UPDATE: LEE SAYS AMENDMENT NOT ADDED – The Cruz amendment will be included in Senate health care bill, BUT…

There’s good news and bad news regarding the Senate health care bill draft they intend to release today.

The good news is it will include the Cruz amendment:

POLITICO – The Senate Republicans’ draft Obamacare repeal bill due to be released on Thursday will tentatively include a controversial amendment from Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will unveil the bill on Thursday morning at a closed-door, members-only meeting. It is also expected to eliminate tax cuts for the wealthy, include new financial support for low-income people’s insurance, allow people to pay for insurance with pre-tax money, and include billions more to fight opioid addiction.

The bad news is it sounds like they are already planning on removing it later:

The amendment from Cruz and Lee will be tentatively included, those sources said, and could be altered or removed later. The amendment would allow the sale of cheap, deregulated insurance plans as long as Obamacare-compliant plans are still sold.

Axios is reporting something similar:

The Consumer Freedom Option allows insurers selling plans compliant with Affordable Care Act regulations to also sell non-compliant plans. The provision will be in brackets, the sources say, meaning it’s incomplete and subject to edits or removal. However, the Congressional Budget Office is still analyzing two versions of the bill, one with the provision and one without.

The majority of industry and consumer groups have come out against the provision, as have many moderate Republicans. The provision may not survive the intense criticism it’s about to get. It also may not comply with Senate budget rules, which will be determined sometime before the bill goes to the floor.

So there you go. We can expect to see it as part of the bill today, but they are probably going to kill it.

If they do that then I expect Cruz and Lee won’t be able to vote for the bill. Along with Rand Paul and perhaps Susan Collins, that would be enough to kill the bill.

Then onto Lindsey Graham’s bipartisan ‘fix Obamacare’ bill I guess.

UPDATE:

Wow. Was the amendment rewritten by leadership and put in the bill?

I guess we’ll find out soon enough…

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