• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Obama's Phony Obamacare Flexibility Offer

    Speaking to the National Governors Association at the White House today, President Barack Obama endorsed legislation by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Scott Brown (R-MA) that would allow states to request waivers from some Obamacare mandates in 2014 instead of the existing 2017 date. President Obama claimed: “It will give you flexibility more quickly while still guaranteeing the American people reform.” Has President Obama even read the legislation? Because that is just plan false. Heritage Foundation Center for Policy Innovation Director Stuart Butler explained in the New England Journal of Medicine:

    One [problem] is that it still locks the states into guaranteeing a generous and costly level of benefits. True, a state could propose alternative benefit requirements if they had the same actuarial value as those in the ACA. But the requirements go well beyond basic coverage, and the HHS secretary is the one who defines “at least as comprehensive” benefits.

    Another major problem with the bill is that since ultimate waiver authority rests with the HHS secretary, the waivers granted would probably reflect the administration’s preferences. Senator Wyden claims that his legislation would allow conservative states to opt out of much of the ACA and implement consumer-driven coverage. But he admits that the secretary, not the state, has the final word over what is permitted.

    As long as the HHS Secretary, whether it is Kathleen Sebelius or the next occupant of the office, has the final say on granting Obamacare waivers, then there is no real flexibility for states under Obamacare. All 50 of them would still be at the mercy of the whim of the HHS. The only real way to give states true flexibility on health care reform begins with the full repeal of Obamacare.

    UPDATE: Politico confirms that Wyden-Brown has nothing to do with offering Obamacare critical states “flexibility” and everything to do with advancing single payer health care:

    [A] White House conference call with liberal allies this morning says the Administration is presenting it to Democrats as an opportunity to offer more expansive health care plans than the one Congress passed.

    Health care advisers Nancy-Ann DeParle and Stephanie Cutter stressed on the off-record call that the rule change would allow states to implement single-payer health care plans — as Vermont seeks to — and true government-run plans, like Connecticut’s Sustinet.

    The source on the call summarizes the officials’ point — which is not one the Administration has sought to make publically — as casting the new “flexibility” language as an opportunity to try more progressive, not less expansive, approaches on the state level.

    “They are trying to split the baby here: on one hand tell supporters this is good for their pet issues, versus a message for the general public that the POTUS is responding to what he is hearing and that he is being sensible,” the source emails.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    17 Responses to Obama's Phony Obamacare Flexibility Offer

    1. LibertyAtStake, Alex says:

      BHO is lying out the clock, or so he must think.

      d(^_^)b
      http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com
      "Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive"

    2. Bobbie says:

      Dummied down democrats. The party of self pity and promoters of the same. Rinos falling in. Responsible people do not need government and the irresponsible will figure it out without government. That's reform.

      What would be expansive is the free market. Otherwise it's another illusion to dummy down the masses to the democrat level or beyond. Obama doesn't want reform he wants take-over.

      Stay tough for those who know the difference between the distorted illusion of the affordable health care act and personal responsibilities of individual freedom.

    3. Conserve This says:

      Good Job… The President is now showing the king of leadership we ALL voted for in 2008, The failure of previous Presidents to curb the high cost of health care has put him in this tough spot. Maybe If we focused more time and money helping our own people and Quit giving so many Tax Breaks to Corporations we can control our Dept problem.

    4. Tess. Drexel Hill, P says:

      OBAMA asked for a '…clarification of Judge Vinson's

      decision…'!

      Judge Vinson gave his version of the clarification.

      PLEASE TELL US WHAT WE ARE WAITING FOR!

    5. Pingback: Obama’s Phony Obamacare Flexibility Offer

    6. Domenic Falcone says:

      The only way to deal with obamacare is to repeal the law. I am sick & tired of President Oboma's crafty and devieus schemes to rescue his legislation.

    7. Pingback: Give The Public What They Want, More Blog Posts On Mandates | Around The Sphere

    8. Pingback: Obama’s New Found Flexibility on ObamaCare Not So Flexible | The Lonely Conservative

    9. Pingback: » Obama’s Phony Obamacare Flexibility Offer | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. MySquawk

    10. Bob Ulmer Kentucky says:

      Joe Wilson was prophesying the truth about Barack Obama when he said you lie!!

    11. Friedberg says:

      IN YOUR POSTS AND BLOGS AND WRITINGS, Give Obama full credit by name for his works and accomplishments. Don't say "the administration, the White House, the FCC, the Senate," etc., say OBAMA….

    12. RUTH SC says:

      As A person who pays for insurance, this year, my rates have already gone up and my co payments have increased but the amount of services are now extremely limited. I have been told medicare recipients will be getting more rate increases and less and less benefits as the new system progresses, WE ARE THE ONES WHO PAID FOR OUR BENEFITS, why are we now getting stripped of what we paid for? I worked for 40 years and did not milk the system, but paid into it, now I will not be able to reap the benefits, but someone who never worked a day in their life will get as many benefits if not more than I will? This does not sit well with most of us and if we do not ban together and fight the insanity, we are doomed. God bless America, we need to take it back!

    13. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      When you are Reforming the best Health Care System in the world? The word "Reform" does not guarantee actual improvement! These Socialists wouldn't know a 'benefit' if it bit them in the butt! The generalization of the word "Reform" has already been over used by the creeping Socialists. I know the Commies are running out of words that sound nice, so I guess I shouldn't puke every time they say to 'reform something.' It is just that it means they want to destroy (bankrupt) something else. All the time the substance is nothing but buzzwords with opposite effects, not reform but degradation.

      So it is "Free unlimited Health Care for all" in their American Dream (new buzzword meaning the opposite of what you might think). But honestly, 20% of the People never need Medical Care a day of their lives! Another 20% of Americans abuse Medical Care, you'd call them hypochondriacs! 20% Of Americans want the cheap and reliable basic care! 20% Of Americans are just killing themselves and no amount of Medical Care will make any difference! 20% of Americans need good Emergency Trauma care for accidents (and Progressive induced violence, Illegal Aliens, gangs, drugs and Union beatings (timely joke)).

      If you totally Deregulated American Medicine? Virtually all our deficiencies would go away!

      Conn Carrol, love your work. It reminds me of the situation in Wisconsin, these miscreants are painting us all into the corner! So Bankruptcy is completely unavoidable! Get it? They want to destroy America. (No exaggeration since Bankruptcy is destruction by any measure.) Is anybody doing the Research on Junk Science in Medicine?

    14. RME KRNL, Northern V says:

      It's not totally phony. He doesn't mind it being tinkered with around the edges, which is what he's proposing. He's just trying to seem conciliatory so it's not totally repealed, which is what still should be done.

    15. CJ says:

      >When you are Reforming the best Health Care System in the world?
      37th best, actually. Don’t kid yourself. The US has one of the worst infantile mortality rates in the developed world. Yet the US spends more as a percentage of GDP than any other country – all wasted on out-of-control costs imposed by the “market”. If you’re happy with that, so be it, but let’s not pretend Obama is wrecking a jewel in the American crown.

      http://www.who.int/whr/2000/media_centre/press_release/en/

    16. Bobbie says:

      The US has one of the worst infantile mortality rates in the developed world under government run health care, while the US spends more as a percentage of GDP than any other country forcing more people under government control.

      The U.S. HAD THE BEST HEALTH CARE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR. The private health care industry was efficient, ethical, accountable and respectful of everything regarding the patient. Including privacy, where going to one doctor, you were cured. Today, going to one government doctor leads to five more. Make-work…potential threat to good health.

    17. Diana Brown, Illinoi says:

      This law needs to be repealed and repealed NOW. I put our Republicans on notice!!!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×