The two salient needs for health insurance reform are access and cost. What will the public get in exchange for its compromise in giving up the "public option"?
1) People over the age of 54 will be allowed to buy into medicare. That sounds good if just anyone over that age can opt in. If just those who can't get private insurance can opt in, that would be a sellout to the insurers; they get the healthy ones and medicare gets the "preexisting conditions." The devil is in the details.
2) Nonprofits can compete with the industry. Under what conditions and under what management? The US Employees med plan management? The states? The devil is in the details.
3) The insurers will be required to pay out at least 90 percent of their revenues as benefits. That sounds great! But required by whom and does the requirement have teeth? The devil is in the details.
We'll see. Political compromise is the way our country works - when it works at all. However, it won't work if the Liebermans and the Nelsons are permitted to spit in our faces forever.
(I have medicare and good group supplementary insurance. Why do I care? Call it what you will; that's the kind of animal I happen to be.)