Senate asks for CBO score on Cruz’s healthcare proposal

Senate asks for CBO score on Cruz’s healthcare proposal
© Greg Nash

Senate Republicans are asking the Congressional Budget Office to analyze a healthcare bill that includes changes proposed by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Cruz in 2016 said 'something fundamentally wrong' with Christians who back Trump: book Hillicon Valley: Twitter says Trump 'go back' tweet didn't violate rules | Unions back protests targeting Amazon 'Prime Day' | Mnuchin voices 'serious concerns' about Facebook crypto project | Congress mobilizes on cyber threats to electric grid MORE (R-Texas), Axios reported Saturday.

They are also asking the independent scorekeeper to come out with an estimate on a healthcare bill without the proposed changes, in an effort to better understand the potential effects of Cruz's plan. 

Cruz, who has said that he cannot vote for the Senate Republicans' healthcare bill in its current form, proposed an amendment to the measure this week that would allow health insurers to sell plans that do not meet the standards required by the Affordable Care Act.

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Under that provision, insurance companies would still be required to sell at least one plan that meets the ACA's standards.

The plan could win support by some conservatives in the Senate, like Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe buck stops here: How to restore accountability to the federal regulatory system Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Lawyer: Flynn will keep cooperating after co-conspirator revelations MORE (R-Kent.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeLiberal think tank: GOP paid parental leave proposals are too narrow Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act exposes Silicon Valley's hollow diversity slogans Overnight Defense: Senate rejects effort to restrict Trump on Iran | Democrats at debate vow to shore up NATO | Senate confirms chief of Space Command MORE (R-Utah), who say the current Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) does not do enough to repeal ObamaCare or lower insurance premiums.

By requiring insurers to offer at least one plan in each market that meets ObamaCare's regulatory standards, Cruz's plan could appease moderate Republicans, who have called for the Senate bill to maintain the ACA's rule prohibiting insurers from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions.

The CBO released its assessment of the BCRA on Monday, estimating that the measure would trim the federal deficit by $321 billion, but would also increase the number of uninsured people by 22 million over the next decade.

Updated at 8:50 p.m.