Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee have released details about options the panel submitted to the Congressional Budget Office on employer mandates that are being considered for a wide-sweeping healthcare reform bill.
The CBO is presently assessing the costs of one option where companies failing to provide coverage on certain minimum criteria for their employees would make a payment on behalf of each employee, to defray the cost of premium credits provided for coverage received through the proposed state-run gateways, or health insurance marketplaces. These gateways as designed by the bill would allow individuals and families a wide array of health plan options. Under this proposal, that contribution from the companies would be a flat dollar amount.
Under a second proposal, the federal government would recoup from these companies some of the cost of providing coverage under Medicaid, or of providing premium credits through the national health insurance exchanges. Small businesses would be exempt under both proposals. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) told reporters that the panel could wrap up negotiations on the bill prior to the July 4th recess but that some work may lie ahead after the break.