Ted Cruz Tossing A Fine Word Salad On Whether He'll Enroll In Obamacare, Who Can Know? Not Him!
Remember when we all laughed and laughed and OMG LOL LIRL laughed so hard even more that Senator Ted Cruz was going to insure his family through the evil, illegal, immoral, jobs-killing, democracy-destroying Obamacare exchanges? Of course you do, it was yesterday, and we are still laughing.
Ted Cruz would like all of us to please stop laughing at him now:
“Senator Cruz and his wife are still weighing options for their family,” [Cruz spokesman Rick] Tyler wrote in an email to POLITICO when asked about the senator’s current thinking on enrolling in an ACA health insurance exchange, adding that the senator would make a decision shortly.
Tyler said that Cruz — who has vigorously opposed and vowed to repeal Obamacare — was subject to a law with which he disagrees. “That’s like saying he’s not going to pay the taxes he voted against,” he wrote.
Well, no. Cruz is not required by law to use the Obamacare exchanges to insure his family. He is welcome to buy his own private insurance, or possibly extend his family's current coverage through COBRA (as we helpfully suggested to Cruz on Wednesday, you're welcome, Senator). It's just that, darn the luck, even if he can use COBRA -- gee, they're not sure yet! -- it sure is expensive! Gosh, if only there were some kind of act that made care more affordable for people even when they do not have employer-provided health care. IF ONLY.
Besides, Cruz could save his family a whole lotta money if he chose a health care plan available through, and with contributions from, his employer. (That would be us, the taxpayers, you're welcome AGAIN, Senator.)
Not that he would do that, of course. Maybe.
Listen, I have zero intention of taking any government subsidy or Obama subsidy. Rather, what I’m going to do is pay in the marketplace for health insurance for my family, just like millions of Americans.
How gracious of the senator to politely decline subsidies for which he does not qualify. Because those "Obama" subsidies are for low-income folk, not "Hi, I collect a six-figure paycheck and my wife makes oodles of cash at Goldman freakin' Sachs" members of Congress. But as for the "government subsidy"? Does Cruz really mean that if he were to enroll in employer-based health care, he would refuse to allow his employer to cover pretty much all of it? How very noble! How very generous indeed! How very not believable at ALL. But he says he really, REALLY means it. He doesn't want no stinkin' government money paying for the health care of his family:
Cruz insists he wouldn’t accept the federal subsidy if he were to enroll, which his spokesman reiterated Wednesday. It’s the same subsidy that lawmakers received through the federal health insurance program they were in before the Affordable Care Act passed. They aren’t eligible for the income-related subsidies middle- and lower-income Americans using the Obamacare exchanges can get.
So if that's the case, why is Cruz even considering the option? Why not immediately say that of COURSE he will not enroll in the exchanges, because he is a man of principle, and also a man who hates Obamacare, and the last thing he'd ever do is participate in a program -- even though there is no actual crime in signing up for employer-provided health insurance, and most Americans who are lucky enough to have it do exactly that -- he considers so bad and wrong? Just keeping his options open, right? Totally undecided, right? Let's rewind the tape:
“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 on the federal exchange,” Cruz said.
Asked whether he would accept the government subsidy available to lawmakers and congressional staffers for their health care coverage through the ACA, Cruz said he will “follow the text of the law.”
Presumably, Cruz would love to get him some sweet employer-subsidized health care. Who wouldn't? And presumably, he was hoping no one would notice. But shucks, people seem to pay attention to every little thing you do when you run for president. So now he's in the awkward position of looking like a hypocrite or paying out a big fat (and totally unnecessary) chunk of money for health insurance for his family, just to make a point. A real dumb point.
Presumably, if he were anyone else, we might actually feel sorry for the guy. But he's Ted Cruz, so we do not.