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Wyden Undermines President's Signature Bill

1:28 PM, Sep 3, 2010 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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Jay Cost noted that Democratic senator Ron Wyden sent a letter last week to Oregon health authority director Bruce Goldberg, in which Wyden states that the federal government "has never had the flexibility" or the "will" to implement "innovative solutions" to our health care woes. Can you imagine a statement from a Democratic senator more directly opposed to the position of the Obama White House? Wyden goes on to encourage Goldberg to ask the federal government for a waiver to let Oregon opt out of Obamacare's requirement that everyone buy federally approved health insurance, because, he writes, "the heart of real health reform is affordability and not mandates." 

Since the heart of Obamacare is mandates and not affordability, this is quite a statement from a man who voted for the president's signature piece of legislation—and it's a strong indication of how well his support for that legislation is playing out on the Oregon campaign trail.  At Commentary, Jennifer Rubin writes:

[T]his suggests that, post-election, there might just be enough votes for “Repeal and Reform.”  After all, Wyden is a liberal Democrat, so if he thinks the bill is bad, why wouldn’t his sure-to-be-shell-shocked colleagues (those who survive the election) agree?  And finally, it seems that every conservative senator, congressman, governor, and state legislator should be adopting Wyden’s position and challenging their opponents to do the same.  Heck, if 50 states opt out of the individual mandate, the bill is essentially kaput.

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