His remarks come one day after the budget blueprint unveiled by Ryan sustains those cuts, which reduce reimbursements for private insurers under Medicare Advantage and providers such as hospitals and nursing homes. Ryan told reporters he wants to use them for deficit reduction as opposed to funding the Affordable Care Act.
The remarks by the freshman senator from Texas came as he was pushing his amendment to defund Obamacare, seeking to amend legislation aimed at funding the government after March 27 through the end of September. He admitted his measure wasn't likely to pass.
Citing statistics from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative advocacy group, he said the Medicare cuts would "in particular hurt seniors" in Texas, California, New Mexico, Louisiana, Alaska, New York, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia.
"And the harm to Medicare Advantage in particular is visited upon minorities," Cruz said. "And so Obamacare targets a program that is helping seniors, in particular is helping those seniors who are most vulnerable."
Ryan himself has been back and forth on the merits of the Medicare cuts, generally opposing them while campaigning, in 2010 and 2012, but assuming the same level of savings in his three budget proposals in 2011, 2012 and his new blueprint released this week.