Cruz hates 'Obamacare' but plans to join it anyway

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz says he will still work to repeal Obama's health care law.

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    Cruz criticised "Obamacare" again this week during a speech announcing his intention to run for president [AFP]
    Cruz criticised "Obamacare" again this week during a speech announcing his intention to run for president [AFP]

    In what can only be described as one of the most ironic stories of the week, a prominent republican senator who's vowed to repeal US President Barack Obama's health care law says he will now join it.

    The Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare" as it's commonly referred to was signed into law by the president five years ago this week.

    It requires all Americans get health insurance whether through a private employer or through the US government or pay a fine.

    That mandate has irked Republicans such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and they have tried unsuccessfully to repeal it numerous times.

    On Monday, Cruz announced his bid for president of the United States, and railed against the law telling an audience in Virginia, "Imagine in 2017 a new president signing legislation repealing every word of Obamacare".

    But now - in an ironic twist - he plans to join Obamacare. For years, Cruz has relied on his wife's private insurance plan. His wife is taking an unpaid leave of absence from her job at Goldman Sachs to join him on the campaign trail so they are no longer eligible for her employer's health care plan.

    That means the two of them are required to get health insurance somewhere else.

    Since Cruz is a federal government employee, he says they will seek an Obamacare plan.

    "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 on Tuesday.

    The White House wouldn't officially gloat when asked about the irony but President Obama, nonetheless, did a victory lap on Wednesday on the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.

    "It's working despite countless attempts to repeal, undermine, defund, and defame this law," he told supporters at the White House without mentioning Cruz.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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