Cruz Will Sign Up for Obamacare

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a leading critic of the Affordable Care Act, admitted to CNN that he will sign up for health care insurance for his family through the law’s health care exchanges.

Cruz said he “would no longer have access to health benefits through his wife’s employer, Goldman Sachs. Heidi Cruz, a managing director at the firm’s Houston office, has gone on unpaid leave for the duration of the senator’s presidential campaign and will not have access to the company’s benefits during that time.”

“Cruz’s campaign appeared caught by surprise Monday by questions about the senator’s health care.”

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  • bentonf

    Brazenly shameless GOP frauds, hypocrites and backsliders, one and all. Freaking unbelievable.

    • Lorehead

      I disagree. Playing by the laws that are in place, while advocating for their reform, is not hypocrisy. If you can catch Ted Cruz saying that other people should go without health insurance for the sake of Liberty™, then that would make him a hypocrite for buying it for himself, but I’m not aware of his ever jumping on that bandwagon.

      • bentonf

        “Reform”? Who are you trying to kid? You actually think Cruz or any of his hypocritical cronies wishes or intends to “reform” ObamaCare?

      • David Bluefeather

        He COULD have bought insurance privately outside the exchanges, the way millions of Americans would have to do it if not for the ACA.

        • spine

          And he could afford it!

      • jr6020

        Reform? How about complete repeal endangering the lives of millions who have signed up under the ACA…

        • Lorehead

          I don’t agree with him that we should repeal Obamacare, but my point here is just that he isn’t doing anything wrong. One way to think about this is that he gets a choice of insurance plans subsidized by his employer. Another way to think about it is that he qualifies for an especially-generous Obamacare subsidy.

          Has he ever said that other people in either of these situations should not take advantage of them, or promised that he would never do so? If not, he’s just a law-abiding citizen.

          • bentonf

            No one is suggesting that he’s doing anything wrong, or illegal. He’s doing something UTTERLY HYPOCRITICAL. He wishes to kill the ACA and deny all of its benefits to others, but suddenly when HE needs it because HIS family lost their insurance, HE is perfectly willing to get in on all the goodies he ordinarily spends every day trashing and belittling others over.

            Textbook hypocrisy.

          • Lorehead

            I see it differently. While Obamacare is the law, he’ll take advantage of it, but he wants to repeal it for everyone at the same time, even though, as you say, he benefits from it himself. Actually, going back to the old system would have been about equally good for him. He has never, to my knowledge, advocated that members of Congress lose all their health benefits and have to buy private plans out of their salaries. That’s perfectly consistent.

          • bentonf

            Tedious hair-splitting. I wish you well with that unbearably circular logic.

          • Lorehead

            I think that’s pretty much the only consistent position that’s feasible for people who think the laws should change. If advocating any reform requires you to stop playing by the rules as they are today, then nobody can advocate reform. For example, if you’re right, nobody who supported single-payer health care could buy insurance from a private company without being a “hypocrite.”

          • bentonf

            That’s rather the corner into which these hypocritical nitwits have needlessly painted themselves, isn’t it? The shoe fits. They must now wear it.

          • Lorehead

            I think you need to look at this from a broader perspective. What Ted Cruz did here is fine, and in fact, is no different from what supporters of single-payer are doing when they buy the private insurance today of which they want to deprive everyone tomorrow.

          • bentonf

            Disagree, strenuously. They are not the same.

          • Lorehead

            Can you explain the difference?

          • bentonf

            You have failed to demonstrate the similarity.

          • Lorehead

            The similarity is that both are purchasing a form of health insurance that they would like to be illegal.

          • bentonf

            Impasse. Not buying it. Let’s move on.

          • Lorehead

            Fine. If you’re reading this, you can decide which of us presented the better argument.

          • bentonf

            Wow. Self-impressed much? I don’t wish to waste any more time going round and round with someone I do not take seriously, and whose “logic” I find utterly specious. Good day! Lore indeed. Certainly not Data.

          • Lorehead

            As I said, you can decide for yourself whose argument was better. I’m biased.

          • Micheal Planck

            Lorehead, you didn’t lose the argument. You weren’t making an argument to lose. You were just being obtuse.

            Let us imagine that Ted Cruz had a preexisting condition. Would his signing up for Obamacare thus be hypocritical? Why of course it would, since he wishes to create a marketplace in which he could not perform the action he just performed.

            The Cruzs have plenty of money. They could buy non-subsidized health care, or self-insure for that matter. But Ted can’t imagine why his life should be handicapped even one red cent for the mere sake of “principle.” On the other hand, he’s fine with handicapping the heck out of everyone else’s life.

          • 9UE57

            It sure ain’t the guy who just took his ball and went home…

          • Lorehead

            Well, he came right back.

          • YvonneofNC

            You’ve lost this argument by a WIDE margin. Ain’t even close.

          • YvonneofNC

            Another load of crap! Single payer advocates are not trying to stop Obamacare. They just want it to go further.

            single payer advocates have never sued to shut down Obamacare.

            Single payer advocates have never compared Obama to Hitler for Obamacare or called it the worst thing since slavery.

          • KurtBusiek

            Actually, he has. Cruz’s wife no longer gets insurance through her job, so they’re getting insurance through his job. The law requires him to do it through the ACA exchange, so he’s doing so.

            The fact that he wants to change the law doesn’t mean this isn’t the most obvious legal option open to him. Just as someone who advocates single-payer wants to change the law but nonetheless deals with reality as it is today in getting their insurance, following a system they want to change.

          • bentonf

            Let him stick to his “principles,” and buy it off the hated exchange, Simple.

          • KurtBusiek

            But his principles don’t require that, any more than my principles require me to shun private insurance because I support single-payer.

            If he was urging others to refuse insurance through the exchanges, it would be hypocritical of him to get it that way himself. But he’s not — he’s urging people to get the law changed. In the meantime, he and they are free to follow whatever legal options are open to them.

            If the single-payer example doesn’t work for you, try the example of someone who wants to get the secret money out of politics, but who benefits from a PAC that uses it, because it’s currently legal and they’re not going to deny themselves a weapon in the fight.

            The ACA is how Senators get insurance through their work. That’s how the law reads. And there’s nothing unethical about him getting insurance through his work.

          • bentonf

            Not unethical, merely hypocritical, particularly when there exists a readily available alternative which will not “violate” his oft-espoused teabag “principles.”

            True or not?

          • KurtBusiek

            No, not hypocritical either. It is not hypocritical to follow the law even when you oppose it and are working to have it changed.

            And I’m not sure what “bloviate” means to you, but I don’t think it’s the word you meant there.

          • bentonf

            Edited the typo long before you finished responding. And I find your “logic” curious as well. Impasse.

          • KurtBusiek

            Yeah, since my point was that Lorehead’s logic is just fine, it’s no surprise that it’s the same logic. But I don’t have to alter mine to make it okay for people who assail the Citizens United decision to make use of what it makes available.

          • TnkAgn

            But Cruz isn’t “following the law.” He is hypocritically taking advantage of a voluntary health program to which he is not compelled to join, while he spends much of his time desparaging and demonizing it, citing his principles, and active opposition.

          • KurtBusiek

            You put “following the law” in other, highly-prejudicial words. But yes, he’s following the law. He’s a Senator. Senators who get insurance through their employer get it through the ACA. That’s the law.

          • John Thomspon

            Wrong..he could choose not to sign up and pay the fine.

          • KurtBusiek

            I’m not sure where the “wrong” comes in, because I didn’t say he couldn’t. But yes, he could do that. It’s not hypocrisy not to, though, any more than it’s hypocrisy for Stephen King to say he thinks rich guys should be taxed more but pay the taxes the law requires.

          • terjeanderson

            He can’t “buy it away from the hated exchange” …. the law requires members of Congress and their staff members to buy it through the DC exchange.

          • KurtBusiek

            I don’t think that’s correct. The ACA states:

            “… the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).”

            So the only health plan he can get _through_the_government_ is through the hated exchange. But I don’t think the law stops him from buying a private health plan as an individual, not through the government.

            So I don’t think he’s being a hypocrite, but do think he could go private if he wanted to spend the money.

