COMMENTARY | U.S. senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is in a bit of hot water after it was revealed that Cruz, after all his railing against Obamacare and any notion of “socialized” medicine, enjoys top-notch health insurance under his wife’s plan. Cruz’ wife, Heidi Nelson Cruz, works for Goldman Sachs and reportedly enjoys employer health insurance worth some $20,000 per year, reports CNN. This deluxe policy obviously explains why Cruz is able to publicly eschew the government health insurance provided to Congress and its employees.
Relatively few Americans get to simultaneously talk tough against government health care and enjoy a spouse’s deluxe policy. As a schoolteacher, putting my wife on my employer-provided health insurance would cost up to 20 percent of my monthly paycheck, a pay cut I cannot afford. Rather, we have an independent policy, which is not as comprehensive as I would like. And, compared to millions of Americans, we are very lucky. Cruz’ commentary that his health insurance does not cost taxpayers a dime is a snarky slap in the face to those millions whose partners do not work for employers as wealthy or generous as Goldman Sachs.
Too many Americans cannot go on their partners’ employer health insurance without drastically slashing their take-home pay. They must either purchase non-comprehensive policies or risk going without health insurance entirely. Cruz’ comments smack of elitism and a disregard for the realities faced by the majority. Would Cruz be so quick to eschew government health care if his wife did not have deluxe, top-notch health insurance provided by a wealthy employer?
If Cruz was willing to forego his government-provided health insurance by purchasing his own policy or going without health insurance entirely I would applaud his principles. Though such a move would be ill-advised, at least it would show that Cruz sticks to his guns and prefers risk and grit to socialism. Instead, Cruz rails against socialism from the comfort of his wife’s capitalist success story.
It’s akin to rich people in gate communities complaining about “socialized” police departments and public education. If you really want to argue against the competition-sapping effects of socialism and public welfare, argue your case from the trenches where the vast majority of your constituents live and work, not the luxury penthouse. Show that you can handle firsthand the effects of your own proposals, not be insulated from them.