Despite Congressional Policy Clashes, State-Level Innovation Could Be Marked By Bipartisan Cooperation

Meanwhile, in other health reform policy news, Arizona tries a new work-around related to federal Medicaid rules, conservative think-tanks develop policy alternatives for the "repeal-replace" environment and the Administration weighs in regarding an ongoing Michigan challenge to the health law.

The Associated Press: Health Care Overhaul Debate Now Shifts To States
True or false: States suing to overturn core requirements of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul are refusing to carry out the law. If you said "true," you'd be wrong. Republican state legislators and governors are working on how to deliver coverage to more than 30 million people now uninsured, as the law calls for, even as GOP attorneys general lead the legal battle to overturn the law's mandate that most Americans have health insurance. The result? Perhaps the first practical opportunity for the two political parties to work together on an issue that divides them in Washington (Alonso-Zaldivar, 1/22).

The Washington Post: Health-Care Law: Arizona Tries New Approach To Get By Federal Medicaid Rules
Republican efforts to repeal or limit the reach of the new health-care law took a new direction last week when Arizona lawmakers approved a novel and controversial attempt to cut Medicaid for 280,000 of the state's poor (Aizenman, 1/23).

National Journal: Conservative Think Tanks Readying Overhaul Alternative
While the "replace" part of House Republicans' health care strategy might be slow in coming, conservative think tanks are gearing up to deliver an alternative health care plan if the time comes (McCarthy, 1/21).

CQ HealthBeat: Health Care Lawsuit In Michigan Draws Backing From Administration Allies
Supporters of the health care law filed a flurry of briefs on Friday supporting the Obama administration's position that the measure's individual mandate is constitutional. Those supporters included hospital associations, health advocacy groups, economists and two top Democratic lawmakers — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California (Norman, 1/21).

NPR: Can Congress Mandate Health Insurance?
Many Republicans, including Rep. Dan Lungren of California, believe Congress doesn't have the constitutional authority to make people buy insurance, and they object to the idea that everyone must have it. But as constitutional law expert Andrew Koppelman tells Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, Congress can trace its constitutional authority to mandate health care coverage to the Constitution's "necessary and proper clause" (1/22).

Connecticut Mirror: Small Business Rooting For One Piece Of Health Reform Repeal
Repealing the [1099] tax provision is on the House GOP's to-do list, and it's the one thing in the health care debate that enjoys bipartisan support. Even Democrats who want to protect the underlying health overhaul are eager to overturn the 1099 requirement. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, has called it "a silly burden on our businesses." And Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, said last week that it's one of the "bugs in the system" that needs to be fixed (Shesgreen, 1/21). 

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