Usually, when a negotiation gets down to the final days, the focus narrows to a few key elements of disagreement that need to get sorted out.
For this week’s health care reform negotiations, the options are seemingly broader, rather than narrower. The notion that there might be part or all of health reform done at the ballot does open up new possibilities, especially for financing a plan–given the 2/3 vote obstacle in the Legislature for passing taxes.
But going to the ballot comes with a price, including a greater possibility of failure. For consumer advocates, it’s a mixed blessing: it does mean that big industries can raise lots of money to defeat it; at the same time, the voters will insist that any proposal deal with issues of affordability and cost containment.
We’ll see what come of all of this.