Back from vaca! I missed a lot of news, so I’ll start with the most recent.
I think the bill just got even more convoluted. Public Option Keeps Toehold in Senate Deal
Now there’s no straightforward public option but a “menu of national insurance plans” that will be modeled after current federal workers’ plans. I’m just not sure whether it will be run by government or private contractors sponsored by the government, a la Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These plans will be overseen by federal agency that will be negotiating prices and fees with private insurance companies. There’s still a “fall-back” public option that is triggered if none of the above plans work. I think it will make the health care more byzantine in nature. Unless the Dems will structure the trigger in such a way that it’s always on. This reminds me of the way the delinquency trigger in structured products works. If this really is what Democrats have in mind then I have to applaud them. This way they will have the public option without scaring the public. And this will also leave Republicans without quick and handy slogans, because they would have to explain why this is bad, which would involve a lot of if/then scenarios. Which would put them into linguistic stupor.
I just hope Harry Reid knows what he’s doing. And also that no more crusaders with some stupid pet cause will come up with some stupid amendment.