Major insurance groups call part of health bill ‘unworkable’

WASHINGTON — Two of the insurance industry’s most powerful organizations say a crucial provision in the Senate Republican health care bill allowing the sale of bare-bones policies is “unworkable in any form.”

The criticism was lodged in an unusual joint statement by America’s Health Care Plans and the BlueCross BlueShield Association.

It is a blow to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to line up enough Republican votes to push the health care legislation through the Senate next week.

The provision was written by conservative Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who says it will drive down premiums. McConnell hopes it will win conservative support for the overall bill, but moderates are worried it will reduce coverage.