Health Care Groups Blast GOP Bill In Letter To McConnell

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Jack Crowe Political Reporter
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Two of the nation’s largest health insurance groups sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Friday night criticizing the inclusion of a conservative provision in the revised GOP health care bill.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association joined America’s Health Insurance plans, the nation’s largest health care lobbying group, in slamming the revised GOP health care bill, released Thursday.

The groups focused their criticism on the “Consumer Freedom Option,” which allows insurance providers to offer less comprehensive, cheaper plans that don’t meet Obamacare requirements as long as they also offer at least one Obamacare compliant option. The provision, introduced by GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, has been met with criticism by moderate Republicans and Democrats who argue that it will increase premiums for the old and sick. (RELATED: The GOP Needs These Three Senators To Pass Repeal And Replace)

“As the U.S. Senate considers the Better Care Reconciliation Act, we are writing to urge you to strike the ‘Consumer Freedom Option’ from the bill,” the groups wrote, referring to the Cruz amendment. “It is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market.”

The statement comes at a pivotal moment for GOP leadership, who are currently in the midst of ensuring the bill has the support to move to a procedural vote next week. Two GOP senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, have already voiced their opposition to the bill, which means the GOP can’t afford any additional defectors if they hope to move the bill forward.

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