Obamacare Was The Best Choice For Ted Cruz
“Well, it is written in the law that members will be on the exchanges without subsidies just like millions of Americans so that’s – I think the same rules should apply to all of us,” he said. “Members of Congress should not be exempt.” – Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz has been the most vocal and public critic of Obamacare. Cruz has stated that Republicans should never compromise. They should always stay 100% true to their principles. Furthermore, he routinely refers to Obamacare as the most insidious, evil, destructive government overreach ever conceived. Why would he not refuse it when given the opportunity as fellow conservative firebrand Louie Gohmert (and other Republicans) did?
Ted Cruz, as his supporters would have you believe, was not forced to signup for Obamacare. While the family lost their insurance coverage as a result of his wife taking an unleaving her job at Goldman Sachs to support her husband’s presidential candidacy, he certainly had choices other than gaining coverage through a law that he has vowed to “repeal every word of” should he be elected. What were his or your options when it comes to Obamacare, and why did he most likely choose to do so?
Cruz wasn’t compelled by law to enroll in Obamacare at all. He could have remained uninsured and paid the penalty. While this was his right to, this is not smart. I actually applaud him for not making this choice especially since he has a wife and two kids.
Mrs. Cruz could continue to work rather than taking a leave of absence, thus keeping her employer sponsored coverage. Most employer health plans permit covered employees going on leave to continue their active employee coverage for as long as the leave lasts as long as the employee pays both the employee and employer share of the premium. It seems as if they would want to eschew the flexibility Obamacare gives them to leave their job and still have access to health insurance as it is an assault on liberty and all.
Mrs. Cruz could stay on her insurance at Goldman Sachs through COBRA – which offers employees who leave to continue to buy the same insurance, but they pay the full cost, plus a 2% admin fee. Again, if she just took a leave, she wouldn’t even need COBRA, which is limited to 18 months. After all, this is about principles, and you can’t put a price on the defense of freedom.
Group insurance, such as offered by the Texas Bar Association, covers groups of people, usually who are the members of societies, employees of a common employer, or professionals in a common group.
The policy is usually the same amount for all the insured persons in the group. Often all employees of an employer receiving health or life insurance coverage pay the same premium amount for the same coverage regardless of their age or other factors. In contrast, under private individual health or life insurance coverage in the U.S., different insured persons will pay different premium amounts for the same coverage based on their age, location, pre-existing conditions, etc.
Group policies are also attractive to consumers because the average price per policy is often lower. Carriers are interested in gaining customers and will cut prices a bit to accommodate members of group.
Cruz should know, as well as most people, that you can still get health insurance outside of Obamacare. Private exchanges, in spite of the renewed focus on improving them (now you want to do it?) have been in existence for a number of years, pre-dating the enactment of the law.
At its core, a private exchange is a private business – typically operated by brokers or insurers – that sells insurance products to health care consumers through an on-line product. Private exchanges have varying business models. For example, some private exchanges service individuals purchasing insurance in the individual health insurance market. Other private exchanges service the “group” health insurance market – both the fully-insured and the self- insured markets – offering group health plans to large and small employers. Another private exchange model facilitates the purchase of an individual market plan by an employee whose employer is funding all or a portion of the employee’s health care coverage.
There were two primary ways to fund the purchase of health care coverage pre Obamacare. Funding for coverage could come on an after-tax basis. In other words, health care consumers pay for coverage with dollars out-of-their-own pocket, generally without any tax preferences for the purchase of the coverage. This practice is most common in the individual health insurance market where the purchase of private health insurance is generally not subsidized by an employer or the government.
The second way in which private health care coverage is purchased is through the employer- based system. Here, the employer typically pays for all or a portion of the employee’s health insurance coverage, which effectively reduces the cost of coverage to the employee.
Why Did Cruz Do It?
It’s a matter of dollars and cents. Being a senator he gets the federal government to reimburse him for his healthcare at a rate of 75% of the premium. But, in order to get reimbursed he HAS to use the ACA exchanges. He will not get reimbursed if he gets his insurance from a company from a private exchange. So, he could choose to pay 100% of the premium on the private market or 25% on the exchange. Nothing in the law prevents a Member of Congress or designated congressional staff from declining a Government contribution for him or herself by choosing a different option for their health insurance coverage.
Best Choice For Ted Cruz
Personally, as a fan of Obamacare being the best passable legislation on health care, I am very pleased. Cruz should check it out himself before repealing it? If he declares it easy and cheaper, people might all change their minds if they made them up on issues rather than hatred of the black President.
But he certainly wasn’t forced. He doesn’t have to “register with the state” to insure himself and his family like he would say a car. Looking up health plans in DC and Texas, and it’s very possible to get a plan without using an exchange or subsidy. Cruz or his wife could purchase a policy for their family the exact same way she did to cover him and children on her employer based insurance. While true that he would not have the advantage of having part of his costs covered by the taxpayer (the Government) he would still be complying with the law by being insured. The law does not stipulate which spouse should be responsible for purchasing the insurance. Cruz certainly had a choice. He may have to pay more for it, but he did in fact have a choice to not signup for Obamacare while still being compliant with the law.
I don’t know why Cruz is going through ObamaCare instead. Wait, yes I do. The Cruzes, like most people, probably chose to go the Obamacare route because it was a much better deal for them with lower premiums and better coverage.
Mrs. Cruz was an executive for a big name corporation, and they probably have a first class Cadillac plan that is expensive. I guarantee that the Cruz family found a suitable plan on the Obamacare exchange that is substantially cheaper than the plan Mrs. Cruz had through Goldman.
There’s nothing wrong with Cruz going on Obamacare. He likely priced the options and found that’s the best one for him. Fair enough; good for him. But claiming that he’s only doing it because the law “forces him to” is glaringly dishonest.