Sen. Mike Lee announced this afternoon that he is a “no” vote on the Senate health care bill if it doesn’t include the “Consumer Choice” amendment being pushed by Ted Cruz. Lee’s spokesperson Conn Carroll told Axios, “The entire bill is unacceptable without the Consumer Freedom Option.”
The amendment in question allows insurers to create and sell plans that do not follow the requirements put in place by Obamacare; it does, however, mandate that insurers sell at least one plan that follows existing Obamacare regulations. This would allow consumers to choose cheaper plans, but opt-in to the more comprehensive plans if they become ill. There would basically be two healthcare markets: one for those with pre-existing conditions and one for those without pre-existing conditions. Consumers can jump between the two markets as needed.
Lee and Cruz have been working together to push this conservative amendment, but the two part ways when it comes to the actual vote. Lee is a hard no without the amendment, whereas Cruz has repeatedly says the bill “can be improved.”