House Democrats fret over administration's deference to states on health law


The administration proposed giving the states leeway so they could offer plans that are both comprehensive and affordable. 

The lawmakers, however, are concerned that too much flexibility could provide "even further discretion to insurers."

In particular, they have "serious concerns" that allowing states to make substitutions within and across the 10 benefit categories outlined in the law would "undermine" the law's goals and provide "insurers with the tools they need to continue avoiding sicker individuals rather than competing on quality and efficiency."

The letter was signed by the top Democrats on the committees of jurisdiction over healthcare — Reps. Henry Waxman (Calif.), Sandy Levin (Mich.) and George Miller (Calif.) — and Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Pete Stark (D-Calif.), Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) and John Dingell (D-Mich.).