(FoxNews.com) A low-flying proposal from Sen. Ted Cruz to overhaul a major component of ObamaCare is attracting the kind of conservative enthusiasm that could prove critical in the broader GOP push to repeal and replace the 2010 law.
The Texas Republican senator has offered up his idea as an amendment that would allow insurers to offer bare-boned policies that don’t meet Affordable Care Act standards — provided they also offer plans in compliance.
Whether the Tea Party-backed senator’s gambit will help bring an overhaul bill to President Trump’s desk remains uncertain, considering the proposed change could drive away GOP moderates. Leaders of the Republican-controlled Senate are trying to strike just the right balance between moderate and conservative interests after having adjourned for the July 4 recess with no deal in hand that could attract the minimum 50 senators needed.
The Cruz plan aims to roll back the requirements that boost coverage for individual plans but also increase cost.
“The mandates the federal government puts on [Americans] are so ridiculous that men are forced to carry coverage for mammograms, women are forced to carry coverage for prostate issues. It’s absurd,” Marc Short, Trump’s director of legislative affairs, told “Fox News Sunday.” “We’re going to get rid of many of those regulations and mandates to lower cost.”
The Cruz amendment is intended to lower consumer costs and presumably help commercial insurance companies continue offering policies….
“If the Cruz consumer choice amendment gets there, yes I can support it,” North Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Meadows, leader of his chamber’s ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, told reporters last week.
Prior to the Cruz plan, Meadows expressed doubt that the Senate overhaul bill — criticized for having hundreds of millions in insurance “bailouts” — could gain enough House support….