Cassidy-Graham has an important, albeit fixable, flaw—what we might call “asymmetric federalism.” The core idea in the bill is to take the money Obamacare spends on expanding coverage to the uninsured and give it to state governments in the form of block grants. States, in turn, could use these block grants to address the health-care needs of their populations. It’s an attractive idea, in theory. But the bill would put a heavy Washington hand on the federalism steering wheel. It would make it relatively easy for blue states to expand the role of single-payer health care, while making it rather difficult for red states to achieve market-oriented reforms.
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