The White House is considering letting states opt out of certain Obamacare insurance regulations in a move to revive the Republican effort to repeal the healthcare law.
The option would allow states to decide whether to cover some or all of the law's essential health benefits that insurers must cover, and lawmakers are in talks to have more insurance regulations become optional under the GOP plan.
There is a catch, though.
The states that want to opt out of requiring insurers to cover the benefits, which include hospitalization and maternity care, have to apply for a waiver, said Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., who was at a meeting with seven other moderate Republican lawmakers with Vice President Mike Pence and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.
States have to include in their waiver that they "would improve coverage and reduce costs," he said. "It wouldn't just be slash and burn."
Before Obamacare, states could decide which benefits insurers had to provide on the individual market, which is for people who don't get insurance through their job. The Affordable Care Act instituted the 10 essential health benefits.
Collins added that an opt-out for community ratings, which force an insurer to offer the same rate to all people in a geographic area, whether sick or healthy, is being discussed.