WASHINGTON — Conservative senators are pushing to diminish insurance coverage requirements imposed by President Barack Obama’s health care law as Senate Republicans try fashioning legislation overhauling the nation’s health care system.

Their ideas include erasing Obama consumer protections, such as barring higher premiums for people with pre-existing medical conditions, but allowing states to opt into them.

That’s a more conservative twist on the health care bill the House approved last week. That measure retains the coverage protections but lets states get waivers to drop some of them.

Conservatives say eliminating the coverage requirements would remove a top reason why premiums rise. Democrats tout the protections as a major Obama achievement that’s helped millions of consumers, and some moderate Republicans also oppose removing them.

Conservative senators are also talking about curbing health care tax credits Republicans want and slowing the growth of the Medicaid program for poor and disabled people.

Obama’s insurance requirements are among the most popular aspects of his 2010 law, and conservatives’ chances of annulling them in a GOP Senate bill are uncertain. They’re getting pushback from more centrist Republicans, and the conservatives’ effort to void them may not even be allowed into the measure because of special rules the Senate is using.

Win or lose, the effort is one example of the flashpoints GOP senators face early in their closed-door effort to deliver a top priority for themselves and President Donald Trump: scuttling much of Obama’s law.

“We’re going to leave it up to consumers to decide what they want to buy, what they need, so we’re going to eliminate mandates, not add them,” No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters Thursday, referring to Obama’s coverage requirements. But he added, “We haven’t made any decisions.”

Conservative Sen. Mike Lee would like to eliminate Obama’s requirements that insurers offer coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and charge them the same premiums as healthy customers, a GOP aide said.

The Utah Republican would also erase Obama’s mandate that insurers cover a range of services such as maternity care and prescriptions, and the limitation that insurers charge older customers a maximum of triple what they charge younger ones. Lee would let states choose to retain those coverage requirements.

In addition, he’d limit tax credits that help people cover medical costs to amounts equaling whatever taxes people owe. The House bill’s credits are refundable, which means they even go to those who owe little or no taxes.