          • tiredofit

            The law does no require Cruz to get his insurance through the ACA. He could buy it on the open market if he wanted.

            Cruz’s employer, the US Congress, will only pay for his insurance via the ACA and so Cruz is going to take it so he can run for President.

            But the law makes no demand that Cruz use the ACA or the Exchanges. It only requires that he have insurance. He and his wife chose to run for President and quit her job respectively, and he and his wife are choosing to accept his employer’s health care after declining it for years.

          • KurtBusiek

            And no one is legally compelled to take unchecked money thanks to Citizens United. But doing so is legal, so they’re following the law when they do. Even if they’re fighting to have it overturned at the same time.

          • tiredofit

            Except that Cruz has been declining the ObamaCare benefit for years that it was available to him, and is only now taking it because it will cost him less than the open market.

            The Citizen’s United example is not of people who had been declining out of principle and then changed when things got rough.

            He has other options, including his wife keeping her job or paying for it on the open market. In elected politics, not taking the dark money is conceding the fight.

          • KurtBusiek

            I am unconvinced by that argument. I get my insurance through my wife’s employment. Were we to lose that, I’d go for the best alternative I could get. Even if I wanted to overturn the laws that made it available.

          • Ryan Smith

            Kurt, he filibustered against it. Being against Obamacare is what made him famous. That’s clearly hypocritical.

          • KurtBusiek

            No, it’s not. Being against something does not prevent you from benefiting from it while it exists, and even while you’re trying to kill it. As with Citizens United.

          • Ryan Smith

            It’s not only hypocrisy, it’s a very special kind of hypocrisy. He doesn’t have to use obamacare. He can take the fine “on principle”. He can get private marketplace health insurance “on principle”. But instead he chose Obamacare the “job destroyer”. Why does he do that? Bencause it’s a good deal that’s why. And what does he care? After he repeals it he can jump back on his wife’s Goldman Sach’s cadillac plan while millions go uninsured!

          • KurtBusiek

            >> Why does he do that? Because it’s a good deal that’s why. >>

            It is, in fact, the best deal legally available to him, but it’s a special case, because he’s a Senator, and that’s how the government supplies insurance to Congresspeople and their staffs. If Obamacare didn’t exist, he’d still get insurance through his employer, it just wouldn’t go through the ACA.

            So no, he’s not going to pay the fine and have his family remain uninsured, and no, he’s not going to pay quadruple rates because his employer, unlike most employers, only legally offers insurance through the ACA. And no, it’s not hypocrisy. It’s simply taking the best available option at hand, dealing with the law as it is, while also trying to change it.

            Similarly, when Stephen King and other liberal rich people say that they should be taken more, it’s not hypocritical of them not to voluntarily pay more taxes — they’re dealing with the law as it is, even as they argue that it should be changed. People get to do that.

            I doubt he’s going to be able to repeal it. I doubt he seriously thinks he’ll be able to. I think he’s a jerk. But it’s not hypocrisy to wish to repeal something and to make use of it if you haven’t managed it. People oppose seat belt laws but wear them. People oppose gerrymandering but engage in it. Because while those things are the law, that’s the playing field.

            He’s getting insurance through his employer. That’s not something he’s ever been opposed to, nor has he urged other Congressfolk to refuse coverage. That his employer can only legally offer insurance through the ACA is the law. Dealing with that reality while trying to change it is not hypocrisy, it’s pragmatism.

            I wish him all the failure that he deserves. I just don’t think he’s being a hypocrite.

            There have been times in the past my employers have done things I don’t agree with. But if I try to argue them out of it, it doesn’t mean I have to refuse the benefits they offer or I’m a hypocrite. It just means I’m dealing with reality as it is, while trying to change it.

          • dectra

            It proves he’s a HYPOCRITE

          • pisher

            Lorehead, this is nonsense. Even if single-payer came into being all over the nation, there would still be private insurance, just as there is in Europe and Canada.

          • Senator Cruz and his lackeys has been leading the knee-jerk anti-ACA charge for years now, and voted to repeal it numerous times.

            I see it differently: what if a Congressperson repeatedly voted against unemployment insurance for example, and then down the line found themselves utilizing the same program s/he passionately opposed, and continued to oppose it while receiving benefits?

            To continue the analogy, if said Congressperson truly held to their convictions, s/he would refuse the unemployment money as a matter of principle. Otherwise, that’s textbook hypocrisy.

            I think Cruz (a very wealthy man) could afford to keep a consistent position on the ACA.

          • HKeith

            And, I think that is how the general public will see it.

          • nedemocrat

            And how the general public sees it is all that matters.

          • Lorehead

            I think that would definitely be true if the congresscritter had said something like, “People who take UI are lazy moochers! If you lose your job, you’re better off without it! I would have far too much pride to ever accept such a handout myself.”

            It would not be true if he’d said, “I’ve paid into the system we have now, and I’d be justified in taking out of it if I ever needed to. If you’re in that situation, of course you should do what’s best for your family. But I do sincerely believe that my alternative is a better system.”

          • For clarity’s sake, I used that as an example of a government provided social-welfare program. I could have added that this imaginary Congressperson voted for extension of benefits (which were not *paid in* by the individual) to make the analogy more accurate.

            I still believe Cruz falls into the “I would have far too much pride to ever accept such a handout myself” camp from his decision to accept insurance offered through the program he opposes. As Taegan mentioned, he certainly could have bought private insurance if he had wanted.

          • Lorehead

            Which would have cost him four times as much. If someone here can show me the time Ted Cruz said that other people should refuse to take Obamacare subsidies, then that would make him a hypocrite.

          • TnkAgn

            He has declared that no American should have ObamaCare! What part of this declaration escapes you?

          • KurtBusiek

            “should have” and “should use, while it’s the law of the land” are not the same thing.

          • Even assuming that argument to be true, it does *not* present an image of a principled opponent of the law when he personally decides to utilize it, despite private alternatives available to him and other Americans. (legal alternatives, to be clear).

          • Lorehead

            That would have cost him four times as much. Has he ever said that other people should never accept health-care subsidies, even if they covered 75% of the cost of their insurance?

          • Randy Parker

            He approves of states refusing the Medicaid expansion which is paid for almost entirely by the Federal Government, forcing people who can’t afford insurance to pay that four times (or more) as much. Yes, he is specifically denying others the ability to accept health care subsidies while accepting them himself.

          • KurtBusiek

            As noted elsewhere, I think it’s bad optics. But it’s not hypocrisy.

          • TnkAgn

            Nearly a textbook example.

          • KurtBusiek

            Maybe in a Texas BOE-approved book. Not in a good one, for reasons already covered.

          • TnkAgn

            Yours and Lorehead’s “reasons covered” neither obtain nor satisfy.

          • KurtBusiek

            I disagree, for reasons already covered.

          • TnkAgn

            Oh. You’re a “last word” guy. Okay.

          • jjbrainstorm

            He is choosing it because it is cost effective and will save him money, yet he claims the law does the opposite to suit his political needs. Surely we can all agree Cruz is dishonest and deceitful regarding ACA.

          • KurtBusiek

            I think he’s dishonest and deceitful in many things, including in claims about the ACA. But not for actually using it, when it’s the only form of employer-supplied healthcare available to him. [I don’t think he’s ever said, for instance, that the ACA makes individually-purchased private insurance less expensive than employer-supplied insurance.]

          • jjbrainstorm

            Cruz has other options, he chose the best one. I am happy to have Cruz admit through his actions that Obamacare is a better choice than buying privately. Don’t see the tea partiers agreeing, and I bet they wont mince words on whether it is hypocritical or not.

          • KurtBusiek

            I disagree with tea partiers about many things, too. I’d never use them as an arbiter of something. Especially not something involving what words mean.

          • jjbrainstorm

            I am not using them as an arbiter, but nice try with the strawman. Just pointing out no matter what you think (and I think you are mistaken) Cruz is going to get some flack from this.

          • KurtBusiek

            I think I’ve noted elsewhere that it’s bad optics, and I won’t be at all surprised if he tries to walk it back. So we probably agree on that.

