Ted Cruz doesn’t have health insurance, and to hear him tell it, it’s all because of Obamacare.
Speaking at a campaign event in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Thursday, the Republican presidential candidate identified himself as “one of those millions of Americans … who’s lost their health care because of Obamacare,” Politico reports.
Cruz said that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas canceled all individual insurance policies, including the one he and his wife Heidi purchased on the open market last year, effective December 31. Previously, the Cruz family had been covered by an employer plan through Heidi’s job at Goldman Sachs, from which she is currently on leave.
“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,” said Cruz, who hates the Affordable Care Act so much he has called the presidential election a referendum on repealing it.
As Politico notes, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has indeed stopped selling some, though not all, of its individual policies, and a variety of plans from multiple providers remain available in the state.
Cruz is also not the first Republican candidate to bring up the talking point that Obamacare has caused premium hikes of over 50 percent. When Donald Trump made a similar claim in October, PolitiFact rated it “Half True” because while some people have seen rate increases of that magnitude, the average premium increase for a typical plan was nowhere near it. A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of cost changes in 2016 found that the benchmark premium rose 5.7 percent in New Hampshire and 2.4 percent in Texas. Also, unlike most American health-insurance buyers, Ted Cruz is a millionaire.
Cruz’s claim that millions have lost their health insurance because of Obamacare has an air of truthiness to it. A RAND Corporation study last year found that while 5.9 million Americans had indeed lost coverage between September 2013 and last February, 22.8 million had gained it and 125 million (or 80 percent of the non-elderly insured population) experienced no change in the source of their health coverage.