What do folks think of the latest suggested compromise for the public option?
This idea — which has a lot of liberals excited — would create a Federal public option. But it would also allow any individual state government to decline making the public option available to their citizens.
The hope is that conservative Democrats like Ben Nelson, who oppose a public option, would be willing to vote for this, since it essentially punts the public option decision to state legislatures. (Both Nelson and Lieberman have said this idea is “worth looking at,” which isn’t a commitment, but it is the most positive comment they’ve said about any public option proposal so far). At the same time, more liberal senators would (one hopes) be able to get a reasonably strong public option for their own constituents.
What’s nice about this policy, I think, is that it’s easily adjustable. If the public option turns out to be a disaster, this would make it relatively easy for states to drop it. But if it is in fact successful, then it would be easy for states without it to change their mind.
Of course, the devil is in the details, and this proposal is so new that there aren’t any details to look at yet. And the conservative Democrats may yet decide to oppose it, or water it down to the point of uselessness.
Another idea being floated that’s gaining a lot of interest — and could possibly get some Republican votes — is a two-year tax break to companies that either hire new workers or bump up their part-time workers to full-time. There seems to be a fair amount of economic evidence that this policy could jump-start hiring, so I’m for it.