            That doesn’t make it hypocrisy, though. Politicians get flak for things that aren’t hypocritical. [And with Cruz, there’s so much to choose from…!]

          • TnkAgn

            Okay. Cruz proudly declares that no American should have access to ObamaCare. Your parsing is noted. It is NOT, however “the law of the land” as it is a voluntary program, and that includes Cruz, Mitt Romney and the rest of the 1%ers.

          • KurtBusiek

            The ACA is the law of the land. That it’s voluntary (but mandatory for Senators who want employer-supplied healthcare) does not make it not the law of the land.

          • but mandatory for Senators who want employer-supplied healthcare

            There’s no legal obligation for Members of Congress to receive healthcare coverage from the federal government. As Lore continues to note, it would be considerably more expensive than the employer (federal exchange with subsidies) supplied plan.

            That’s not illegal, though.

          • KurtBusiek

            That’s why I phrased it that way. There’s also no legal obligation for politicians to make use of the benefits of Citizens United. But it, too, is the law of the land, and it’s not hypocritical to benefit from it while fighting it.

          • TnkAgn

            If taking advantage of “Citizens”to raise gobs of corporate $$ goes against your publiclly stated bedrock principles, it’s hypocrisy.

          • KurtBusiek

            I don’t think it does. But if you do, that makes virtually all the national politicians you support hypocrites.

          • TnkAgn

            To one extent or another, yep.

            Now that is what I call the “law of the land.”
            Are there degrees of hypocrisy? Must be.

          • Lorehead

            Just as all advocates of single-payer proudly declare that no American should have access to private insurance.

          • TnkAgn

            You misunderstand “pubilic option”

          • Lorehead

            No, I said single-payer for a reason. Supporting a public option would not be a good example.

            How about this one: Obamacare outlaws insurance policies for men that are cheaper than the same company’s insurance policies for women. But, before the ACA passed, every man who voted for it benefited from such a policy, didn’t he?

          • TnkAgn

            Sigh…

          • Micheal Planck

            Has Cruz defended or sided with the governors who refused to take Obamacare subsidies for Medicare?

            Why, he has? Right there’s your hypocrisy, then.

            As if one needed to actually look to find hypocrisy around Ted Cruz.

          • TnkAgn

            Apples, oranges.

            I support single-payer, and have for a while. And yet, my retirement bennies from Alaska’s Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS) meant I wouldn’t need to depend upon it. I support single-payer, but if it were available, I’d probably stick with my TRS package.

            Cruz, on the other hand, excoriates, lambasts and demonizes BOCare. And now he signs up for it. That’s the smell of hypocrisy Lorehead.

          • Lorehead

            Single-payer means that there would be no TRS and no private insurance of any kind.

          • TnkAgn

            Nonsense. You mean to say Mitt and the Kochs would have to go through the Medicare routine? Codwallop. The 1% will never allow it.

          • KurtBusiek

            It does not seem to mean this in countries with single-payer. There are private health insurance companies in the UK, for instance.

            Single-payer means everyone’s taxes pay in and everyone’s covered, not that everyone is required to use only the single-payer insurance. The rich, they can buy more.

          • Lorehead

            Varies from country to country, I think. At the very least, the private insurance under that system would be as drastically altered as the proposed changes to Medicare Democrats called “ending Medicare as we know it,” or as the changes under the ACA that Republicans said made “keep your insurance” a lie (even though the rationales for these two talking-points, on both sides, logically contradict each other; these are both debates about whether a changed policy still counts as “your plan.”)

          • KurtBusiek

            Maybe so, but when you say “single-payer,” you’re probably imagining a system like in Canada or the UK, right? It’s not accurate to describe either as having “no private insurance of any kind.” And while it might be true that somewhere there’s a single-payer system where private insurance isn’t allowed, that would be only one instance of what single-payer means, not any sort of all-encompassing definition.

            Nor would things like Alaska’s TRS be swept away — they might stop enrolling new people, or change what was offered, but people who already qualify for benefits would almost assuredly get what they paid in to the system for. Especially if Democrats were enacting the new system.

            So I agree with you that Cruz isn’t being a hypocrite here, but not about what single-payer means.

          • Lorehead

            An example of a country with no private patients is, I believe, Israel. Calling a system with multiple payers “single-payer” is kind of a misnomer. I concede the point that there would likely be a grandfather clause, but people taking advantage of that would still be getting benefits they don’t want to be available to other people.

            What I was thinking of was a requirement to sign up for the public health-care system, together with converting private insurance into supplementary insurance or admission into the private-patients’ wing of the hospital. Then the kind of insurance we have today would become illegal (or at least closed to new enrolment). If people are thinking of the kind of public option proposed in 2009, which would be an alternative that leaves the existing system available, then that’s a bad example of what I’m talking about, because nobody would be proposing to take away what anyone else has.

            There’s a lot of resistance to the idea of He wants to take away what I have! that’s reasonable in itself but accuses people of “hypocrisy” inappropriately.

          • KurtBusiek

            Israel has private plans too, both in lieu of or in addition to the government insurance.

            And I suppose that “single-payer” could be seen as a misnomer, or it may be that it’s simply being misapplied — Medicare is a single-payer system, but the US has multiple systems. So you’re imagining one single system, when the reality of single-payer is that countries that have it seldom if ever have only that one system. [And private insurance being supplemental insurance would be an example of multiple systems working together, I’d say, one single-payer and one not.]

            Still, the reality of single-payer is that in practice, it doesn’t prevent people from having private insurance too.

          • Lorehead

            I think the key point to the analogy here is: the kind of insurance we’re buying today, through Obamacare, would stop being available under a Medicare-for-all proposal or something similar. (Some people here do get Medicare or Medicaid or the VA now, though.)

          • KurtBusiek

            I don’t know enough about private insurance in countries like Canada and the UK to agree or disagree. I think it would change, but maybe not enough to support the analogy.

          • Lorehead

            This is turning a bit picayune, considering the minimal importance of this one supporting analogy of several. But to elaborate a bit: if everyone had basic care guaranteed by the public plan, and then they could buy private insurance on top, then there’d no longer be a reason to have a long list of requirements for a “qualified health plan.” No need for a preventative-care requirement, since that’s in the public plan; no need to make men or post-menopausal women buy insurance in case they get pregnant, because women get that in the public plan; no real need to have a minimum actuarial value or to ban maximum payments or lifetime caps. There’s no need to worry about adverse selection or a death spiral. People would get the needed, adequate level of care through the public plan, and then, I think, they can buy whatever value of extra or premium care they want.

            However, right now, everyone who supported Obamacare supported outlawing plans like that. For good reason: there is no Medicare or Medicaid system underneath your Obamacare plan right now, so everything we want to be universally-available at a subsidy needs to be part of the bronze plan.

          • KurtBusiek

            I think the distinctions we’re arguing are indeed picayune at this point. But I think you’ve moved a long way from a claim that single-payer means no private insurance at all.

          • Lorehead

            You’ve said that that what I originally meant is not what you support, and I don’t want to attack a strawman. I think my previous post addressed something closer to what you’re actually proposing?

          • KurtBusiek

            I don’t recall proposing anything. Maybe it’s because I’m out at dinner and reading this on my phone, but I think I’ve lost the thread of what you’re arguing, and I think it’s veered so far off from the original question that it doesn’t matter.

            I don’t think Cruz is being a hypocrite here. I don’t think single-payer means no private insurance at all. But I’ve been arguing logic, not proposing a healthcare system.

          • Lorehead

            Okay. I thought I was revising my argument to the health-care system you really were talking about, but since you say you weren’t actually proposing that, or any other, I’ll just drop this line of discussion.

          • KurtBusiek

            Nice talkin witcha.

          • Lorehead

            You too.

          • jjbrainstorm

            Sorry but you are just spinning here.

            Cruz is trying to take the option of Obamacare away. He had other options to obtain the same heathcare coverage, but chose Obamacare. ANOTHER CHOICE IS AVAILABLE TO ATTAIN THIS EXACT GOAL.

