This from The Foundry
Speaking to the National Governors Association at the White House today, President Barack Obama endorsed legislation by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Scott Brown (R-MA) that would allow states to request waivers from some Obamacare mandates in 2014 instead of the existing 2017 date. President Obama claimed: “It will give you flexibility more quickly while still guaranteeing the American people reform.” Has President Obama even read the legislation? Because that is just plan false. Heritage Foundation Center for Policy Innovation Director Stuart Butler explained in the New England Journal of Medicine:
One [problem] is that it still locks the states into guaranteeing a generous and costly level of benefits. True, a state could propose alternative benefit requirements if they had the same actuarial value as those in the ACA. But the requirements go well beyond basic coverage, and the HHS secretary is the one who defines “at least as comprehensive” benefits.
Another major problem with the bill is that since ultimate waiver authority rests with the HHS secretary, the waivers granted would probably reflect the administration’s preferences. Senator Wyden claims that his legislation would allow conservative states to opt out of much of the ACA and implement consumer-driven coverage. But he admits that the secretary, not the state, has the final word over what is permitted.
- President Obama Endorses Earlier State Opt-Out of PPACA (alankatz.wordpress.com)
- Obama to States: If You Can Do Health Reform Better, Go For It (swampland.blogs.time.com)
- Obama backs proposed health change (politico.com)
- Transcript of Obama’s Remarks to Governors (blogs.wsj.com)