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Version of Ted Cruz amendment to be included in new health care plan

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(CNN) — A version of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s amendment to give insurers more flexibility to offer insurance plans that don’t comply with Obamacare-era regulations is expected to be included in the new Republican health care bill Thursday, according to two GOP aides familiar with the process.

The so-called Consumer Freedom amendment is considered contentious among Republican senators with some moderates having raised concerns that it could hurt those with pre-existing conditions. The amendment would allow insurers to sell cheaper plans with fewer benefits that would likely attract younger and healthier Americans. But that would cause premiums to spike for those looking those who are sick and need more comprehensive policies.

The amendment, however, has been key to getting Cruz to vote for the GOP plan to overhaul Obamacare. Cruz said Wednesday that his vote to advance the bill next week would depend on whether he was convinced premiums would lower with the GOP health care bill.

Sen. Mike Lee tweeted Thursday morning to say that he has not seen the newest version of the Cruz amendment included in leadership’s health care bill and was unsure if he could support it.

The amendment is being included in the draft bill Thursday, but could be stripped from the bill before a final vote occurs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is planning to discuss the new version of the bill with his conference later Thursday morning, and the new proposal is expected to be released publicly around the same time. A vote on the measure is possible next week.