WASHINGTON (Nov. 29, 2010) — Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) have introduced legislation that would give states more flexibility to implement their own health plans when most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014.
Currently, a provision in the law says states can apply for waivers from some of the federal law´s requirements—including the individual mandate, the employer penalty for not providing coverage, the exact standards for a basic health insurance policy and the structure of the health insurance exchange—but must wait until 2017 to do so. Sens. Wyden and Brown said their legislation would allow states to apply for these waivers in 2014.
“Some of the most innovative approaches to health policy have originated at the local level, where lawmakers have a unique insight into their constituents´ lives and the state waiver simply gives states the bandwith to pursue those kinds of approaches,” Mr. Wyden said in a news release about the legislation. “That said, it doesn´t make sense—especially given the current budget environment—to force states to put off or abandon healthcare innovations in order to fully implement the federal law.”
This report appeared in Modern Healthcare magazine, a Chicago-based sister publication of Tire Business.