House proposal): Surtax on high-income households,; no excise tax on high-end health insurance plans
Conservadem proposal (Senate Finance committee): Payroll tax, excise tax on high-end health insurance plans
Result (White house proposal): No surtax on high income households; delayed and weakened excise tax on high-end insurance plans; tax on unearned income
How did it happen? Labor negotiated a delay and weakening of the excise tax, which the White House then expanded to the entire country to avoid appearance of special interest deal. White house largely adopted Conservadem approach otherwise, and closed funding gap with tax on unearned income.
8. Exchange Structure--Unclear
Progressive Proposal (Mainly the House bill): National exchange that would quickly open up to entire country. The House bill had a national exchange, but from there it gets decidedly mixed. The Senate bill allows more businesses to be eligible at the exchange, and the House bill opens up the exchange to the whole country one year faster than the Senate bill.
Conservadem proposal (Mainly Senate bill): State based exchanges with the reverse of the mixed bag listed above
Result (White House proposal): A state based exchange and a national exchange; no word on starting eligibility or expansion rate.
How did it happen? Kind seems like this one is still happening. Not sure how it will end.
9. Reproductive Rights--Mostly Conservadem victory
Progressive proposal (Several bills at the committee level): No change from existing law.
Conservadem proposal (House bill): Stupak amendment that would prevent any insurance plan on the exchange from covering abortion procedures.
Result (Senate bill): Stupak amendment, but on an opt-out basis.
How did it happen?: Democrats apparently elected an anti-choice House of Representatives. Bad candidate recruitment will likely result in backward movement for reproductive rights under a Democratic government. That makes this mainly a Conservadem vistory.
10. Mandate--Mostly Conservadem victory
Progressive proposal (Mainly House bill): Strong employer mandate, minimal penalty for individuals who choose not to purchase
Conservadem proposal: (Senate bill): Basically no employer mandate; moderately stiff individual mandate (exemption if insurance costs more than 8% of income, fee of $750 for refusal)
Result (White House proposal): Some concessions (for example, refusal fee reduced to $695 or 2.5% of income, whichever is lower), but still closer to Conservadem proposal.
There are many more Conservadem victories than Progressive victories. Still, in every case except for the public option and the repeal of the anti-trust exemption, progressives wrung at least some concessions out of Conservadems and the White House. And Progs might yet still win a concession on the public option, and pass the anti-trust exemption.
Progressives really did make the bill better in substantial ways.