Ted Cruz May Have Solved GOP Health Care Problem
Cruz amendment being considered by CBO
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2017 2:55 PM CDT
An amendment written by Sen. Ted Cruz could be the thing that gets a Republican health care plan passed by the House and Senate.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Ted Cruz could be the one to push an ObamaCare repeal and replacement through the House and Senate, the Hill reports. A GOP aide says the Congressional Budget Office is looking at two versions of the Better Care Reconciliation Act—one of which contains an amendment by Cruz that is getting support from moderate and conservative Republicans in the House and Senate. The Cruz amendment would allow insurance providers to sell any kind of policies they wanted—as long as they also sold at least one policy that complies with ACA requirements. Those requirements include covering maternity care and mental healthcare and not charging sick people more for insurance.

Under the Cruz amendment, Americans without health risks could buy cheaper, non-comprehensive plans, while Americans with health problems could buy the more expensive, ACA-compliant plans, the New York Times reports. Government subsidies for those ACA-compliant plans would be available to people making less than $42,000 or so per year. Conservative Republicans like the plan because "it gives everybody some options," while moderates like that it semi-preserves protections for pre-existing conditions. But experts warn such segmenting leads to expensive and volatile insurance markets. Meanwhile, as his amendment is being considered, Cruz was nearly shouted down during a Fourth of July speech by protesters upset with his healthcare efforts, the Texas Tribune reports.

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