As we’ve discussed previously, the Senate seems to have the upper hand in negotiations on hoe to merge its bill with the House. That doesn’t mean the House shouldn’t try, especially if the White House gives it some support. Personally, I think there’s little chance we’re not getting an excise tax. There is definitely not going to be a public option. But, the House may be able to wrangle increased subsidies. And, they may be able to improve the insurance exchanges:
The White House wants to include a national health-insurance exchange in the health bill, which would give House Democrats one of their top remaining demands, according to an official involved in the discussions.
At issue is who would run the new insurance exchanges that would allow consumers to comparison-shop for health coverage. The House’s version of the health overhaul calls for the federal government to run a single, national exchange, while the Senate’s version would let states run their own exchanges.
Proponents of a federal exchange say state exchanges could have too few enrollees to function well, or might have enrollees who on average are too sick. Those who favor state exchanges say they would allow for more flexible regulation than one-size-fits-all standards set in Washington.
For the same reason a national public option was superior to many state-based ones, a national exchange would be better. I hope they keep pushing.