The Cruz amendment creates what is called a “Consumer Freedom Option.” This essentially allows an “off-ramp” from Obamacare for the tens of millions of Americans who don’t want it. The “Consumer Freedom Option” allows insurers who offer Obamacare-compliant plans to offer a range of much less costly plans. In other words, it empowers people and families to pick and choose what they want in their own insurance package. Some families want and can afford blanket coverage that insures them for everything from cancer to contraceptives to drug addiction to dental care to the sniffles. If you want to pay for that coverage, go for it.
What about families or individuals with lower incomes or healthy life styles that want the other extreme? They want slimmed-down coverage that protects them from major medical expenses — a bad injury like breaking a leg, or a serious disease with costly ongoing treatments. These families may voluntarily choose to pay for more routine medical expenses, like a checkup or a visit to the dentist’s office, out of pocket. One benefit is that since more people will pay directly for medical services, they are likely to shop around for the best price, and this competition will lower prices for everyone.