McClatchy Newspapers, February 1, 2011
Two Senate Republicans today aim to introduce a measure that would allow states to opt out of the federal healthcare law, a day after a federal judge declared President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement unconstitutional. The bill, crafted by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Barrasso of Wyoming, would enable states to shield their residents from having to buy health insurance as required by the landmark legislation Obama signed into law last March. The Graham measure would also let states pass legislation freeing their businesses from the mandate to provide employees medical coverage and rejecting expansion of Medicaid benefits. "Opting out would take the health-care debate from Washington to the states and give people more say," Graham said. "At the end of the day, this is a waiver for states if they choose to take it."