States Can Opt Out of Obamacare – Under Certain Conditions

Where’s Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) been for the past few weeks? Heck, where’s he been for the past few days? For that matter, where’s the media?

HuffPo: The Oregon Democrat isn’t inviting opponents to defy the newly-enacted health care law. Instead, he’s pointing out a provision in the bill that makes moot the argument over the legality of the individual mandate.

Speaking to the Huffington Post on Tuesday, Wyden discussed — for one of the first times in public — legislative language he authored which “allows a state to go out and do its own bill, including having no individual mandate.”

It’s called the “Empowering States to be Innovative” amendment. And it would, quite literally, give states the right to set up their own health care system — with or without an individual mandate or, for that matter, with or without a public option — provided that, as Wyden puts it, “they can meet the coverage requirements of the bill.”

“Why don’t you use the waiver provision to let you go set up your own plan?” the senator asked those who threaten health-care-related lawsuits. “Why would you just say you are going to sue everybody, when this bill gives you the authority and the legal counsel is on record as saying you can do it without an individual mandate?”

How did this slip by so many people? Allahpundit provides a few clues. (Cough – nobody, and I mean nobody, read the bill.)

Not that it matters. See the portion in bold. The states would have to meet the coverage requirements of the bill. The federal government has the ability to fudge the numbers. Will the states be given that luxury?