            Citizens United allows politicians to raise larges sums for donors. There is no other option to raise large sums from donors. NO OTHER CHOICE IS AVAILABLE TO ATTAIN THIS EXACT GOAL.

          • KurtBusiek

            Why would I be spinning? I don’t like Cruz.

            I just don’t think this is hypocrisy.

          • spine

            I agree with you that Cruz did nothing legally wrong. But when the front figure of the ACA repeal has to admit that he now signs on for its benefits, it’s a spin desaster. It is seen as hyporacy because he could afford to buy any healthcare or live without healthcare for the limited time of the campaigne. And the unwriten moral rules for him are different are strikcer than for any other person who just wants to get rid of the ACA. He is the showcase. I think most people feel a moral tension in his behaviour. Best proof might be the mere number of comments on this news.

          • pisher

            Wrong. Because they’d be pushing for an IMPROVEMENT of the existing system. Not its abolition, but its expansion. He’s pushing to take insurance away from people who got it under Obamacare, but he’d never do that to his own family. Actually, it’s not even a question of going without insurance–it’s a question of saving his family some bucks.

            The question is “Do people have a basic right to affordable health insurance”, regardless of who provides that coverage. And he’s saying they don’t, but he does.

          • Rhysem

            I’d say his logic is pretty immaculate. The only way Sen. Cruz can be a called a hypocrite is if he was calling for “civil disobedience” while not doing it himself. As mentioned, Sen. Cruz has never been on the “Don’t use the ACA because it’s evil and we need to resist evil” bandwagon.

          • bentonf

            Then let him stick to his much-vaunted “principles,” and buy his family’s insurance of that godless federal exchange. Hypocrisy thus avoided.

          • Lorehead

            Which principle of his requires him to do so?

          • bentonf

            How about his conscience?

          • greater good

          • KurtBusiek

            Should politicians who want secret money out of politics not make use of PACs due to their conscience as well, or does this just apply to principles we don’t agree with?

          • bentonf

            We’re talking Ted Cruz here. “Principles” are alleged to be his bread and butter. Go argue with him, not me.

          • KurtBusiek

            That’s a pretty nonsensical response, since this is one of the few things Cruz has publicly said that I don’t disagree with him on. Or are you suggesting that people who are opposed to Citizens United but still make use of the campaign-finance laws the way they are aren’t principled?

          • bentonf

            See my response to lore below. And please, let’s try not to place words in my mouth.

          • KurtBusiek

            “Below” doesn’t have much meaning here; your post is the last one in the thread branch as I’m looking at it (but that’ll change as things go). I think you’re missing a word, but asking a question doesn’t put words in your mouth.

          • bentonf

            Each individual must make that choice. Ted Cruz ostensibly lives and dies by his “principles.” They singularly are why his supporters do so. Accepting the evil federal largesse by agreeing to help through ObamaCare when he could pay for insurance out of pocket, away from the federal exchange, smacks of rank hypocrisy.

            You and lore speak rationally perhaps but unrealistically along the finest points of elaborate, nearly arcane logic. This is politics. Cruz’s actions walk, look and quack like utter hypocrisy. That it is how it will be perceived, almost universally, and that is how I do and will continue to perceive it, your and lore’s counterpoints notwithstanding,

            And with that, I rest my case and take my leave.

          • KurtBusiek

            Oh, I think it’s terrible optics. But it’s not hypocrisy. If people want to argue that he’ll get a black eye for this, I’m with them.

            But it’s not elaborate or arcane logic to say that it’s not hypocritical to take advantage of a law while opposing it for a guy we disagree with, but just fine for people we like.

          • bentonf

            It’s not fine, to me, when any of then does it. Democrats don’t state that there should be no money in politics, only that it should be heavily regulated. GOPer are diametrically opposed. Ted Cruz says NO ONE should ever have access to the benefits flowing from the ACA, not that some SOME should, depending on circumstances. Dems, opposed.

            Democrats have, reluctantly and against their wills, been forced to move into more sketchy funding situations. They have many plans for remedies and alternate scenarios for that. Can the same be said of the GOPers? No. Apples and oranges. People who want single payer don’t want people to go without insurance until we get there, GOPers do. Apples and oranges.

            Whatever. Won’t be decided or agreed upon here. And now I’m late.

          • KurtBusiek

            Hope you get wherever you were going on time!

          • jjbrainstorm

            Do they have another option with the exact same product (big donations) available to them, because Cruz did.

          • KurtBusiek

            I don’t think that parallel really works, myself.

          • Lorehead

            You’re talking in circles. It’s hypocrisy because of his principles because of his conscience? Get specific.

          • bentonf

            Nonsense. When you make your living alleging to stand unwaveringly by your “deeply held-principles” — AS A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE — then turn around without so much as batting an eye and act in direct violation of those supposed “principles” and that alleged “conscience” — what do YOU, and what do you think his supporters make of that? How would you label that? Forget your supposed logic for a minute, and let’s deal in the real political world or perception as reality.

          • Lorehead

            Which deeply-held principle, specifically, does this violate?

          • bentonf

            His unyielding, unbending opposition to the ACA as being unconstitutional, his stated wish to destroy it, and his wish to deny it to every citizen of this country. Are these not both his wishes and his principles? It’s literally everything he stands for, and on.

            And perceptions. You’ve carefully avoided all discussion of perceptions, which as we both know, in politics, is reality.

            Again, remember: He COULD buy it away from the exchange, precisely as I would have done in his shoes, to avoid the inevitable charge of hypocrisy.

          • Lorehead

            Believing that a law is bad and should be repealed does not morally compel you to stop obeying it. Believing that the system in place is bad does not morally compel you to act as if it isn’t the system we have.

            I do think a lot of people will decide this looks bad, even though I don’t think that stands up to real scrutiny. Most of them will be people who already hate Ted Cruz.

          • bentonf

            “Morally” compel? No. Logically, for every bit of appearance sake? Hell yes! The optics couldn’t be worse for Cruz, and he will suffer for it.

            And don’t be too sure. I think it will be his supporters who ultimately will be most chagrined and outraged. Their emperor suddenly has no clothes, but he sure does have some of that dirty socialist health care giveaway dough!

          • Micheal Planck

            Dog but you are thick.

            Look: Cruz has said that Obamacare is so bad that governors should not avail themselves of the subsidies. They should not take tainted money. Meanwhile, he is availing himself of the subsidies. He’ll take tainted money if it sames him a nickel.

            This is called hypocrisy.

          • DKDC

            I don’t think he has one of those. Maybe ACA will pay for a transplant.

          • Micheal Planck

            LOL

          • DKDC

            Isn’t his entire identity that he is a “principled conservative” who will never compromise? I don’t have a specific quote, but wasn’t he pretty much the sole architect of the government shut down because he wanted to defund the ACA? It certainly seems hypocritical in spirit for someone who has waged jihad against the ACA to sign up for it.

          • Lorehead

            This is a better argument. This is definitely an example of his making a pragmatic compromise. He can’t turn around and run as the only candidate whose hatred of Obamacare is pure and unsullied after he signed up for it because, after all, it saved him money.

          • DKDC

            I too was thinking of the potential for criticism from other republican candidates. It will be interesting to see if any of them (other than Trump) makes this a line of attack.

            I think Obama should publicly welcome Cruz to “Obama Care”. Insert knife and twist.

          • KurtBusiek

            Fun though that would be, Obama probably doesn’t see any reason to harm Cruz’s chances at the moment. Democrats want him around and setting off grenades for a while yet…

          • Rhysem

            There wasn’t any hypocrisy to begin with. You’re basically arguing that if a person thinks there shouldn’t be a speed limit on the highway, but drives the speed limit anyway (because that’s the law) that they are a hypocrite. It is very much possible to disagree with something and still abide by it, which is what Sen. Cruz is doing. There are plenty of other things to dislike Sen. Cruz for (most everything, actually), but this isn’t one of them.

          • jjbrainstorm

            Sorry you just lost the debate.

            In this case there is a road without speed limits beside the speed limited road, but Cruz choses not to use it. So yes he is being hypocritical

            That is the case here. He had a choice and picked Obamacare even though he is seeking to take that option away from others.

