A Rare Democrat That I Can Agree With
A Senator from the left coast state of Oregon has what is actually a pretty good idea:
Oregon’s Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden introduced legislation Thursday that would allow states to implement their own health care plans starting in 2014, when most provisions of the new federal health care law take effect. Current law prevents states from applying for waivers to change aspects of the federal law until 2017.
Wyden isn’t acting out of altruistic motives, or because he opposes ObamaCare (he voted for it), but because he wants to let Oregon keep doing things the way they already are… which is fine by me, because his bill would let other states do things the way they want to… including:
Wyden originally included state waivers in 2006 in his Healthy Americans Act. Later, Wyden attached the waiver measure to the health care law that passed earlier this year. With a waiver, states can opt out of provisions such as:
-The individual mandate requiring everyone to have health insurance.
-The employer penalty for not providing coverage.
-The exact standards for a basic health insurance policy.
-The health insurance exchange.
In short, if Wyden’s proposal passes (which it probably won’t), individual states will have more freedom to decide how to run health care in their states… it’s not clear from the article whether Wyden’s proposal would require states to seek a waiver from HHS before making changes or not, but either way, it’s an improvement… though I’d prefer no waiver being required.
I’d like to see the Republicans in the Senate working with Senator Wyden and any Democrats that agree with him to implement something like this.