CHANGING COURSE

Obama Defers to States on Health Care

In an attempt to deflect one of the main Republican lines of attack on the health-care-reform program, President Obama announced that the new law will not set standard health benefits that insurers must provide. Instead, states can specify their own benefits by picking an existing health-care plan as a benchmark, and requiring all other insurers provide benefits of the same or greater value. Under this plan, the program will resemble the regional differences in state Medicaid programs.