          • jjbrainstorm

            Hypocrisy is the claim or pretense of holding beliefs, feelings, standards, qualities, opinions, behaviors, virtues, motivations, or other characteristics that one does not actually hold. Hypocrisy is not simply failing to practice those virtues that one preaches.

            Cruz publicly and repeatedly claimed that Obamacare was an inferior product compared to private medical coverage, He had a option to choose between buying private coverage or buying coverage through Obamacare. Weighing the option he decided that Obamacare was superior to buying private coverage.

          • Rhysem

            He’s never to my knowledge claimed the ACA was an inferior product to private coverage… as the ACA is private coverage. What he has said is he doesn’t believe the government should be subsidizing and regulating minimum policy standards. I disagree with him, but that’s his prerogative.

          • tiredofit

            But if he repeals ObamaCare then he will still have insurance through his employer, the United States Congress. He will lose nothing, while all the other people on ObamaCare will lose all their insurance.

            You forget that the GOP demanded that Congress use ObamaCare as its employer-funded health care, and the Democrats caved while still getting no GOP votes. This is their own doing, and his own choice.

          • KurtBusiek

            I don’t think Lorehead is forgetting that. Merely pointing out that it’s not hypocritical to benefit from a law while fighting to overturn it.

          • bentonf

            Technically, no; you and lore are correct. Substantively, and appearance-wise, it’s as hypocritical as the day is long.

            Yay, I think we’ve reached semi-/quasi-consensus! And in only 200 posts! 🙂

            Damn, I am so late, and in so much trouble now. Why do you guys have to be so compelling?

          • KurtBusiek

            I think we’re correct both technically and substantively. Appearance-wise, I think it’d bad for him (and I might wager money that he’ll walk it back soon), but that’s a matter of him looking bad, not of him actually violating a principle.

            So to no one’s surprise, I think I’m right on all three! [Go figure, right?]

          • Lorehead

            I can’t help it. It’s a curse.

          • ASRKC

            It strikes me that he will be able to critique the ACA from the inside. Will he be able to keep the family’s doctors? What will his experience in signing up be like? Tax consequences? Depending upon his experience, this may turn out to be benign or an experience which he can use to knife the ACA. One hopes the DC exchange is up to the task when he goes in to enroll.

          • jjbrainstorm

            He can always go back to paying more for private coverage if he prefers. At least he has a choice now.

          • ASRKC

            Actually, pre-ACA, using the Federal employee medical system, he had a choice of many plans. As stated above, the law requires him to go through the ACA exchange, in D. C, to get his health coverage as a benefit (as most below 65 get their coverage – as a benefit.)

            If one goes back to Hillary’s plan in the early 1990s, she developed a form of single payer but excepted certain existing plans, including the Federal Employees Health care system, which provides that the government will pay the premiums on health insurance for employees from a list of acceptable plans in the different regions of the country. Some areas had tens to hundreds of possible plans, meaning that Federal employees could chose a plan which most closely matched their needs. After some debate, the Republicans suggested that if we were to go down the road of a centralized health care regime, why not just open the Federal program to all citizens? The Clintons would not agree, and that healthcare push ended.

            If the Clintons had agreed to consider that proposal, we might have had a national system somewhat like the Swiss. And the Democrats would have gotten credit for healthcare, based upon an already existing system (hopefully better system launch than 2013), and might have drawn sufficient Republican buy-in to help insulate the system to political blowback.

          • jjbrainstorm

            That is not true at all. From the Washington Post (link also below)

            “Senator Cruz said he would ‘presumably’ use his employer health insurance, for which the only option is Obamacare,” campaign spokesman Rick Tyler said in an email. “But there are other options that the senator is considering before making a final decision about how to make sure his family is insured.”

            It seems worth noting here that Cruz doesn’t have to sign up through an Obamacare exchange. He could opt to purchase a private family plan off the exchange. Some of his Republican colleagues, also opposed to the health-care law, had previously told CNN they would do just that.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/03/24/how-ted-cruz-wound-up-on-obamacare/

          • ASRKC

            “As stated above, the law requires him to go through the ACA exchange, in D. C, to get his health coverage as a benefit (as most below 65 get their coverage – as a benefit.)”

            As a benefit! Otherwise he is using post-tax dollars. Health insurance is a benefit – non taxable – for employees. That is what we have in this country. Cruz is not wealthy, he has three dependents now that his wife has taken a leave of absence, therefore his financial choices are limited and the ACA is the financially most accessible for him in these circumstances. Previous to the ACA he would have had access to the Federal Employment health care system, post ACA, no.

          • jjbrainstorm

            Ted Cruz’s net worth estimate for 2014 was $3.8 million. He had options but wanted to save money rather than stick to his so called principles. Sorry you can’t see that. Good luck with your point of view.

          • ASRKC

            The figures for this net worth arose because of his wife’s work. His parents suffered financial reverses and he went to Princeton and Harvard on scholarships and loans. Cruz just paid off his college loans a couple of years ago. Most of Cruz’s employment has been in the public sector, with only a few brief stints in private law practice. His wife had a high income and access to excellent investment advice, but that does not make the family money his. Texas may be a community property state, but we do not know what agreements exist between his wife and the Senator. Perhaps his wife will acquire health insurance for herself and the children – since they still live in Texas – and Cruz will have a plan through D. C.

          • jjbrainstorm

            If you like to pretend Cruz and his family are not wealthy that is fine. As I said before good luck with that.

          • terjeanderson

            The ACA coverage available to Congressional employees through the DC exchange is virtually identical to the packages previously available to them as federal employees (same companies, same plans — they actually have the choice of over 100 plans).

            So why did they use his wife’s insurance?

            Presumably because

            (a) that was what he was already enrolled in before he was elected to the Senate and he stayed on it when he went to DC (remember, he was campaigning full time for more than a year before the election, and presumably needed to be on her plan to have insurance),

            But, more importantly,

            (b) Goldman-Sachs offers an even more attractive health care package for their well-paid executives than the federal government offers for their employees

            A published report in 2009 showed that Goldman Sachs’ senior executives’ health insurance plans were valued at more than $40,000 annually…. very gold plated indeed….

            His decision to forgo Senate coverage and instead take the more generous Goldman Sachs plan was the object of news coverage back during his infamous Green Eggs and Ham period.

            http://www.thewire.com/politics/2013/10/ted-cruz-has-health-insurance-plan-goldman-sachs/70869/

          • pisher

            No, it’s not. Because under the old system, he’d be taking advantage of a special privilege, while still telling lower-income people they can do without basic health coverage.

          • Landlvr

            Under the Grassley Amendment, Congress does not get subsidies.

          • Lorehead
          • terjeanderson

            The “subsidies” under Obamacare are income-based – a Congressman making $175,000 is not eligible for subsidies – even a family of four exceeds eligibility for any subsidy at around $90,000.

            The administration did do a work around with Congress that allowed some lower paid Congressional employees to retain eligibility for the subsidies (which it looked for a long time like they wouldn’t).

            And the same method was used to get around drafting problems in the Grassley language that some feared would have ended the federal government’s previous employer contribution for staffers and members of Congress.

            But Ted Cruz’s income means that he (and the rest of the Senate and House) are completely ineligible for “an especially-generous Obamacare subsidy”.

            There is a big difference between an “Obamacare subsidy” (which is income based) and the continuation of the employer contribution for federal employees whose previous federal insurance options were shifted to the DC Health Exchange because of the Grassley language.

          • Lorehead

            Okay. Would you accept, “a contribution by the federal government to the cost of his insurance premium that is much more generous than the income-based Obamacare subsidy that many other Americans get?”

          • terjeanderson

            Sure, whatever.

            It is just a continuation of the employer contribution the Federal government was making to their employee’s health plans before the Grassley language forced Congress and their employees off of the existing federal plans and into the DC exchange.

            That is very different than calling it a subsidy linked to Obamacare…. it isn’t linked to Obamacare at all, it is just a continuation of an employee benefit that predated Obamacare by many years. The Grassley language just forced some hoop jumping to maintain that employee benefit.

