David posted three documents leaked by the Senate purporting to be part of the Senate’s “compromise” health care plan. He’s cautiously optimistic about what it means; but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean much of anything.
First off, look at the flow chart, 5th row down: You’ll see “new affordable products” for uninsured employees. They might as well have put a little bubble that said “Easter Bunny!” These cheapo insurance deals don’t exist. I’ll gladly be proven wrong on this.
Secondly: Really, really, honestly — do you think that $64 per year per employee is an appropriate amount for non-insuring employers to have to give up? Gosh, that’s $1.23 a week, 3.5 cents an hour for a 35-hour work week — cheapest get-out-of-health-care card ever! Thanks Uncle Trav! As David says, that raises a paltry $7 million. And do you think this has any incentive effect whatsoever? Do you feel good as a taxpayer continuing to pay $213 million+ in health care subsidies to these employers?
DiMasi is absolutely right to stick up for a much higher figure than $64 a year per employee. That’s not a compromise, that’s an insult. I’m all for “cutting the baby in half”-type deals at this late date, but this one is all diaper for taxpayers.
… By the way, as a side note, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt has weighed in on the negotiations, saying that expanding health coverage better not actually expand health coverage (at least not through Medicaid). Turns out Mr. Leavitt has trouble telling the truth about other things, which makes me wonder about his current leverage on this deal.