Recently, several of our progressive friends braved the Conservative Bubble to attend an appearance headlined by Senator Ted Cruz. TV, radio and print news were also in attendance. Held at the Sheraton McKinney, the event was kept small and tickets were only available online for a very short time. Most of the room (estimated to be about 200 chairs with maybe one quarter of them empty) seemed to be supportive of the senator. Lots of event staff members sprinkled themselves throughout the audience. Here and there sat small pockets of obviously unhappy constituents, but for most of the event, everyone stayed quiet.
The presentation contained a few main points, as follows: 1) VA accountability and what Cruz called “robust choice” in providers, 2) a proposal to audit the Pentagon, and 3) lowering healthcare insurance premiums by providing “choice” in coverages (with a side helping of school “choice” discussion thrown in for good measure). He also spent some time attacking “liberal activist judges who don’t have the law on their side about the travel restrictions.” Additional time was spent criticizing the Obama administration’s policies, most especially healthcar
. And there were a few more jokes targeting “liberals.”
After a few questions that were answered fairly rapidly, a woman pointed out that the VA “choice” in doctors that Cruz mentioned isn’t really choice as it’s an HMO or something similar, so it’s someone else still choosing the doctors. Without actually saying he wasn’t telling the truth about the plan, that’s basically what she implied.
Then, the moderator chose a question by one of our NTAGers, Dr. Misty Hook. Misty is a psychologist, and her concern is comp
nsation for psychologists and the ability of veterans to get mental health care if insurance companies aren’t required to pay for mental health. She pointed out that, if providers aren’t paid for mental health care, then veterans won’t be able to get care. She asked Senator Cruz what he was going to do to make sure that mental health care providers are compensated at a proper rate to make sure veterans get the necessary care. She received lots of applause for her question.
Ted Cruz didn’t answer the question, but instead began discussing “competition” and “choice” in coverages that he insisted would lower premiu
ms (what he called a win-win for everyone). A gentleman across the room took issue with that discussion and began a back-and-forth that was ultimately shut down (q
uietly) by staff. They did let the gentleman stay in his seat, though. As the senator wandered off topic of coverage and back to premiums, several of us shouted that he wasn’t answering Dr. Hook’s question. He never did answer. He just continued
to tell anecdotes about waitresses who begged him to repeal Obamacare and other off-topic answers.
After the session, Dr. Hook was approached by several media outlets, who took down her information. She was also interviewed by NPR Radio. Then, our progressive friends headed out to meet the over 200 protesters that lined the sidewalk outside the venue, shouting “Shame on Ted” and “Vote Him Out.” All in all, progressives made a good showing and hopefully made some people think.