The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Larry Levitt says, “States actually have a lot flexibility in theory under current waivers, but the guardrails are very hard to meet, which limits the amount of flexibility in practice.” During the repeal-and-replace effort, Republicans wanted to remove some of those “guardrails”—allowing states to chip away more substantively at some of the law’s benefit mandates and coverage guarantees. Sen. Lamar Alexander, though, is trying to keep his proposal more tailored. He’s focusing more on changes to the process of seeking a waiver than on the substance of what can be waived.
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