An aide briefed on the negotiations among the gang of 10 offers up the rundown of the most important aspects of the public option compromise being sent to CBO.
If this trade-off carries the day, the opt out public option is gone.
In its place will be many of the alternatives we've been hearing about, including a Medicare expansion and a triggered, federally-based public option.
As with the process Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid undertook in merging the Senate Finance Committee and Senate HELP Committee bills, CBO will evaluate a menu of options, some of them interchangeable, so there's no certainty that this list won't change in the coming days. However, a senior leadership aide says that all of the options sent to CBO include the (triggered) public plan. Reid and other senators declined to offer specifics earlier tonight, as part of an agreement with CBO not to publicly discuss the policy options on the table while actuaries analyze competing ideas.
Now it's a question of what the CBO says, and then: will Joe Lieberman object to the trigger. This trigger seems awfully hard to pull. But he's said he'd object to any kind of government insurance option--even triggered--in the past.
Real details are still emerging on what this compromise exactly entails, but I don't have a good feeling about what this is going to mean for meaningful reforms to our health care system.