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Top Stories: Cruz, Cornyn Split On GOP Senate Healthcare Bill

Official U.S. Senate portraits
U.S. Sens. John Cornyn (left) and Ted Cruz (right).

The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

Texas’ two U.S. senators are split over their chamber's version of a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Ted Cruz Thursday said he couldn't back the bill. Three other GOP senators did the same. The Senate can only afford two "no" votes from Republicans and still pass the measure. John Cornyn supports it, and Thursday on the Senate floor, he said he was open to negotiations.

The Better Care Reconciliation Act eliminates the individual mandate requiring people to purchase health insurance. It also phases out certain benefits insurance plans are currently required to provide, such as preventive care screenings, emergency room visits, maternal and newborn care and lab tests.

The plan keeps some popular Obamacare provisions, such as barring denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Also, allowing people to stay on a parent’s health insurance plan until age 26.

Senate leaders hope to pass the bill before the July 4 recess. The House already passed its version of a repeal-and-replace bill last month.

Other stories this morning:

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM. 

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.