The new plan is more devious than the old. It’s designed to give the Freedom Caucus the elimination of pre-existing conditions protection they want, but at the same time give the so-called moderate Republicans (whose constituencies want this protection to stay in place) an excuse with which to justify the plan to their voters: namely so-called “high-risk pools” of funds that are supposed to help those most sick among us who can’t afford the jacked-up insurance premiums for their no longer protected pre-existing conditions. The thing to consider here is: would those pools help enough? In the past, when this has been tried, they never did help enough.
The question is not only whether these high risk pools are big enough, but also who fills them, and with what money? As you suggest it would take a whole lot of money to adequately fund, where (and from who) does that money come? If it comes from tax dollars, it’s a lot, requiring tax increases to fund, and the effect is to shift the risk of insuring preexisting conditions from insurance companies (now under Obamacare) to the government.
As I have previously written, an incredible 92% of Americans support the provision in Obamacare requiring insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions. Preexisting conditions create a dilemma for funding that Obamacare resolved through the individual mandate. Eliminating the individual mandate means another solution has to be found. Any substitute failing to address that dilemma is as doomed as Trumpcare 1.