President Backs Senate Measure to Allow Earlier Health Law Opt-Out

Seeking to “appease disgruntled governors, President Obama announced Monday that he supported amending the 2010 health care law to allow states to opt out of its most burdensome requirements three years earlier than currently permitted,” the New York Times reports.

In remarks to the National Governors Association, Mr. Obama said he backed legislation that would enable states to request federal permission to withdraw from the law’s mandates in 2014 rather than in 2017 as long as they could prove that they could find other ways to cover as many people as the original law would and at the same cost. The earlier date is when many of the act’s central provisions take effect, including requirements that most individuals obtain health insurance and that employers of a certain size offer coverage to workers or pay a penalty.

The bipartisan amendment “that Mr. Obama is now embracing was first proposed in November, eight months after enactment of the Affordable Care Act, by Senators Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, and Scott Brown, Republican of Massachusetts. Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, a Democrat, is now a co-sponsor.”

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