It might be fun to poke fun at Texas Senator and GOP Presidential candidate Ted Cruz for signing up for Obamacare but he is far from alone. As a matter of fact some other top GOP candidates for the 2016 Republican nomination are right there with Cruz. In fact almost every member of the House and the Senate who have voted over 50 times to repeal Obamacare are enrolled in the plan.
It is important to be clear there is no such thing as being “on Obamacare.” It’s not an insurance plan, or a single program like Medicare or Social Security. Over 12.7 million Americans have used the exchanges are all on private insurance plans, and there are hundreds of them to choose from they simply bought them through exchanges and those plans must conform to the laws established by the Affordable Care Act. One of the key points being pre-existing conditions as an example.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio gets his insurance from the Washington, D.C. exchange like most members of the House and Senate have chosen to do. “Senator Rubio is following the law, even though he opposes it,” a spokeswoman told the Tampa Bay Times when he first signed up back in 2013.
Rubio is joined on the list by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and South Carolina Senator, Lindsey Graham, two other likely GOP Presidential contenders. Over 75 percent of the entire Congress get their insurance through an exchange.As a matter of fact all of the top congressional leaders — Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Congressman Paul Ryan are all getting their coverage through the District’s exchange, known as DC Health Link.
They all have been part of the ACA system since 2013 and yet we have not heard of even one bad experience a member of the House or Senate has had. In over two years of taking their families to the doctor’s not one story of poor care, or how bad they have seen the system work up close and personal.
Members of Congress used to get their health insurance just like any other federal employees, but Obamacare changed that. An amendment from Republican Sen. Charles Grassley kicked lawmakers and their staffers out of the exchange for federal employees; instead, they would have to use an Obamacare exchange. The government can still cover a portion of their premiums, just as almost all large employers do for their employees.
If he really wants to make a point, Cruz can go outside the exchange. But he probably would be purchasing roughly the same coverage—maybe even the exact same policy, just using a more cumbersome shopping process.
The biggest reason for lawmakers to use the exchanges, though, is so the government will be able to make its contribution to their premiums. Cruz has said he will forgo that subsidy, which would have covered more than 70 percent of his family’s premiums. A perk that Rubio, Paul and many other have chosen to exercise.
We all know that Ted Cruz hates Obamacare but if you wonder why his Republican colleagues haven’t called him out in public it because they are all part of the ACA gang. Would not do for them to be critical of Cruz since they are all part of an exchange.