Word is that things have gotten really, really bitter behind the scenes of the health care conference committee. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. And I think it comes from a huge difference of opinion of what’s “politically viable.” I don’t think Travaglini is against expanding health care to more people than he’s targeted — in principle — but I would guess that he’s afraid of the power of the business lobby. (I think that’s a little overstated in this case, seeing as a rejiggered uninsured-assessment would help a lot of employers, but this is about perception.) On the other hand, DiMasi is optimistic that the public would support such a thing — with good reason.
Look, folks: Time to bring this thing out from the shroud of secrecy. If things are stuck, you need some new impetus to strike the deal. Use the public as a sounding board for some ideas. Be transparent. And you may have to wear an asbestos suit, but so be it; the result will be controversial as hell, no matter what.
Brace yourselves. Bring it out in the open, and get it done.