Senate Republicans unveil revised health care bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Senate Republicans unveiled their newest health care bill as they continue to search for the majority needed to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The revision includes a version of Sen. Ted Cruz’s amendment, which would allow insurers offering Obamacare plans to also offer cheaper, bare-bones policies.

This is meant to appeal to conservatives, but could also drive away moderates who are concerned the amendment would cause premiums to spike for those with pre-existing conditions.

It also contains significant new funding for opioid treatment and money for states meant to lower premiums for high-cost enrollees.

It would keep two Obamacare-era taxes on the wealthy and maintain significant cuts to Medicaid, meaning 15 million fewer people could be insured by the program by 2026.

Senators walking into a meeting of fellow Republicans mostly said they were unfamiliar with the revised bill [read here].

Also Thursday, GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana proposed an alternative approach to replacing Obamacare that would keep much of the federal taxes in place and send that money to states to control.

Graham “We’re going to turn the refundable tax credit into a block grant, we’re going to keep the taxes on the wealthy in place, we’re going to repeal the individual mandate and employer mandate,” says Sen. Graham.

They say that one of the primary reasons Republicans are having such a hard time agreeing is because they are working from the Obamacare template — particularly federal control of health insurance.

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