At a meeting with state governors this morning, President Obama offered an endorsement of a plan put forward by Sens. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) and Scott Brown (R., Mass.) that would allow states to opt out of the Affordable Care Act beginning in 2014 — provided they offer an alternative plan that matches Obamacare’s nominal coverage and cost numbers.
The ACA already gives states the (narrow, caveat-laden) ability to design state-based alternatives starting in 2017, but the Wyden-Brown bill would move that deadline up to coincide with the implementation of the mandate, exchanges, Medicaid expansion, and other major provisions of Obamacare.
There is some speculation that the Obama endorsement could be a move to blunt challenges to the constitutionality of the ACA, something administration officials deny.