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Ted Cruz has no health insurance, blames Obamacare

Senator Ted Cruz better get cracking on buying some health insurance, or he may face an Obamacare fine — and the wrath of his wife.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to guests at the 2016 South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention.
Scott Olson | Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to guests at the 2016 South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention.

Cruz, the Texas Republican who is a leading contender for the GOP presidential nomination, revealed Thursday that he doesn't have health coverage. And he is pointing the finger at Obamacare for his situation, despite having an offer of heavily subsidized coverage as a member of Congress.

"I'll tell you, you know who would be one of those millions of Americans who lost their health care because of Obamacare? That would be me," Cruz told attendees of a New Hampshire campaign rally, The Hill web site reported.

The news site noted that Cruz previously had purchased coverage for his family through private insurance plan from Texas Blue Cross Blue Shield, after refusing to buy a private plan on Washington's Obamacare exchange

Members of Congress have 75 percent of the cost of plans purchased through that exchange subsidized. But Cruz, like other GOP presidential contenders, is an ardent foe of Obamacare.

Cruz reportedly said Thursday that Blue Cross Blue Shield sent out a notice that it was leaving the market this year, "so we're in the process of finding another policy."

However, The Hill noted that Blue Cross Blue Shield actually is only discontinuing preferred provider organization health plans, and has other health plans available to individuals and families.

"I hope by the end of the month we'll have a policy for our family," said Cruz, who has two young daughters with his wife Heidi. "We just got a quote, our premiums are going up 50 percent."

If Cruz and his family don't have some form of health coverage by Jan. 31 — the deadline for open enrollment in individual insurance plans — they will be liable for a tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act. In 2016, that fine is the higher of $695 per adult, or 2.5 percent of taxable household income, also levied per-person.

Cruz told the rally that his wife isn't happy about the gap in health coverage.

"By the way, when you let your health insurance policy lapse, your wife gets really ticked at you," Cruz said, according to The Hill. "It's not a good — I've had, shall we say, some intense conversation with Heidi on that."

Read The Hill's story here.