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Ted Cruz to Enroll in Obamacare

Staunch Obamacare opponent and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz will enroll in Obamacare. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Staunch Obamacare opponent and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz will enroll in Obamacare. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Republican Senator Ted Cruz, the Tea Party favorite who has made repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—aka Obamacare—a central pillar of his political raison d’être, is signing up for… Obamacare.

A day after announcing he would seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and, if elected, “repeal every word of Obamacare,” the junior senator from Texas, who once infamously railed against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during a 21-hour Senate filibuster, told CNN’s Dana Bash on Tuesday that he will enroll his family in the very health coverage plan he has spent years trying to repeal.

“We’ll be getting new health insurance and we’ll presumably do it through my job with the Senate, and so we’ll be on the federal exchange with millions of others,” Cruz said. When asked by Bash if he would accept the government contribution available to lawmakers and congressional staffers for their health care coverage through the ACA, Cruz said he will “follow the text of the law.”

“I strongly oppose the exemption that President Obama illegally put in place for members of Congress because [Senate Minority Leader] Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats didn’t want to be under the same rules as the American people,” Cruz said, before repeating, “I believe we should follow the text of the law.”

Cruz’s wife Heidi will lose the health insurance she currently enjoys as an employee of Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs, as she is going on unpaid leave to become a full-time campaigner for her husband.

In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Cruz reiterated that “it is written in the law that members [of Congress] will be on the exchanges without subsidies, just like millions of Americans… I think the same rules should apply to all of us. Members of Congress should not be exempt.”

Despite his plans to sign up for ACA coverage, Cruz told CNN he won’t stop fighting to repeal Obamacare, which is credited with adding more than 16 million previously uninsured Americans to health insurance rolls.

“What is problematic about Obamacare is that it is killing millions of jobs in this country and has killed millions of jobs,” Cruz said. “It has forced millions of people into part time work. It has caused millions of people to lose their insurance, to lose their doctors and to face skyrocketing insurance premiums. That is unacceptable.”

The non-partisan fact-checking site PolitiFact has concluded Republican claims that “health insurance costs are skyrocketing under Obamacare” are “mostly false.”

***

A sampling of Ted Cruz statements about Obamacare:

  • “I intend to speak in support of de-funding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand, to do everything that I can to help Americans stand together and recognize this grand experiment three and a half years ago is quite simply not working.”
  • “Hardworking American families are struggling and their life has become harder and harder and harder. And madam president Obamacare is the biggest job killer in this country. The American people want to stop this madness and so do I.”
  • “I will credit my father, he invented green eggs and ham. He did it two ways. The easy way was he would put green food coloring in. ‘Green eggs and ham’ was my favorite book as a little boy. You can actually do it- the food coloring is a little bit cheating. But if you take spinach and mix it into the eggs, the eggs turn green. When Americans tried it, they discovered they did not like green eggs and ham and they did not like Obamacare either. They did not like Obamacare in a box, with a fox, in a house or with a mouse. It is not working.”

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