost their health insurance? Did you speak out…?
Cuomo: We've been covering it doggedly and I'm sure you watch the show. The problem is I don't have the power to fix it. You do. That's what a U.S. Senator does. You sponsor law. You know this. It's not a lecture, it's a concern. I'm asking what are you going to do about it?
Cruz: well, and I share that concern and have every day been working to highlight the millions of people who have lost their job because of Obamacare, the millions of people who have been forced into part-time work. There are single moms, there are young people, Hispanics, African Americans, people struggling who are now on part-time work. You can't feed your kids with 29 hours a week. There's over five million people who have lost their health insurance and the way to fix that is to stop this broken law.
Cruz is talking about people who had individual policies that are no longer available. In many cases, that's because the plans no longer meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The 5 million number is in the range of standard estimates, although no one has an exact figure.
Unlike when people lost policies in the past, all these people are guaranteed the opportunity to purchase new insurance. In many cases, they'll be getting a better deal. In other cases (generally healthy, wealthy people), they will end up paying more.
A fair number of those people would have "lost" the plans with or without Obamacare. These plans are almost all for a one-year term, and they frequently change year-to-year. And, in some cases, insurers could have chosen to continue plans but didn't for any number of business reasons.