A new bipartisan proposal that would allow innovative states to basically drop out of the health care law could help ease conservative opposition to the plan, even as the number of Republicans who have joined various lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate has swelled in recent months.
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New legislation, introduced last week by Sens. Scott Brown (R-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) would make a simple tweak to the law: It would allow the states to implement their own health care systems, and thus be exempt from most of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The catch: Those programs would have to cover, with decent insurance, at least as many people as the health care law does, but without adding to the deficit.
The law technically already provides this exception -- but as currently written, states can only begin opting out in 2017. This new Wyden/Brown proposal would kick that date forward to 2014.