          • Lorehead

            The point I was raising is: if he buys insurance through the Obamacare exchange, the federal government pays around three-quarters of the cost. If he buys insurance off of it, he pays the full cost.

          • ratfishtim

            Actually, he could have received health benefits: (1) if his wife requested COBRA benefits from Goldman Sachs, which would have lasted for at least 18 months. or (2) applied through the exchange in Texas. He is applying through the DC exchange in order to qualify for subsidies provided to members of Congress, as in the either the case of COBRA or the Texas exchange he would not have been eligible for the Congressional subsidy.

            This is the guy who not only opposes Obamacare, but the Medicaid expansion to provide subsidized health care to people who actually need a subsidy. If you don’t think a millionaire requesting a subsidy why opposing the same for poor people isn’t hypocrisy, I can’t imagine what would qualify.

          • fivecard

            If Obamacare is so bad, then why doesn’t Cruz simply buy insurance out on the open market, outside the exchange? Because Obamacare is easier, less expensive, and better regulated.

          • pisher

            He’s not doing anything illegal, but it is very wrong. Incredibly wrong. Even by his standards, this is morally tone-deaf.

            This is a person who doesn’t care about anyone but himself. He wants to take insurance away from millions of poor people, but he doesn’t even have the basic integrity to live by the standards he intends to impose on them, whether they agree or not.

            It’s much worse than Ayn Rand accepting Social Security and Medicare after railing against them. She was in serious financial distress late in life, and had to be persuaded by people close to her. Those programs saved her from abject poverty.

            Ted Cruz and his family are rich. Not Bush or Romney rich, but they could afford to pay full price for insurance–maybe they’d have to cut a few corners. They wouldn’t be poor. They never will be.

            But they ought to find out what that’s like.

            Oh like Ted Cruz is capable of empathy.

          • Lorehead

            I actually have something new to say to this. Ted Cruz co-sponsored the Vitter Amendment, which would have taken away the federal contribution from members of Congress and their staffs. At that time, however, he was still covered by his wife’s insurance anyway. But, he was consistent: he would have taken away his own insurance benefit, too.

      • guest4455

        It is hypocrisy.

        • Lorehead

          How so? What has he done that he either promised not to do, or castigated other people for doing?

          • he was really slow witted and didn’t get things

          • Lorehead

            That’s not related to the definition of hypocrisy.

          • everybody kept answering his question and re-explaining it but he couldn’t keep up and eventually they abandoned the thread.

          • Lorehead

            No, actually, he got tired of people writing one-line comments like, “It is hypocrisy,” and then, when he asked why, calling him stupid and acting as if that had been a “re-explanation.” Further discussion with people who behave that way would be pointless.

          • embo66

            Oh, c’mon — read tiredofit’s explanation. If he hates Obamacare so much, he quite literally does not have to use it.

            That he has apparently chosen to do so because it is cheaper than private insurance speaks volumes. So turn up your hearing aid.

      • tiredofit

        I usually make that argument myself, but this is the height of hypocrisy. Remember that this is not about the law, but about employee benefits. He had been using his wife’s benefits (which is a good thing), but since she is quitting her job so he can run for President he lost those.

        He has the money to buy his care on the open market, but that would be more expensive than the ObamaCare plans offered by his employer, the United States Congress. Therefore he is opting to use government programs rather than the private market solely to save himself money on the campaign trail.

        That’s the hypocrisy — he CHOSE to run for President and his wife CHOSE to quit her job and they have the money to get insurance on the open market but CHOSE to take it through his employer, which means ObamaCare.

      • YvonneofNC

        What a load of crap! Cruz has never advocated for reforming Obamacare. He has stated that it should be pulled out by the root. He has stated that Obamacare is the worst thing since the murder of small puppies and that it denies freedom.

        • Lorehead

          Edited to add, “or repeal.”

      • pisher

        He’s talking about repeal, not reform. C’mon, man. He wants to abolish the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE.

        This is pure selfishness. He could afford to buy private insurance for his family (as most Americans could not) without going through Obamacare–he just doesn’t want to spend the money. And it would be a lot of money.

        One rule for Ted Cruz, another for everyone else.

    • “Brazenly shameless GOP frauds, hypocrites and backsliders, one and all. Freaking unbelievable.” Fairly predictable, actually.

      FIFY

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  • woodt

    Senators don’t have health care through congress?

    • HKeith

      Actually they do, not sure why as a Federal employee he would need to do this. Even with pre-existing conditions he should still get insurance for the whole family – unless they are looking to save money.

      • Lorehead

        A provision of Obamacare says that members of Congress get their coverage on the DC exchange. It was originally the Republicans who proposed this, thinking it would be a poison pill, but the Democrats supported it enthusiastically and all signed up. You will sometimes still hear especially stupid people pretending that members of Congress are exempt from Obamacare, but they’re lying.

        • HKeith

          Good to know, since I have that “conversation” many times.

          • Lorehead

            Well, now you can point to this example. “No, even Ted Cruz has bought his health insurance through Obamacare, ever since his wife’s coverage ran out, because that’s the law.”

          • tiredofit

            It’s not the law making him do it.

            He had been declining coverage from the US Congress for years, and he could have continued to do so by purchasing insurance on the open market.

            But he CHOOSES to get his insurance from his employer, and his employer says that he has to use the ACA.

            But the law doesn’t require that he use the ACA. It only requires that if he wants the public to pay for his health insurance that he use the ACA.

          • Lorehead

            Right. So, did he say that people who qualify for subsidies on the exchanges, or for Medicaid, and therefore also use the ACA if they want the public to pay for their health insurance, should turn down that handout? Because that’s the correct analogy to what he’s doing.

        • Yep. The DC exchange was supposed to be an insider-targeted poison pill to frighten members and staff from both parties. Turns out, the system works, and our elected officials and their staff have reaped the benefits.

        • Cruz could always buy health insurance privately instead of through an Obamacare exchange.

          • bentonf

            PRECISELY!

          • And then he would see first-hand the nightmare of negotiating and comparing directly provided private insurance.

            I would wish him luck.

          • HKeith

            But it costs more right?

          • bentonf

            Shouldn’t matter if one is “standing by his principles.” Right?

          • Not for his tax bracket, most likely. No subsidies above $85K for a family of four at the moment.

          • Lorehead

            When members of Congress buy on the exchange, the federal government pays about 75% of the cost.

          • Wynstone

            But he still gets lower cost as part of a pool within the exchange whereas with truly private insurance there is no offset.

          • I confess I am not aware of the specifics of the DC exchange. So the federal subsidy *only* applies for marketplace insurance? All insurance is a “pool”, just some pools have more overhead/graft than others.

          • Wynstone

            Insurance is still a mess. It has its roots in bookmaking, essentially. It creates a racket for a middleman that has nothing to do with providing medical care. It’s just somebody who took a bet you would remain healthy for a year.

          • tiredofit

            Yes, it will cost more because he is taking his employer benefit health care, in this case being compensated by the federal government. He’s been declining it for years because he got it from his wife, and he could continue to get it from somewhere else if he wanted — the open market.

            But he won’t, because it would cost him money.

            We always knew what he was, and now we’re just haggling over the price.

          • Lorehead

            This is true, but then I believe the federal government wouldn’t pay for it. I don’t think this qualifies as hypocrisy unless he’s told other people not to buy coverage through Obamacare that they qualify for.

          • Jester A. Arthur

            He basically tells people that “Obamacare” is the worst idea since purgatory, so using it himself when he as a millionaire probably has other options available to cover the year or so in question here is kinda hypocritical.

          • He should have listened to himself:

            “On Jan. 1, the exchanges kick in and the subsidies kick in,” said the Texas Republican in a speech Saturday at the Western Conservative Summit. “Once those kick in, it’s going to prove almost impossible to undo Obamacare. The administration’s plan is very simple: Get everyone addicted to the sugar so that Obamacare remains a permanent feature of our society.”

          • terjeanderson

            Are you sure about that?

            I thought Grassley’s amendment required members of Congress to get their health insurance through an ACA exchange (or through another approved program such as Medicare). While someone who has insurance through their spouse would be exempt, my understanding is that members of Congress are specifically prohibited from seeking insurance on the private individual market except through the exchanges (which sell that private insurance).

