President Donald Trump’s administration could change the way the U.S. approaches health care reform, Tim Rice wrote in The National Review.
If the administration allows Ohio to waive the Obamacare individual mandate a year ahead of schedule, that waiver could make health insurance more affordable in Ohio, but in applying for it, Ohio has brought up a vehicle for reform that has been neglected, Rice wrote.
Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act said states could apply to waive many of Obamacare’s provisions, including the individual mandate, in exchange for a block funding grant. In order to gain approval, a state must show that the waiver will not raise costs, lower scope of coverage, and that the waiver would not increase the federal deficit, Rice noted.
Rice wrote that if those qualifications were met, states would be free to tailor their own healthcare solutions. Progress on state innovation appeared to slow after the defeat of the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017, Rice noted.
"The Trump administration should use Ohio’s waiver application as a chance to correct its previous course of action and put us back on the path to reform," Rice wrote.
Approving Ohio’s waiver would show that Trump’s administration is as committed to stabilizing Obamacare as states are, Rice wrote.
The writer noted that states have had success with tailoring their own solutions, such as with Medicaid waivers.
"States want to tinker with the law and have no shortage of ideas on how to do that. They should be encouraged… The Trump administration should encourage states to propose innovative policy solutions, and stand with them as a partner on this crucial path to reform," Rice wrote in The National Review.
Obamacare remains popular with 61 percent of people in a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released April 3.
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