Some of the key provisions of the deal that got the Blue Dogs on board:
- Cost of the bill is now under $1 trillion.
- 86% of small businesses exempt from any government mandate to provide coverage to employees.
- Businesses with payrolls under $500,000 are totally exempt.
- Businesses with payrolls between $500,000 to $750,000 would not be exempt but be phased in.
- States would have the option to set-up healthcare insurance cooperative.
- Federal Government would be required to negotiate prices with healthcare providers.
These are positive developments and its clear that there was some "horse trading" going on. We will stay tuned to see if this thing holds together.