The Governor revised his proposal today on a few issues in the health reform debate, moving toward the Democrats on a couple issues. But he also unproductively drew some lines in the sand at the same time, which is not helpful in getting to a deal, or for that matter, to a good policy.
The positive movement:
* He would increase the minimum employer contribution to 5.5% of payroll, up from his original proposal of 4%. (This is still under the 6.5% that the Democratic leaders had alreadly lowered from their previous proposal. The Gov would also include broader accomodations for small business than the Democratic proposal.)
* He would increase subsidizes for coverage to families up to 400% of the federal poverty level ($40K for a individual, $82K for a family of four). This is up from his revised proposal of 350%, but less than the 450% in the Democratic proposal.
The nonproductive statements:
* He opposes the two-part test in the Democrat’s plan to make sure than employers spread the benefit of their health care spending among all workers, including part-time and low-wage workers.
* He wants to lock-in the employer fee, only to be changed with a 2/3 vote–meaning that for all practical purposes, it will never be able to be adjusted to meet a changing health care environment.
So close and yet so far…