As of this writing, Senate Republicans are still struggling to find a formula for a Health Care Reform bill that at least 50 senators can accept. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken $188 billion from the bill and is using the money to in effect bribe senators to come on board. In the meantime, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas has a compromise that might bring conservatives and moderates together.

Money for opioid addiction programs and other things

McConnell is offering $45 billion over the next ten years to be directed for programs designed to fight opioid addiction. The beauty of this proposal is that opioids represent an authentic health care crisis that is ravaging communities across the United States.

Other recommendations include using some of the extra money, which had been allocated for tax cuts, to buttress the subsidies for the Obamacare markets and for Medicaid in some states that were unwise enough to accept a deal to expand the rolls under the Affordable Care Act. An expansion of health care savings accounts is also on the table. However, only so much money is available to go around, and the allocations must be balanced enough so as to not assuage some senators at the expense of angering others.

The Ted Cruz compromise

Ted Cruz, who once filibustered the Senate to repeal Obamacare, has offered a compromise that may bring the GOP caucus together. Cruz’s amendment would lift many of the insurance mandates so long as insurance companies offer at least one Obamacare compliant policy in every market.

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Thus people with preexisting conditions and other problems can remain in the Obamacare system.

The problem, as many analysts have pointed out, is that the more expensive to treat people will gravitate to the Obamacare policies while healthier people would go to the free market programs. Of course, that problem exists in the current system with healthier, younger people accepting the tax penalty rather than buy expensive Obamacare policies on the individual markets.

One advantage of Cruz’s system over the current one is that insurance companies can use the Obamacare policies as lost leaders to be paid for by premiums paid into the free market plans. Also, the government is likely going to have to provide some support in the form of premium subsidies.

The one thing that may drive a final compromise is that no alternative exists. Obamacare is collapsing. Some people have warned that a lack of a GOP health care package will lead to a push for single payer. But, as California recently found out, government run health care is impossible as well because it costs too much.