As the Senate Finance Committee continues meeting among its members to complete its comprehensive health care reform proposal, committee member John Kerry (D-MA) has floated a funding proposal to help solve the bill’s budget problem.

The Kerry proposal, according to Congress Daily (subscription), would not remove the deduction on all employer-sponsored health care plans, but would tax insurance companies offering expensive health care coverage, commonly referred to as “Cadillac” plans.  This tax could be extended to employers offering the plan, although that had not been determined.

The new plan is an attempt to both provide a bipartisan funding mechanism for the Finance Committee’s legislation while trying to uphold the president’s promise not to raise taxes on individuals making below $250,000.  It also takes into account CBO Director Elmendorf’s testimony last week that one way health care reform could address cost issues effectively is to remove the exemption from employer-sponsored health care.

On the House side, the Energy and Commerce Committee continues its mark-up today, mainly debating minor amendments while negotiations continue behind the scenes between leadership and the Blue Dogs.  Politico obtained a list of negotiated points between the two sides; they include, among others:

–          Effectively bending the cost curve

–          Increasing the small business exemption and index it for inflation

–          Addressing end-of-life care

–          Establishing consumer-driven, state-based co-ops

–          Creating state-based exchanges with a federal fallback

Do you think taxing simply insurance companies or businesses offering “Cadillac plans” is a viable way to pay for health care reform?

Quick Hits

President Obama seemingly hedges on his timeline yesterday for health care… The Wall Street Journal questions if the proposed health care bills would repeal ERISA… The District of Columbia budget crunch means fewer resources for nonprofits… ASAE announces the American Association Day 2010 dates as March 23-24, 2010 and opens registration at www.asaecenter.org/flyin10.