Health care policy expert Hadley Heath Manning called the new Senate health care bill a slight improvement over the last draft.
The change that would allow insurance companies to sell more basic plans (perhaps the most substantive change to the latest bill) is the ultimate result of efforts from conservative Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah. The senators have argued that no one should be forced to buy coverage above and beyond what they want or need. This change would effectively repeal Obamacare’s “essential health benefits” (the federal rules on what insurance plans must provide).
Importantly, state regulations on insurance plans would still dictate just how basic plans could be. And as a compromise, Cruz and Lee would only allow insurers to sell basic plans if they also sold at least one plan with all of Obamacare’s bells and whistles.
This would offer some relief to the millions of people who have borne the burden of high premiums under Obamacare, thus providing them with an escape chute from at least some of the law’s onerous and costly rules.
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