Republican Senator Susan Collins (Maine) and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden (Oregon) appeared on MSNBC's Morning Meeting today to discuss bipartisan amendments they're jointly offering to the Senate's health care reform bill.
Their goals are to keep insurance premiums down and ensure that people can choose from a wide range of plans in order to get one that best fits their lifestyle and income. Ezra Klein focuses on Wyden's Free Choice Act as the most important one:
The best of the bunch is the latest incarnation of Wyden's Free Choice Act, which makes an important tweak to the insurance exchanges. Right now, the exchanges don't permit employee choice. If your company buys into the exchange, it doesn't mean that you and your colleagues get to pick the plan that best fits your needs. It means your HR department picks a plan for everyone. Wyden would let employers choose to give their workers a voucher that the employees could use to choose their own insurance plans. It's a dead-obvious amendment, and it establishes an important principle in the exchanges.