Senate GOP leaders plan to unveil a revised health-care proposal Thursday that would allow insurers to sell austere plans that do not comply with requirements imposed under the Affordable Care Act, according to three Republicans familiar with the plans.
The Republicans, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record, said the proposal would incorporate a version of a controversial proposal from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), which conservatives have been pushing vocally during the last few weeks in an effort, they say, to lower premiums and give consumers more choices.
Details of the proposal were closely guarded Thursday morning, and it was unclear what precise form the Cruz idea would take in the final bill.
Cruz’s plan would allow insurers to sell plans that don’t comply with Obamacare coverage requirements, such as mandated coverage of preventive care and mental and substance abuse treatment, provided they offer at least one that does.
Critics, including insurers, believe that providing the option of skimpier plans would draw younger, healthier consumers into a separate risk pool. That development would drive up rates for the Americans buying more comprehensive coverage on the individual market, which could in turn destabilize the entire market. It remains unclear how the new McConnell bill would address concerns about the risk pools. washington post