Senator Ted Cruz's wife Heidi Nelson Cruz confirmed on Wednesday that her husband has health insurance through her job at Goldman Sachs. That puts to rest a question opened, but never answered, by Senator Dick Durbin during Cruz's 20-hour talkathon on the Senate floor against Obamacare. The details come from an interesting New York Times profile of Nelson Cruz, a regional head of a Goldman Sachs division in Houston. Here's the Times:
And while her husband has been evasive about where he gets his health coverage, Mrs. Cruz was blunt.“Ted is on my health care plan,” said Mrs. Cruz, who has worked in Goldman’s investment management division for eight years.
Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for the senator, confirmed the coverage, which Goldman said was worth at least $20,000 a year. “The senator is on his wife’s plan, which comes at no cost to the taxpayer and reflects a personal decision about what works best for their family,” she said.
Sachs's approximate valuation of "at least" $20,000 a year would put Cruz's coverage, at the minimum possible amount, on the highest end of average for employer-provided family coverage. The average is $16,351 for a family plan, according to a 2013 Kaiser study. But a 2009 report on Goldman Sachs's plans demonstrates just how fancy the company's executive coverage can get — its top executives had plans that year that are worth over $40,000 annually, more than double the average plan. The top-tier plans outlined in that piece, mind you, wouldn't necessarily be the specific plan offered to the Cruz family.
Speaking of his family, the Times profile notes that the Cruz's have a live-in nanny. Also, the one cute moment from Cruz's Senate speech was totally her idea:
On the night of her husband’s 21-hour speech on the president’s health care plan, she was out of town for work. (Though Mrs. Cruz says she is home most nights, the couple have a live-in nanny). But when Mr. Cruz’s chief of staff called and asked if she had any suggestions for a bedtime story he could read to their girls — Caroline, 5, and Catherine, 2 — from the Senate floor, she suggested “Green Eggs and Ham,” knowing it was her husband’s favorite.
Back in the shutdown days, Ted Cruz supported the Vitter amendment, which would have stripped congressional staffers of their federal health insurance contributions on the Obamacare exchange. Cruz actually advocated for taking that plan further, to remove those contributions — the equivalent of an employer paying for part of an employee's health insurance plan — from all federal workers. Now we know that such an amendment wouldn't have directly impacted Cruz's family.