Yahoo – AFP, 24 March 2015
|US Senator Ted Cruz announces his candidacy for the Republican |
nomination to run for US president March 23, 2015 at Liberty University
in Lynchburg, Virginia (AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards)
Washington (AFP) - Senator Ted Cruz is among America's most vocal opponents of "Obamacare," but the newly-announced presidential candidate is reportedly about to sign up for the health care program he loves to hate.
"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.
One day earlier, the 44-year-old freshman senator became the first major Republican politician to formally declare his campaign for the White House.
In his announcement speech, Cruz proclaimed that if elected he would repeal "every word of Obamacare."
Meanwhile, he is signing up for the coverage as a requirement for members of Congress.
The lawmaker's family has been covered under the plan held by his wife Heidi Cruz through her employer Goldman Sachs.
But Cruz told the Register that his wife is going on an unpaid leave of absence to join him full time on the campaign trail.
The health care exchanges that Cruz would join became law under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
They constitute an online marketplace where small businesses, and individuals including the uninsured, can purchase health coverage.
As a US lawmaker, Cruz will choose his insurance through the DC Health Link small business market.
According to federal guidelines, members of Congress receive a "government contribution" if they purchase coverage through the ACA.
Asked whether he would accept the government contributions, Cruz told CNN he will "follow the text of the law."
He reiterated his intent to keep fighting for a full Obamacare repeal, even though some Republicans have "quietly and privately given up on that fight."
The ACA came into effect five years ago Monday.