            Maybe there is a loophole, or maybe he could commit civil disobedience by buying insurance outside the exchange mechanism — but I think he is doing what is legally required for him to carry health insurance.

          • There are loopholes, crafted by our own Harry Reid no less:

            http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/362763/grassley-defends-exempting-his-staff-obamacare-jonathan-strong

            But the only statutory requirement I could find suggests it is a question of the employer offering minimum coverage, not the federal employee receiving it (or not). Federal pages warn against incurring the individual mandate penalty, which suggests the punitive mechanism is the same as for regular workers.

            In addition, the only language that dictates federal health requirements is this:

            “Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and Congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are — (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an Amendment made by this Act).”

            The statue dictates that the Feds “offer” specific coverage, there is no language I can find that requires legislators or their senior staff to accept it.

          • terjeanderson

            You’re right, he isn’t required to buy insurance through an exchange – he is simply required to have insurance. And I was wrong about members of Congress being prohibited from getting their insurance outside of the exchanges.

            The point of the Grassley language was to take Congress and Congressional staff off of the health insurance plans available to other federal employees, and force them to participate in the DC exchange. Reid and the administration helped work around ways to make sure that Congressional staffers and members of Congress were still eligible for the employer contribution they previously received when they were part of the federal employee health plan (which is essentially a large exchange offering different private plans).

            It doesn’t cover “civil servants”, just members of Congress and direct Congressional employees – millions of other federal employees continue to receive their insurance as they did before Obamacare.

            You’re right that the law doesn’t force Cruz to participate in the DC exchange or the federal exchange for Texas.

            In reality, now that he is no longer in his wife’s insurance, he can buy his private insurance either through an exchange/marketplace, or he can buy an identical private plan (governed in terms of benefits and costs by the ACA) through a broker or directly from an insurance company without going through the government website. (Either way, he will end up directly contracting with a private insurer, as there is no “public option” under Obamacare.)

            There isn’t much of a private insurance market outside the exchange in DC — large insurers are all participating in the exchanges, and the broker market for individual insurance is very limited.

            When Obamacare was first going into effect, the Washington Post surveyed all members of Congress about what they were doing with there own health insurance.

            The overwhelming majority were participating in the DC Exchange (as envisioned by the Grassley language). A smaller number were getting insurance through their state exchanges (meaning they don’t get the employer contribution from the federal government). Several were already insured through state employee systems (from their previous time in state government), a number were on their spouse’s plans, and a few were on Medicare.

            In that same survey, only a handful indicated they were going to buy (or continue to buy) private insurance outside of one of the Obamacare marketplaces. One Senator (wealthy Ron Johnson of WI) and 7 Representatives (all Republicans) said they would be insured on the private market.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/12/09/whats-congress-doing-about-its-own-health-care/

            So, yes, Ted Cruz could try to go outside the exchanges/marketplace to buy private market insurance.

          • True — “civil servants” was overly broad and completely the wrong term, I should have specified that it only applies to selected “official” staffers designated by the legislators. I think we are mostly in agreement about the Grassley Amendment: I was reciting the Republican party’s express reason for the Senator’s amendment, while in-fact it was clearly intended to subvert the ACA by jeopardizing federal benefits. It does, I believe, provide context and intent about the crafting of the language and its repercussions.

            To be clear, I don’t resent Senator Cruz, or any other Congresspeople or aides for accepting the subsidies provided by the federal mechanism. But given the vitriolic and scorched earth rhetoric used by Cruz, I do find it disingenuous for him benefit from the ACA, while continuing to attack it publicly and aggressively.

          • MVH1

            And there it is, an utterly confused and confusing modified and moderated out of shape act forced into so many shapes nobody is really sure all the time what the rules are.

  • Hagar32Grady

    Maybe he can put himself and family into Canadian Universal Health Care ……..BWAHAHAHAHA !

  • Jester A. Arthur

    Cruz in his announcement speech: “imagine in 2017 a new president signing legislation repealing every word of Obamacare”

    Because once in office, President Cruz wouldn’t need the ACA coverage any more, so why not dump the whole thing then.

  • hdavis

    See, he likes Obamacare.

    • Lorehead

      And this is a fair point: his revealed preference is that Obamacare is better for at least some people, including himself, but most of them middle-class people without employer-provided health insurance. He should acknowledge that repealing Obamacare would harm those people and have to justify why the trade-off of lower taxes for the rich is worth it.

  • jr6020

    What a complete, useless, phony…

  • gloriousglo2

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH….COUGH-COUGH…..HAHAHAHAHAHA…..d-bag. He is a horrible person. Yet 45% of the once Great Nation would likely vote for him, because…Freedom.

  • Inkan1969

    I bet Cruz will purposely pick a more expensive or less comprehensive plan than his old plan to use to criticize Health Care Reform.

    • cmb

      I doubt it. If he was willing to shell out extra dough, he’d avoid the excanges altogether.

      • SFBay1949

        Got to say, this guy is dumber than I thought. He should have bought insurance from a private company. He’s handed the Democrats and his Republican opponents a huge talking point.

        • MVH1

          That he did and made obvious here why it is so dumb, perception. Even those most brushed up on it don’t know all the rules and modifiers.

  • Gregg Lapkin

    so its good enough for cruz but bad for america?

    • MVH1

      Best for Cruz.

  • Jim D

    Ha, ha, ha………

  • Quagmire

    The Republican philosophy is to do what is best for oneself at any given moment in time.
    This is where the Venn Diagram of self interest and the public good intersect.

  • guest4455

    No doubt Cruz is an extreme hypocrite. He doesn’t like the ACA, fine, but he has no right to try and take it away from MILLIONS of other Americans who now have health insurance because of the ACA. It will be entertaining to see what the right wingers say about this news of Cruz signing up for the very thing his base and himself wants gone.

  • Jonas Grumby

    Every Liberal in America is going to send him a Thank You card for running.

    • CB123

      Hell, I might even contribute to his campaign. If he gets the GOP nomination, it would be the biggest landslide for the Democratic Party since Goldwater.

      • Jester A. Arthur

        Be careful what you wish for. There can always be some kind of October Surprise one way or the other, so in every election both most likely candidates should be at least halfway decent people. And ideally their running mates, too (I’m looking at you, McCain).

        • CB123

          Short of Hillary Clinton burning a flag on the steps of the Capitol while simultaneously eating a baby, there is no October Surprise that could get Ted Cruz elected president. Jeb Bush, sure. Scott Walker, maybe. Cruz — no way in hell.

  • Angel Wood-Morton

    Well, at least it shouldn’t be a very long leave of absence.

    • SFBay1949

      HIs wife probably could have covered the family with Cobra coverage. Price is not going to be a problem. This guy is so not ready for prime time.

  • ProfessorNewshound

    Oh sweet irony! One can imagine that this might be used as a little rhetorical zinger in an Obama speech somewhere down the road…

  • rssrai

    It is nice to see that Ted Cruz and his family knows that ACA works. LOL.

  • jimbeaux

    Hedging a Bet – If 5 of the Supremes strike down ACA in Red States (including Texas) – “Crazy” Ted (et al) gets to be “One of Us” – affected by “failed liberal policies” & he “knows our pain” – send “Crazy” Ted to D.C. so he can “get things right”

    Remember “Crazy” Ted has degrees from Princeton and Harvard (and there’s a difference between seeming Crazy & being Stupid.)

    • APV

      Cruz does not qualify for the subsidies, so in the unlikely scenario of SCOTUS striking down subsidies in states that did not stand up their exchanges will not impact Cruz’s coverage.

      It is only the working poor (family of 4 between 125% to 400% of poverty limit), estimated to be about 7 million in those states that will lose subsidies if the SCOTUS makes that decision.

  • 9UE57

    “Admitted”?

  • Mike

    Bring on the DEATH PANELS!

  • Lorehead

    Right now, at this very moment, the NCAA is considering a proposal to move the three-point line further back.

