(Reuters) - Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who has vowed to repeal "every word" of Obamacare if elected president next year, will soon be signing up for coverage under the plan.
Cruz, according to media reports, had been covered under the health plan of his wife, Heidi, who is taking a leave of absence from Goldman Sachs to help his campaign.
"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," the Texas lawmaker told the Des Moines (Iowa) Register on Tuesday.
Under President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act, members of Congress seeking insurance must sign up through an exchange.
"Well, it is written in the law that members will be on the exchanges without subsidies just like millions of Americans," Cruz told the Register, adding: "I think the same rules should apply to all of us. Members of Congress should not be exempt."
In September 2013, efforts by Cruz and House of Representatives conservatives to gut Obamacare by holding up a government spending bill led to a 16-day government shutdown.
Cruz, a conservative firebrand who is a favorite of the Tea Party movement, on Monday became the first major figure in either party to enter the 2016 presidential race.
9 Facts you should know about Ted Cruz
Obamacare foe Ted Cruz to sign up for coverage under the plan
1) His legal name is Rafael Edward Cruz.
(Photo: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
2) His wife Heidi has worked at investment banking firm Goldman Sachs. The company told CNN Monday she will go on unpaid leave for the duration of his campaign. They met while they worked on George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
3) He won his Senate seat in 2010 without ever having been elected to public office before. Prior to that he had been appointed to the office of the Solicitor General in Texas.
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
4) He had a minor brush with the law in 1987 when he received a ticket for underage possession of alcohol as a senior in high school.
(Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
5) He has two Ivy League degrees: an undergraduate degree from Princeton, and a law degree from Harvard.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
6) He has kept a painting of himself in his office -- a picture of him as a 32-year-old arguing a case before the Supreme Court.
(AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)
7) He played a significant role in the government shutdown of 2013, leading a chorus of Republicans who refused to vote for any plan that kept the federal government running that did not also defund Obamacare. Cruz spend nearly 24 straight hours defending his position, including at one point reading the Dr. Seuss classic "Green Eggs and Ham."
(AP Photo/Senate TV)
8) His father (left) fled Cuba for the United States, worked in the oil industry and eventually became a pastor. He has made headlines for somewhat inflammatory statements, including telling an audience that President Obama should be sent "back to Kenya."
(Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
9) He doesn't believe in climate change, an issue many Democrats have lampooned him for, in part because he leads the Senate's Space, Science, and Competitiveness Committee which oversees NASA. During a recent appearance on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" Cruz said "Debates on this should follow science and should follow data. Many of the alarmists on global warming, they’ve got a problem because the science doesn’t back them up."