Bipartisan bill would let states decide for themselves whether to enact healthcare reform

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Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Scott Brown (R-MA) unveiled a healthcare reform bill last week that would serve as an alternative to Republicans' strategy to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

This bill, entitled Empowering States to Innovate, would allow states to devise their own healthcare overhauls. Under this proposal, if states can find ways to cover as many of their people as the federal plan, without adding to the deficit, they would receive from the government the same amount they are promised by President Obama's plan.

The Wyden-Brown lets states propose changes now and implement them before the federal rules go into effect in 2014. Under the bill, liberals in favor of single-payer systems could choose to implement the bill in their states, while conservatives could tailor the law to suit their preferences. Legislators from states that don't like either option could at least can sit back and see how each turn out and decide further down the line. Republicans so far have been espousing a “repeal and replace” strategy for healthcare reform.