Wyden Backs Obamacare State Flexibility, With Protections

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) speaks with reporters at the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 6.

Photographer: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Ron Wyden, a key Democratic senator on health-care matters, said he’s on board with giving states more flexibility in how they run Obamacare -- so long as they don’t use the new freedom to weaken the health law’s protections.

Republicans are proposing more flexibility in the use of so-called 1332 waivers that would give states more say in how the program is run, as part of potential compromise legislation to stabilize the law’s markets. Governors have also asked for more flexibility.

“1332 is about giving states the chance to do better not an opportunity to do worse,” Wyden said in an interview in Washington Thursday. “Anybody who tries to turn this into a program where they can roll back fundamental consumer protections is going to have to roll over me.”

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