Yes, there’s irony there, as Bash noted in her interview. Cruz’s statement means that he’ll be getting insurance through the Affordable Care Act, the same law he has committed himself to repealing. As CNN’s MJ Lee reported yesterday, Cruz has previously received insurance through the plan of his wife, Heidi Cruz, via Goldman Sachs, and the family will receive no benefits from the company during her leave.
In his chat with Bash, Ted Cruz noted that, even before Obamacare, federal employees “could get health insurance through their jobs.”
Next issue: Will he take the federal “subsidy” that others on Capitol Hill accept to defray their costs? asked Bash. “We will follow the text of the law,” Cruz said. “I strongly oppose the exemption that President Obama illegally put in place for members of Congress because Harry Reid and Senate Democrats didn’t want to be under the same rules as the American people.” So Bash wanted to know if Cruz would accept the “subsidy.” “I believe we should follow the text of the law,” said Cruz, repeating himself.
At that point, the CNN video cuts off. Yet Cruz exposed himself to fresh lines of inquiry with his talk of an “exemption” for Congress vis-a-vis Obamacare. The whole idea of the congressional “exemption” emerged in a Politico story from April 2013; the term suggested that lawmakers were trying to get around Obamacare’s requirement that they grab their insurance on the act’s exchanges. That wasn’t the case — lawmakers and their staffs were getting kicked off the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and onto Obamacare, period. The “exemption,” such as it was, merely sought to preserve the contribution that the federal government has historically made to employee health plans — just as private employers have done.