Republican Scott Brown emerged as a potential poster boy for bipartisanship on Monday when President Barack Obama threw the administration's support to a health care compromise bill co-sponsored by Massachusetts' junior senator and Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon.
The bill, which the pair filed in November, is called the Empowering States to Innovate Act. It would allow states to withdraw from requirements of the national health care reform law in 2014, rather than 2017 - provided they can come up with an alternate system that provides comparable coverage.
Addressing the nation's governors who are meeting in Washington, Obama said, "I think that's a reasonable proposal. I support it. It will give you more flexibility more quickly while still guaranteeing the American people reform."
We hope the president's endorsement of the measure - and the spirit of bipartisan cooperation on which the Brown-Wyden bill is based - will prompt other states to come up with innovative ways to achieve health care reform.
The nation's health care system is broken and must be fixed. On that, there should be no debate.
Just saying "no" to health care reform, as some Republicans have been doing, is not a solution. Compromise on health reform is something Obama has consistently supported. That's why we're not surprised that he's in step with the bill Brown and Wyden are proposing.
What is a pleasant surprise, however, is Brown's willingness to find a way to make health care reform work.