This could include the younger, healthier people who have fled the Affordable Care Act, seeing little reason to pay piles of cash that they do not have for more coverage than they need.
Cruz recently proposed an amendment to the bill that would allow all insurance companies to offer plans that do not comply with current law as long as they also offer plans that do, expanding the reach of lower-coverage plans.
Republicans who grabbed every lever of political power in November are struggling to replace Obamacare with something better, however.
"Make no mistake, the Cruz amendment is a hoax", Schumer said in a statement Thursday.
Critics have argued Cruz's idea could disrupt the risk pools established under the ACA and could force less healthy people to have to pay more for coverage.
Sen. Ted Cruz talks with Dan Caldwell, with Concerned Veterans for America at Sheraton Houston Brook Hollow on Saturday, July 8, 2017.
"We're trying to help figure it out because there's a lot of support for what he's trying to do", Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynCruz plan could be key to unlocking healthcare votes 'Kate's Law' battle shifts to the Senate, testing Dems GOP leaders prepared to make big boost to healthcare innovation fund MORE (R-Texas) said a few hours after the meeting. "If you look at what is happening with ObamaCare now people are hurting under it".
But the Cruz amendment could also isolate other more moderate senators in the conference, who already have deep reservations about the bill, including how it might negatively impact patients with pre-existing conditions.
Cruz emerged on the political scene as an insurgent candidate, campaigning against the Affordable Care Act. In San Antonio he talked about an amendment he wants to add to the legislation.
Cruz and Utah Sen.
Senator Cruz responded to those inside "I think it's critical as republicans to honor our promise to repeal Obamacare".
Meadows told reporters, "If the Cruz consumer choice amendment gets there, yes I can support it without the MacArthur amendment in there, because I think it gives everybody some options".
Moderate Republicans might balk if the plan as rising costs for people with preexisting conditions, however especially if the CBO comes back with an ugly score.
Cruz said if Republicans do that and premiums continue to skyrocket, "that's how you get a Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi or a leader Chuck Schumer".
"There's a real feeling that that's subterfuge to get around pre-existing conditions", Sen.
"You would likely see some market segmentation", Cruz told Vox last week. "They wanted to repeal it". House Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) also endorsed the amendment, which serves as a significant endorsement, considering that the bill would also have to pass through the House after it goes through the Senate.
They are backed up by conservative groups such as FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth, which panned the legislation made public last month. Without Lee, it becomes hard to imagine a path for the legislation to pass; 50 of the 52 Senate Republicans must vote for it.