Small group of protesters greet Ted Cruz at Houston town hall

Small group of protesters greet Ted Cruz at Houston town hall

Town halls became popular and contentious venues for voicing concern over health care in the summer of 2009 when President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act was being debated in Congress.

The proposal would allow insurance companies the freedom to sell any kinds of health plans they want as long as they also sell at least one plan that qualifies under the regulatory requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Repealing and replacing Obamacare is among the highest priority for congressional Republicans.

Cruz's plan would lower costs, but people will lose coverage too, he said. "The idea that this is sprouting at the last minute is inaccurate", said a senior conservative Republican aide.

Conservatives say allowing consumers to buy the type of coverage they want is the best way to drive down premiums, though opponents say consumers will pay less for skimpier benefits, while those who still want or need the type of robust coverage mandated by Obamacare will have to pay more.

"Far better to have it through direct tax revenue and let the people who are struggling pay a much more affordable premium", Mr. Cruz told reporters. "If you look at what is happening with ObamaCare now people are hurting under it".

The bill is expected to come back up when senators return.

Cruz and Utah Sen.

Cruz's amendment, which is an attempt to bring together Republicans and Democrats on the flailing legislation, would enable insurers to sell plans that do not comply with Obamacare insurance regulations - on the condition that they also sell plans that fulfill those rules.

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The town hall comes amid a wave of pressure on GOP senators from constituents over the July 4th break to vote against the Senate bill.

"As I see it, that basic plan, people are going to get sick - they're going to get really sick - and that plan is not going to cover what they're sick over like cancer and things like that", Abuabara said.

"If we can not bring the conference together and agree on repeal legislation, then I think President Trump's absolutely right that we should pass a clean repeal", Mr. Cruz told reporters in Austin, Texas, according to the Washington Post. Cruz said veterans should have more flexibility in getting care from the private sector instead of having to rely on the traditional VA hospitals and clinics.

Sen. Richard Burr, another ally to Senate leadership, said, "The Senate bill keeps current-law protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions, prohibiting the denial of health insurance coverage for this reason".

"There's a real feeling that that's subterfuge to get around pre-existing conditions", Sen.

"Bernie's view, he wants free everything for everyone", he said.

Cruz and Lee also have the support of members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, such as Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who tweeted Wednesday that he could support the Senate bill with Cruz's amendment.

They are backed up by conservative groups such as FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth, which panned the legislation made public last month. One conservative Senate staffer argues that if the Senate leadership does not include the amendment, conservatives will not vote for the BCRA.

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