HHS releases regulation on state-specific health reform waivers

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The Obama Administration on Friday issued guidelines for states applying for "innovation waiver" that would allow them to opt out of some provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Bloomberg reports.

Under the 80-plus pages of guidelines, states would be able to opt out of purchase mandates by exceeding the levels of coverage provided for under the reform law. They must also show that their plans do not add to the deficit.

The states could begin implementing the waivers in 2017. Governors in some states, particularly those in the South, object to the mandate that residents purchase insurance. Others, such as Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, favor a single-payer-style system that would cover all of a state’s residents.

The waivers are intended to "empower states to take the lead on implementing" reform, said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The plan has come under fire from some Republicans. Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the waiver application process is "wrought with U-turns that lead back to the same place-the federal government."

For more information:
- read the Bloomberg article  

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