• Friday, March 04, 2011RSS Feed

    Obama Open to Giving States Flexibility in Meeting Reform Requirements

    President Obama will support legislation to allow states to opt out of one of the "more controversial" provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) -- the requirement that all people purchase health insurance or face a penalty -- sooner than the law allows, says an article in The New York Times.

    Speaking Monday to the National Governors Association, Obama said he was "…not open to refighting the battles of the last 2 years… or undoing the progress that we've made." However, Obama said he was willing to amend the reform law to give states the ability to obtain waivers from the individual mandate as soon as it takes effect in 2014, as long as they find another way to expand coverage without driving up health care costs. Currently under PPACA, states must wait until 2017 to obtain waivers.

    The likelihood for a new proposal, which was recently introduced in the Senate, appears dim, the article says. Obama calls the bill "reasonable" and says that it will give governors flexibility while still guaranteeing the American people reform. Nonetheless, Congress would have to approve the change through legislation and House Republican leaders say that they are "committed to repealing the law, not amending it."


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