(Bloomberg Politics) — The Goldman Sachs health insurance plan has lost a high profile customer. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is going on Obamacare. With his wife Heidi taking leave to help her husband campaign for president, the Cruzes are leaving the $20,000 per year coverage she enjoyed at Goldman.
“We will presumably go on the exchange and sign up for health care and we’re in the process of transitioning over to do that,” Cruz told the Des Moines Register’s Jennifer Jacobs. “It is written in the law that members will be on the exchanges without subsidies just like millions of Americans… I think the same rules should apply to all of us.”
Heidi Cruz’s coverage became the subject of a small media tempest in 2013, after Cruz and House conservatives insisted on de-funding the ACA through the appropriations process. After the resultant government shutdown ended, Heidi Cruz confirmed that she was covered, and her husband benefited from Goldman’s generous plan. It was a rare and tooth-pulling mention of Heidi Cruz’s career. Even in his announcement speech, at Liberty University, Cruz talked at length about his wife’s success but did not mention where she worked.
Now, Cruz is finding a political advantage in his unhappy journey into Obamacare. In an interview with CNN, Cruz contrasted his sacrifice with the law-dodging ruthlessness of the Obama administration. “I believe we should follow the text of every law, even law I disagree with,” Cruz told CNN’s Dana Bash. “If you look at President Obama and the lawlessness, if he disagrees with a law he simply refuses to follow it or claims the authority to unilaterally change.”
Cruz is deftly using the oddly-enough angle of this news — Obamacare-hating senator forced into Obamacare — for a populist cause. He’s not the first Republican to do so. In his successful 2014 campaign for Senate, Colorado Representative Cory Gardner repeatedly talked about the family plan he’d held onto until it was scrapped for not meeting the ACA’s standards.
“I got a letter saying that my family’s plan was canceled,” said Gardner in a TV spot. “Three hundred and thirty-five thousand Coloradans had their plans canceled, too.”
Why was Gardner on the endangered plan? Because he declined the coverage available to him as a member of Congress. At personal cost, he took a decision that made him more relatable and vulnerable to the insurance market. And now Cruz has done the same.