Details of the legislation could change, but its broad outlines are becoming clear. Employers with more than 50 workers wouldn't be required to provide health insurance, but they would face fines of up to $750 per employee if even part of their work force received a government subsidy to buy health insurance, this person said. A bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee had a lower fine of up to $400 per employee.Of course, in the kabuki dance that is the American legislative process, neither this bill nor the House bill will actually become law, but rather the House/Senate conference bill, which will be some sort of amalgamation between the two.
The bill to be brought to the Senate floor would create a new public health-insurance plan, but would give states the choice of opting out of participating in it, a proposal that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada backed last week.
For more on this subject, Steve Benen has another post this morning concerning cloture, suggesting Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln are the holdouts. As far as I know Evan Bayh is still uncommitted as well. Stay tuned.