Spending cuts, tax increases highlight newest attempt at reform compromise

In case you haven't noticed, reforming healthcare in the United States is no easy task. Government-backed healthcare has received criticism on several different fronts, and it is doubtful that a "co-op" plan will have much success. Still, that's not going to deter others from giving it a shot.

The most recent attempt at reform comes from four former Senate leaders--Democrats Tom Daschle and George Mitchell, and Republicans Bob Dole and Howard Baker. According to the Associated Press, those four went public with a $1.2 trillion proposal that brings ideas together from both sides of the political aisle. To make Republicans happy, the plan calls for all individuals to be required to carry health insurance. Also, health insurance benefits would be taxed, but only if a plan had more value than the plans that Congressional members receive.

Democrats would be appeased by calling for levies on large companies that don't offer health insurance to employees. A publicly-run healthcare option would be left up to individual states.

So how would such a plan be paid for, you might ask? Money will come from a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, according to the former Senate leaders.

To learn more about the plan:
- read this Associated Press article