Throwing a lifeline to his signature health reform law, under attack in the courts and in Congress, President Obama told governors today that he supports a proposal to give states more flexibility in determining how they provide health insurance to their uninsured residents.
Under the current law, states could opt out of the requirement mandating they establish insurance exchanges if they demonstrate that they can provide coverage to the same number of people. Those waivers will be available in 2017.
Obama now supports a Congressional proposal to allow states to opt-out beginning in 2014, the year that the exchanges would kick in. Last week, the administration said it would loosen restrictions on state Medicaid programs if they were significantly contributing to state budget deficits.