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Senate split over pre-existing conditions protections

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Sen. Ted Cruz's proposal to allow plans that don't meet Affordable Care Act requirements is re-opening debate in the Senate about whether to fully preserve protections for people with pre-existing conditions. While Republican leaders made clear a few weeks ago that these protections wouldn't be touched, the Cruz idea is bringing the subject back up.

"We're looking at that and seeing if it's workable," Sen. John Thune, a member of GOP leadership, told reporters.

The problem: As it's been explained, the provision would sink the bill. "If Cruz succeeds in putting it in the bill, the bill dies. Period. End of sentence end of paragraph end of story," a senior GOP aide told me, adding that "there are 20-30 Republicans that will oppose any bill that does that."