With all the time wasted voting to repeal Obamacare and all the time wasted railing against it, this seems like a sensible compromise.
For Kansas and other states that have been opposed to the content and philosophy of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, a section of the law provides an opportunity to opt out of some of its key requirements beginning in 2017. This is, as long as the plans drafted by the state meets federal muster.
Section 1332 of the ACA allows states to apply for a waiver to implement alternative strategies to providing citizens with access to affordable health care.
The Kansas Health Institute released a new issue brief, entitled An Alternative Path to State-Specific Health Reform: Exploring the ACA’s Section 1332 Waiver, that explains the waiver requirements and application process as well as some of the benefits and challenges of seeking a waiver.
Key points include:
• Section 1332 of the ACA allows individual states to develop their own approaches to health reform.
• A state’s waiver application must show its plan will meet the comprehensive coverage, affordability, coverage for comparable number of residents, and budget neutrality requirements.
• States that receive waivers may become eligible for federal dollars to help implement their waiver plans.
While no state has submitted a waiver application yet, at least eight states are considering doing so: Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont.
According to Linda J. Sheppard, J.D., Senior Analyst and Strategy Team Leader at KHI and one of the authors of the brief, “The challenges of applying for a Section 1332 waiver may be well worth the effort if it allows states to implement health care and coverage systems that contribute to the long-term health of their citizens.”
Brownback and other Republicans have ballyhooed that the health care act was the worst legislation since prohibition and have said they could do better. Now, its time for them to put their money where their flapping mouths are.
If we go down this path as a state, lets hope our leaders can cool their rhetoric long enough to come up with plan that both suits the state’s needs as well as those of the Kansans who need more access to health insurance.