Last month, majorities in Congress voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Not surprisingly, President Obama vetoed the repeal bill, and the Republican Congress was unable to override the president’s veto.
As former leaders in Congress, we have a message for both sides in this debate: It’s time to give the states a chance.
This doesn’t mean that conservatives and Republicans have to give up the fight to reduce the regulations and taxes in the law. It also doesn’t mean that progressives and Democrats have to stop defending protections for the underinsured and uninsured.
Instead, it’s time to look to a provision of the Affordable Care Act — Section 1332 — that can achieve what both sides earnestly wish for: providing more Americans with access to more affordable, flexible, patient-centered health care.
Since we share these goals, we prepared a report with the Bipartisan Policy Center by working out our differences and seeking common ground. The process was at times grueling, but that made it all the more rewarding to be able to develop collaborative, bipartisan recommendations. We wanted to offer a way past the impasse over the Affordable Care Act without either of us having to sacrifice our core principles.