Presidential candidate Ted Cruz landed himself in the cross hairs of the national media when he said his family may have to use the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA), known as Obamacare, while he is on the campaign trail. Cruz talked freely about his views on healthcare to citizens and reporters during his first campaign stop.
Campaigning in New Hampshire, Cruz made it clear he hates the reformed health care system and insisted he would not be taking a subsidy while he and his family is on the exchange. He remains persistent in his goals to repeal the health care reform act.
The presidential candidate told a reporter he was on his wife’s insurance obtained through her employer, but she quit her job to join his campaign. He also said he received insurance as a member of Congress. Cruz said first it was mandated for congressional members to participate in the AHCA, but members were later exempted. Pundits at several media outlets, who stated Cruz was vacillating between facts and political rhetoric, have attacked the presidential candidate’s comments.
Cruz took on one of the country’s most liberal states as his first choice of stops. He is using his trip to New Hampshire to talk about conservative values, compromising and health care. He spoke to young conservatives and urged them to provide new enthusiasm to the Republican Party and also gave a speech before a group of veterans in a rally at a Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) hall.
In those speeches, Cruz has stayed the course on his previous comments about changes he would make if he were elected president. Changes he would include are to abolish the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and established a flat-tax system, as well as repeal the AHCA.
Cruz said he does not want to use Obamacare and has a plan to replace it. The plan includes separating insurance from employment, expanding savings accounts designated for healthcare, and allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines. The last goal of nationwide purchasing could be tricky because states control which companies are eligible to do business in the state and handle complaints about insurance companies doing business locally.
The presidential candidate, who is a Tea Party darling after winning the U.S. Senate race in Texas three years ago, said he could reach across the aisle in compromise, but always draws a hard bargain. He drew criticism, as well as applause, in 2013 when he filibustered against President Barack Obama’s health care law for more than 21 hours. Other members of the Republican Party, particularly those in the establishment faction, were highly critical of Cruz because he was a primary force behind the government shutdown, which sank the party’s general popularity to a new low.
Cruz does not display any concern of a lack of party backing in New Hampshire. He is branding himself as the ultimate outside who is now a driving force in Washington. The presidential candidate has support. His campaign war chest contained $1 million on the first day after he announced his candidacy and hit $2 million this past week. With numbers like that, Cruz will not qualify for a federal subsidy if he does use Obamacare because the subsidy is based on income.
By Melody Dareing
Photo by: Gage Skidmore – Flickr license