Sen. Cruz brings health care debate to Austin town hall

Austin Texas. Cruz is expressing doubt about whether the Republican plan to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's health care law will pass the Senate

Cruz plan could be key to unlocking healthcare votes

"Cruz and Lee that will provide consumers with more choice and truly affordable health insurance coverage".

Cruz (R-TX) will continue to push for an amendment that would allow health insurers to sell plans that do not comply with Obamacare insurance regulations if they sell plans that do comply with those regulations. A poll in June found that while Texan voters did not view Obamacare favorably, they had an even more unfavorable view of the House Republicans' bill to repeal it.

"Remember, [former President Barack] Obama promised your premiums would go down $2,500 a year", Cruz said.

Senate staffers argued that Cruz has consistently pushed for more flexible and affordable healthcare plans. "The idea that this is sprouting at the last minute is inaccurate".

Cruz has become one of the most important players in the debate over how to repeal Obamacare.

"We've got over a thousand veterans on the street here in Austin, Texas".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled Thursday that Congress will have to patch up Obamacare's ailing markets if Republicans can not smooth over their differences and pass a replacement plan. "People are hurting under it".

But the Cruz amendment could also isolate other more moderate senators in the conference, who already have deep reservations about the bill, including how it might negatively impact patients with pre-existing conditions. "Unpaid end-of-life caregivers provide almost double the hours of support per week compared to other caregivers, but they did not receive additional pay from government or private insurance, according to the Health Affairs study".

Cruz and Utah Sen.

Now he's making his big demand: On Thursday, Lee conditioned his support for the Senate bill on an amendment proposed by Cruz.

"I think there's very little interest in the caucus in touching pre-existing conditions, so I have a hard time seeing the addition of the 'Consumer Choice Amendment, '" said one GOP Senate aide, referencing the formal name of Cruz's amendment.

Senator Ted Cruz seems to be softening his opposition to the Senate's replacement bill for Obamacare.

"As I see it, that basic plan, people are going to get sick - they're going to get really sick - and that plan is not going to cover what they're sick over like cancer and things like that", Abuabara said.

Moderate Republicans might balk if the plan as rising costs for people with preexisting conditions, however especially if the CBO comes back with an ugly score.

Nevertheless, conservatives want to roll back Obamacare's insurance regulations, and the Cruz plan is their preferred way to do it at this stage of the negotiations.

Other conservative groups like the amendment.

Cruz and Lee also have the support of members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, such as Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who tweeted Wednesday that he could support the Senate bill with Cruz's amendment.

Sen. (R-Ky.) has made repeated statements that he will likely vote against the bill if it includes refundable tax credits to help low-income Americans buy health insurance - a pillar of the current Senate bill.

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