Even insurance companies think Ted Cruz’s healthcare amendment is stupid

NBC News confirmed the provision will be in the so-called Better Care Reconciliation Act.

But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who sponsored the amendment, said the measure would help contain health-care costs. Vice President Mike Pence would cast the tiebreaker in the event of a 50-50 tie.

A health-care factoid can help frame the issue: USA health care spending is highly skewed toward the sickest people. However, remember that it’s always a good idea to enroll in a major medical health insurance plan, and you can do this during the annual Open Enrollment Period (OEP) or during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) if you qualify. The Cruz-Lee amendment would allow insurance companies to offer “bare-bones” plans that don’t meet the current “Affordable” Care Act’s comprehensive coverage requirements as long as they also offered plans that did. That has made coverage more robust, but it’s also raised premiums for relatively healthy people.

She worries the stripped-down plans would be worthless for her – offering insurance coverage in name only. A lot will depend on how well the programs for those with preexisting conditions are promoted and administered, how insurers and consumers respond, and how much money lawmakers throw at this in the final version of bill.

His plan would allow insurance companies to sell catastrophic plans with low premiums that cover a limited number of conditions.

“Supporting this amendment should be a no-brainer”, McIntosh said in a statement.

Conservatives argue this move would allow younger, healthier people to buy cheaper plans. And indeed, those are the people who have shied away from numerous Obamacare marketplaces, frustrated by premium hikes and willing to instead pay the relatively small fine for lacking coverage.

For some consumers, a fixed-indemnity insurance plan is a helpful add-on to a regular health insurance plan, as it helps cover out-of-pocket costs for medical expenses they expect to incur during the year.

“You have the possibility of two different risk pools”, explained economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a longtime Republican adviser.

The whole thing would function, if it functions at all, like a series of state-based, federally funded high-risk-pools. “If they are not heavily subsidized, they run the risk of becoming unsustainable and going into a death spiral”.

It likely won’t be a surprise to Senate Republicans leadership if the CBO score is unchanged. “It would seem like an undesirable outcome for an exercise meant to rescue Obamacare (markets) that are melting down”, he said.

In other words - the Cruz amendment not only won’t solve the existing problems with the BCRA, it will create new ones.

“The stabilization funds may help bring down premiums in the short-term, but the funding is only temporary”, Cynthia Cox, an associate director at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health-policy think tank told Business Insider in an email.

Cruz’s amendment, which would essentially make that transitional policy permanent, “would create even greater instability”, AHIP said.

Cruz says that doesn’t have to happen.

This week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tried to be the hero by proposing the “Consumer Freedom Option” - colloquially known as a the Cruz amendment.

Details of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s revised health-care bill were unveiled yesterday, and they include everything from expanded health savings accounts to more funding for the treatment of opioid addiction to relaxed rules for Medicaid-a little something for all the warring GOP factions in the Senate.