Sacramento Bee/Stateline.org, March 14, 2011
President Barack Obama is encouraging states to develop their own healthcare plans if they want to, but his announcement of that policy didn't mean much to most governors; right now, they haven't shown signs that they've got alternative plans. For two governors, however, the president's announcement carried real significance. Those two are Democrats Peter Shumlin of Vermont and John Kitzhaber of Oregon. Shumlin is promoting a single-payer system that would cover every Vermonter free of charge; Kitzhaber is drawing up a radical change in the way health services are delivered. Both would gain from greater flexibility. Under congressional legislation that the president now endorses, states could apply for an exemption from key provisions of the federal law that would otherwise take effect in 2014.