    If a player or a coach thinks that would be a good idea, which many do, are they then ethically obligated not to attempt shots from just behind the three-point line, even though this will mean they lose all their games?

    • You’re working very hard to torture that analogy.

      • Lorehead

        Can you explain what is wrong with it, then?

        • NCAA players aren’t making ideological stances on the three-point line to the point of interfering with the business of the NCAA, for one thing.

          • Lorehead

            I don’t see how that turns this into hypocrisy. There is, though, a fight right now in indoor soccer over whether to have a three-point line that did get that heated.

            Maybe another example: a perennial Republican talking-point is, if Democrats love high taxes so much and don’t think anyone should pay lower taxes, it’s legal for them to voluntarily donate extra money to the IRS. So is it hypocrisy that we don’t? By the same standard, I don’t think so: we want uniform rules that don’t let anyone free-load off us, but we play by the rules in place, like the Republicans who signed up for Obamacare.

          • You asked what was wrong with your analogy, so there it is. On the filibuster and on the government shutdown, Ted Cruz has chosen the hill of disengagement from the system when it doesn’t agree with him to die on. Neither NCAA athletes nor indoor soccer players have drawn that line, as far as I know. When he signs up for Obamacare, how is it not seen as being uncharacteristic of a staunch Tea Partier who benefits personally from not paying the ACA penalty?

            But I suspect that you know this, and are just playing devil’s advocate. For what reason, I don’t have a clue, but playing devil’s advocate nonetheless with tortured analogies.

          • Lorehead

            The distinction I see is that I see him arguing very vociferously for changing the law, but if he’s ever called for individuals to disengage from the system, by refusing to accept subsidies, or by civil disobedience to the individual mandate, I’m not aware of it. And feeling very strongly about the former still is not the same as the latter.

            Thanks to everyone else who took part in this discussion; I think I’ve stated my position as clearly as I’m able, so I won’t repeat myself. I’m sure you guys have other things to say, and I’ll listen.

          • Yeah, I’m sorry, but I don’t think Cruz or Tea Partiers have even attempted to split that hair. At the end of the day, voters will undoubtedly call this hypocrisy, maybe not in the hyper-parsing sense that you wish to adopt, but at the core of the ideology that Cruz wants to present as a major part of his campaign.

            Nice little thought exercise with the NCAA and indoor soccer. I say we go after lacrosse and table tennis next.

    • Hagar32Grady

      Greater point of Valor…. ‘ point made and it seems some here understand that it is not Hypocritical to take advantage of existing laws…. I myself agree with that point. . … . seems that is the only point that is being argued. Question is why ? ….

      • KurtBusiek

        Because, I’m guessing, people argued back. When people just argued that Cruz is a scumbag, no one here disagreed…

        • TnkAgn

          He is a hypocritical scumbag.

          • KurtBusiek

            And here we have an illustration of how we agree on the one point, but can find those willing to argue on the other.

        • Hagar32Grady

          I have a hard time thinking of someone in the House or Senate I disdain more than Raphael … don’t prod me , I just might think of one. …. scumbag is a good description.

          • KurtBusiek

            GOHMERT!

            Pardon me. I was clearing my throat.

          • Hagar32Grady

            ….I think his name is pronounced ‘Goober’ …a little decorum , if you please.

      • TnkAgn

        No, it is. So there, take that.

        • Hagar32Grady

          … you got me , no come back….I’ve got nothing 😉

  • jjbrainstorm

    Not a peep about this at Redstate or NRO. Wonder why?

    • cmb

      A lot of the Freepers think he’s got some kind of Zen master move – to cripple or destroy Obamacare – up his sleeve.

      That kind of stubborn gullibility is really sad to behold.

      • Red Phillips

        Ted Cruz as Boll Weevil?

  • bpai99

    “God is a comedian playing to an audience that’s afraid to laugh.” – Voltaire

  • AlfredRegius

    I appreciate Lorehead for practicing the charitable interpretation of Mr. Cruz in the lengthy exchange above. However, I find it very difficult to see how Mr. Cruz is being consistent. He doesn’t just think the ACA is a bad law that needs reforming. He thinks it is the end of freedom in America. It is tyranny! Oppression! Injustice! To seek a benefit by means of the law is, therefore, to betray his own deepest commitments and convictions. It is to forfeit his integrity. It is to suggest on the one hand that there is a time and a place to acquiesce to (or to accept) what on the other hand one has claimed is unconscionable and never to be accommodated.

    I must, as a result, endorse bentonf’s analysis.

    • Wynstone

      I don’t know. Conservatives call liberals hypocrites for not volunteering to pay more to the treasury while they demand more in taxes from the unwilling. I disagree with that analysis and I hesitate to call Cruz a hypocrite for availing himself of a benefit he is entitled to even if he opposes the policy that created it. We can still call him many other bad things.

      • cmb

        Conservatives say that about liberals while ignoring the fact that the taxes unwillingly paid (by conservatives) is returned to them many times over – cleaner air and water, less crime, better, safer public transportation, etc.

        The taxes liberals seek are not captured and held (as the tax cuts to the 1% are). Instead they are invested in all (incl. resistant conservatives and libertarians) of our people, our roads, and our futures.

    • Lorehead

      I agree that this does make his hyperbole and paranoia over Obamacare look ridiculous.

  • CraigRandall1

    Of course, Ted will sign up for ObamaCare and save his family a few bucks while obtaining first rate health insurance by doing so. He’s no dummy. Just ask him where he went to school.

  • jharp

    Just so you know Senator Cruz.

    When I tried the same thing (leaving my job and insurance to pursue my own business) some years back each and every insurance company refused to insure my daughter.

    And you pledge to return us to those days.

    Fuck off Ted Cruz. You are a sorry excuse for a human being.

    • KurtBusiek

      Now this, I agree with full-bore.

  • jharp

    Would be interested in seeing the choices he has and the costs.

    Hopefully some enterprising blogger takes it up.

  • ThatPeterG

    “Caught by surprise” will be a recurring theme for his campaign as serious people start to question his bullshit.

  • topjob66t

    He is an example of brazen hypocrisy. What disturbs me most is his cackling. I hear his words but the phonics of his words are demonic. This guy is a smart crazy person. It is not enough to dismiss him. It is our duty to crush him. He begs us too so go for it.

  • Dave

    Cruz’s move here is like walking out of the men’s room on a first date with your fly down and a big wet spot on your crotch. There are just some things from which you just can never recover.

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  • Phaedrus

    Imagine that. Health care security allows greater job mobility and opportunity even for rich people!

  • Krusher

    First, I can’t believe that there is a woman on this earth that would marry that blowhard jerk, but, oh, well, she’s a bankster, so obviously has no standards whatsoever.

  • MaeScott

    Republicans=Matthew 23

  • fivecard

    Obamacare is working so well that even Ted Cruz has signed up for it. Case closed.

  • Mary Langan

    “But Cruz may not be going to the D.C. exchange like others on Capitol Hill because it appears he will not be accepting the roughly 75 percent employer contribution to his health care costs, worth thousands of dollars, that he is entitled to as a member of Congress.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/03/24/ted-cruz-is-signing-up-for-obamacare/

    • Mark_in_VA

      In other news, Cruz noted that, while he did go ahead and have sex with a prostitute, he really didn’t like it and went ahead and paid her double.

  • dectra

    Hypocritical A$$, thy name is CRUZ

  • Deltacross

    What a Hypocrite! About every time he spoke, he always managed to insert abolishing the ACA/Obama care. Now he signs up for it? Law says you must have health insurance not necessarily through the exchange. he had other options such as COBRA through his wife, Charitable organisations(Republican Plan), the ER and pay cash or trade by barter and paying his Doctor with chickens(another Republican plan)
    I would love to hear him explain to his supporters.

  • Deltacross

    What a Hypocrite! About every time he spoke, he always managed to insert abolishing the ACA/Obama care. Now he signs up for it? Law says you must have health insurance not necessarily through the exchange. he had other options such as COBRA through his wife, Charitable organisations(Republican Plan), the ER and pay cash or trade by barter and paying his Doctor with chickens(another Republican plan)
    I would love to hear him explain to his supporters.