Texas Sen. Ted Cruz spoke at a town hall meeting Wednesday evening in McKinney hosted by "Concerned Veterans for America."
Cruz is having several town halls with veterans throughout the state, and he stressed that he would like to see veterans have more choices when it comes to their health care.
"If you want to go the VA, it is your choice. You paid for it, you bled for it, you deserve it. But if on the other hand, if you want to go to the local doctor down the street, to the cardiologist, you ought to be able to do that," Cruz said.
Cruz was among a group of six senators, ranging from moderate to conservative, who began meeting quietly for the last month trying to come up with a consensus bill that works for all of them. He said that group has since expanded.
"I think we are making significant progress. We are not there yet, but I believe we can get to yes, and I hope, I think we have to get to yes," Cruz said.
"Number one, we have got to honor our commitment to repeal Obamacare. That has been my central focus," he added.
Cruz also says he has spoken with President Donald Trump about health care.
"He wants to get it done, and I appreciate him pressing the Senate to get it done. The president and the administration wisely have given the Senate some space to try to come together," Cruz said.
About 60 protesters gathered outside the McKinney town hall event, many saying they're concerned about Medicaid and coverage for pre-existing conditions in the Senate health bill.
Pam Slavin, of Van Alstyne, was one of the protest organizers.
"I really think people are energized, everyone is passionate, and they’re scared," Slavin said. "People wouldn’t go on a Wednesday night to something if they didn’t care. We all have better things to do, but everyone is terrified."
There were several empty seats inside the town hall event. Organizers said the event was open to the public, but people had to sign up beforehand and registration was closed Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, Cruz's town hall event in McAllen near the Texas-Mexico border was met with some opposition.
Protesters were at the event with signs in hand, and upset over the Senate's attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare. The protesters were also countered by Cruz supporters at the event.
In response to the protesters, Cruz said, "I saw a sign about health care insurance costs being too high. I agree. I hear that from Texans all over the state. My focus is on lowering the premium so that health care is more affordable."