Cruz amendment could mean passage for BCRA

An amendment to the Better Care Reconciliation Act from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, could potentially bridge the gap between moderate and conservative Republicans in both the Senate and the House, according to The Hill.

The proposed amendment would allow insurers to offer plans on state exchanges that are non-compliant with ACA standards as long as they also offer plans that follow those standards. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, has said he could support the BCRA if the Cruz amendment is included. Mr. Meadows previously indicated that his conservative caucus did not think the Senate's bill did enough to eliminate ACA regulations.

Senate GOP leaders met with the Senate parliamentarian last week to discuss the legality of the amendment, which could appeal to conservative holdouts who want to offer plans with lower premiums and moderates who do not want to gut ACA coverage that has helped many of their constituents.

While some legislators have voiced support for a bill containing the amendment, others are waiting until details are revealed before they can make a decision.

"It hasn't been fleshed out yet, so I believe pre-existing conditions ought to be covered, and we shouldn't deny people coverage with pre-existing conditions, so that would have to be worked out,"  said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. "There are a lot of moving parts."

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