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Government & Law

Politifact: Cruz’s BCBSTX Statement Is A ‘Pants On Fire’ Inaccuracy

Ted Cruz stumbled on the campaign trail last week, incorrectly announcing that his lack of health insurance was because Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas was no longer offering plans in the market.
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Ted Cruz stumbled on the campaign trail last week, incorrectly announcing that his lack of health insurance was because Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas was no longer offering plans in the market. 

The Houston Chronicle’s Politifact feature ruled the statement “Pants on Fire,” an indication that the Republican presidential hopeful made an incorrect statement with a “ridiculous claim.” Cruz made the remarks while campaigning in Manchester, New Hampshire:

 “I don’t have healthcare right now,” Cruz said. “I had purchased an individual policy, and Blue Cross Blue Shield cancelled all their individual policies in the state of Texas, effective Dec. 31. So our health care got cancelled. We got a notice in the mail, Blue Cross Blue Shield was leaving the market. And so we’re in the process of finding another” policy.

BCBSTX didn’t back out of Texas—it stopped offering the broad PPO plans on the federal marketplace because it paid out $400 million more in claims than it brought it via premiums. It continues to offer its HMO plans. Ironically, Blue Cross is actually the state’s largest insurer and made more effort to provide coverage in Texas than any of its competitors. It offers plans in all 254 counties. Of those, 58 counties have no other insurance plans beyond Blue Cross Blue Shield. 

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