Ted Cruz, a man so unpopular that his iPhone contact list is just one sad face emoji, has done it again.
Cruz has been shopping an amendment to the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act that is designed to bridge a gap between conservatives and moderates in the Republican caucus. Moderates are worried about stripping out the Obamacare requirement that insurance plans cover a range of Essential Health Benefits, or EHBs. Conservatives want people to have the freedom to buy plans that do not cover these benefits, even if that means they are basically junk.
The amendment offered by Cruz, a person who has never suffered from head lice because even head lice can’t stand spending that much time with him, would allow insurers to sell non-Obamacare-compliant insurance plans in a particular market just as long as they also offer at least one plan that is Obamacare-compliant. Everybody wins, except the sick people who would need the compliant plans but would find the cost of premiums zooming into the ionosphere because only other sick people would be buying them, thus forming a sort of de facto high-risk pool.
Senators might be willing to foist this nonsense off on their constituents. When it comes to health insurance for themselves and their staffs, however, this amendment is less popular than Ted Cruz, and Ted Cruz is less popular than a 10-year sentence in a North Korean labor camp.
According to Vox, this amendment has one exception:
Insurers can offer plans without these benefits — unless they’re selling coverage to members of Congress and their staff, who are required to buy coverage on the health law marketplaces. The exemption says this part of the law still applies to any plans sold to Congress.
Pretty sweet deal. Life under the BCRA for congressmen, senators, and their staffs will be just a bed of roses. Or a bowl of cherries. Or a day without having to talk to Ted Cruz.