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Ted Cruz Used Texas to Create ALEC’s Anti-Obamacare Legislation

Photo: Creative Commons, License: N/A

Creative Commons

U.S. Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX)

“They intentionally try to operate in secret, but we’ve been able to uncover a fair amount of information about their influence through open records law,” said Fischer. “But lately, in our opinion, they’ve been trying to sneak back into the shadows.”

Turns out ALEC’s latest scheme to remain as secretive as possible didn’t fly with the Texas AG office. CMD and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, who also filed a brief against ALEC’s failure to disclose, prevailed. Early last week, CMD got their hands on the documents, which reveal a continued legislative push to erode Obamacare.

Klick and other legislators were invited to an August 2013 ALEC annual meeting in Chicago, where the group’s Health and Human Services Task Force would brief them on model legislation that seeks to undo the ACA, including a law that would authorize Medicaid block grants to states, a resolution that opposes government-mandated rate caps on health insurance premiums because it, “flies in the face of the free market” and expectedly, the “Health Care Freedom Act,” according to the released materials, made available to the Current.

ALEC task force members attending the Chicago meeting enjoyed free travel, lodging and some meals, as well as the potential to be reimbursed for vaguely stated “other” fees, according to the documents.

“It seems pretty significant that all of these Texas lobbyists are flying up to Chicago, booking an expensive hotel room, and sponsoring these expensive dinners in Chicago for Texas legislators,” said Fischer. “It’s a good example of how ALEC works and who it works for. It’s not just the existence of model bills, but everything that surrounds it—all of those the opportunities for excessive influence and developing relationships to gain access to legislators.”

Fischer says he was surprised by the open records law battle in Texas as it marked the first known occasion where ALEC formally requested that a state Attorney General grant immunity from sunshine-in-government laws.

However, considering our deep ties to ALEC, perhaps it makes sense that Texas has more to hide.

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