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Redefining Obamacare's 1332 Wavers (Guest: Kyle Wingfield)

December 4, 2019

Kyle Wingfield of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation discusses Georgia's radical new moves to take health care regulation completely out of federal hands and put it under control of the state where it can do more good for the citizens of Georgia.

Under Obamacare, there was a way for states to apply for waivers that would allow them to innovate when it came to health care regulation, presumably with the idea that they would innovate in the direction of strengthening the Obamacare Exchange in their state. The Trump administration, back in 2018, refined that waiver process and relaxed some of the so-called "guardrails" so that states could apply for waivers that would take innovation to the next level — even away from Obamacare altogether. And that is exactly what the state of Georgia has done with their "Georgia Access" program, applied for under the original 1332 waiver process.

Kyle Wingfield, President and CEO of the free market think tank Georgia Public policy Foundation, has been urging state leaders to make use of the refined waiver process and go bold. Georgia took him up on those calls and has designed a health care regulatory system in the state that takes the control very nearly completely out of federal purview. It is the most radical use of the 1332 waiver process to date, and Wingfield hopes other states will begin to follow suit and design their own regulatory regimes that best suit the citizens of their states. Wingfield joins HCN podcast to discuss the Georgia plan and how it is yet another building block in the move toward federalism in health care. 

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Sarah Lee is a policy advisor for health care and a host of Heartland's Health Care News podcast.