Obama Backs Letting States Out of Parts of Health Reform

Sticks up for unions in governors' meeting
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2011 3:30 PM CST

President Obama intends to back legislation enabling states to duck some of the more onerous mandates of the new health care law—provided they can demonstrate that they could cover just as many people in some other way. “I think that’s a reasonable proposal; I support it,” Obama said in a meeting with the National Governors Association today, according to the New York Times. But the concession may not be enough for Republican governors seeking to slash Medicaid eligibility in their states.

Obama also took the opportunity to address the debate about state workers raging in Wisconsin and elsewhere, MSNBC reports. He noted that he himself had frozen federal workers’ pay, and said public workers should be prepared to make sacrifices in the face of fiscal crisis. “I think most public servants agree with that,” he said. “But let me also say this: I don't think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon." (More Barack Obama stories.)

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