The Senate Republicans’ draft Obamacare repeal bill due to be released on Thursday will tentatively include a controversial amendment from Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will unveil the bill on Thursday morning at a closed-door, members-only meeting. It is also expected to eliminate tax cuts for the wealthy, include new financial support for low-income people’s insurance, allow people to pay for insurance with pre-tax money, and include billions more to fight opioid addiction.
The amendment from Cruz and Lee will be tentatively included, those sources said, and could be altered or removed later. The amendment would allow the sale of cheap, deregulated insurance plans as long as Obamacare-compliant plans are still sold.
Some Republicans worry that could result in split risk pools, one with sick people with pre-existing conditions and the other with healthy young people. Cruz and Lee argue it will likely lower premiums and allow people to opt out of Obamacare.
The Congressional Budget Office is analyzing two versions of the bill, one with the amendment and one without. That score is due Monday. The Lee-Cruz amendment will be in brackets on Thursday, indicating it is subject to change.