Senate consumer choice idea could raise premiums for sick

People are removed from a sit-in outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office as they protest proposed cuts to Medicaid, Thursday, June 22, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A health care proposal from Senate conservatives would let insurers sell skimpy policies provided they also offer a comprehensive alternative.

It’s being billed as pro-consumer, allowing freedom of choice and potential savings for many.

But critics say it would split the sick and the healthy, leading to unsustainably high premiums for people with medical problems and pre-existing conditions, who may get priced out of the market unless taxpayers bail them out.

Senate Republican leaders trying to resolve differences between moderates and conservatives ahead of a health care showdown are taking a close look at the proposal from Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah

It’s been dubbed the Consumer Freedom Amendment. No final text has been made public, but the concept has been endorsed by Vice President Mike Pence.
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