Republicans release latest healthcare draft ahead of vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has released a revamped Republican health care bill, and it seeks out conservative support by letting insurers sell low-premium policies with skimpy coverage.

The bill is aimed at repealing much of President Barack Obama's health law. But the GOP plan remains in deep jeopardy because of divisions within the party.

It's unclear whether the measure will survive a showdown vote next week.

The revised legislation includes added money for states to help insurers curb consumers' increasing premiums and out of pocket costs. And it has $45 billion to help states combat drug abuse.

But McConnell is retaining his plan to cut Medicaid, the health care program for the poor. GOP moderates have fought to ease those reductions.

In a bid for conservative support for his flailing health legislation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will include an amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in a reworked bill being released Thursday.

That's according to two Senate GOP aides who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the bill's release. Exact details were not immediately clear.

Cruz has been working with Sen. Mike Lee of Utah on a measure that would allow insurers to sell skimpier health care plans.

But Lee's office says Lee has not seen the new Cruz amendment - and until he does, won't commit to voting next week to proceeding to debate on the health bill.

Despite pressure from President Donald Trump, that could kill the bill before debate even begins.
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