Republican presidential candidate Ted CruzTed CruzFunding bill rejected as shutdown nears Cruz: Clinton 'tired' and 'formulaic' during debate The Trail 2016: Fight night MORE on Thursday said he does not have healthcare insurance because of ObamaCare.
“I’ll tell you, you know who one of those millions of Americans is who’s lost their healthcare because of ObamaCare? That would be me,” Cruz said at a rally in Manchester, N.H. “I don’t have healthcare right now.”
But Cruz, a staunch critic of the law who spearheaded a temporary government shutdown in 2013 to try to defund it, decided to buy healthcare through the private market after his wife, Heidi Cruz, took a temporary leave of absence from her job at Goldman Sachs and lost her benefits.
He was previously enrolled on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas but said he lost his coverage on Dec. 31 when the company canceled all of their individual policies.
“So our healthcare got canceled. We got a notice in the mail: Blue Cross Blue Shield was leaving the market,” he said.
“And so we’re in the process of finding another policy,” he added. “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 all over New Hampshire."
In a statement, a spokesman for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas said the insurer has stopped offering Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) insurance plans, more commonly known as PPOs, to individuals.
“Last year we informed members that we would no longer offer PPO's to individuals, but would work to transition them to other individual plans so they would not experience a gap in coverage,” said spokesman David Sandor.
“Those that have been transitioned also have the option of choosing different plans for 2016. We worked with the members and their providers to minimize the impact of this change to their ongoing care, particularly if they needed to transfer their care to other providers.”
Cruz said his wife was not taking their lack of coverage well.
“By the way, when you let your health insurance policy lapse, your wife gets really ticked at you,” he said. “It’s not a good — I’ve had, shall we say, some intense conversations with Heidi on that.”
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) called Cruz's claim a "misleading ObamaCare sob story."
"Ted Cruz had the option of signing up for coverage through his position as a U.S. Senator, but opted out in order to make a political point," DNC spokesman Eric Walker said in a statement on Thursday.
"The fact that Ted Cruz would use his own irresponsible decision as an excuse to take affordable care away from 19 million Americans is despicable," he added.
Updated at 6:49 p.m.