The Globe seems a little more optimistic this morning; John McDonough is very upbeat about the possibility of a deal; Steve Bailey says “Reports of the demise of healthcare reform on Beacon Hill are premature.” Glad to hear it.
It would seem that the Senate is indeed considering some kind of employer assessment, per employee, I suppose as opposed to a payroll “tax” a la Social Security. According to Bailey, three of the big four business groups have suggested a $300/year assessment. Now, this is nothing like real equity, when some employers pay many thousands per year to insure their employees; but, it’s more than nothing, and much better than the absurd $62/year that was floated previously. Hopefully this money provides the state with the means to provide people with genuine health care, as opposed to nominal “insurance” which protects mostly billers. And it’s good that the business community is playing ball a little.
Another thing: Isn’t the solidarity of the House just really impressive? We know that the Senate is bitterly divided against itself (Barrios vs. Moore vs. Montigny vs. Trav vs. Jehlen etc. etc.), but the House is solid:
DiMasi told a closed-door meeting of House Democrats yesterday that he would not agree to the Senate’s scaled-back measure, which calls for stripped-down insurance plans, either free or subsidized, for those below a certain income limit. Representatives who attended the meeting with DiMasi said there was broad support for the speaker’s position.
“I think it’s a fair statement that he received the overwhelming support of the members of the House,” said a representative who went to the meeting and spoke on condition of anonymity, because such meetings are confidential. “We told him to stick to his guns.”
Is this the power of personality, DiMasi’s hugging and mugging vs. the more dour Travaglini? Or does the House just have the courage of its convictions? It would be instructive to all of us to know the hows and whys … hopefully we’ll find out someday.