President shouldn't back a proposal to weaken the health reform law

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

President Obama recently seemed to endorse a proposal from Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Scott Brown, R-Mass., to allow states the option of moving to universal coverage without a health insurance mandate.

In any event, the proposal, as health coverage policy, is weak tea.

States can't do systemic reform and coverage expansion without massive doses of federal money. And it is irresponsible for the feds to dole out hundreds of millions without the assurance of insurance, payment and system reform, as well as universal coverage. That's the problem with Republican proposals to use a "block grant" approach in giving Medicaid dollars to the states to do with as they will. Massachusetts has already proven that.

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Originally published: 03/09/2011, Minnesota Public Radio