Rich Texas Senator Ted Cruz recently attempted to convey to everyday Americans he’s just like us by claiming that he no longer has health insurance thanks to Obamacare.
Now, what Cruz is saying is not exactly false. As Politco reports, at a New Hampshire rally, “Cruz explained that he had purchased an individual policy and that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas had canceled all of its individual policies in Texas, effective Dec. 31.”
However, there’s a lot more to the story. For one, Cruz could easily purchase healthcare coverage, like 13,000 other members of Congress and staffers, through Washington D.C.’s Small Business Health Option Program. Enacted through the Affordable Care Act, the idea behind the program is that, “most members of Congress are a good deal wealthier than ordinary Americans and thus shouldn't qualify for government assistance.” Ted Cruz, with a net worth of over $3 million, would have to agree.
Additionally, the only reason Cruz was on an individual Blue Cross Blue Shield plan was due to his wife’s temporary leave from her position at Goldman Sachs—the company previously provided health insurance for their family. She has briefly left her job due to his run for the presidency, so the situation is not as relatable to middle class Americans as Cruz would make it appear.
“I hope by the end of the month we’ll have a policy for our family. But our premiums — we just got a quote, our premiums are going up 50 percent. That’s happening all over the country. That’s happening in New Hampshire,” Cruz said.
This comment serves Cruz’s inflammatory agenda about Obamacare, but is not entirely accurate. Premiums will rise, though not by 50 percent. According to Bloomberg View, “on average, the premiums of the benchmark plans…are set to rise about 7.5 percent.”
Even more specifically, “The government's numbers are a weighted average of all the states offering policies through a federal exchange; that average is 7.5 percent. But the unweighted average—what you get by just averaging all the rate increases together and dividing by the number of states—is 11.5 percent.”
11.5 percent may not be ideal for many Americans, but it’s not the outrageous 50 percent Cruz claims either.
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