Senate Deal Includes 'Triggered' Public Option
Option will be revived if insurers fail to provide nonprofit plans
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2009 6:02 AM CST
Katina Economou, 79, of Potomac, Md., holds a pin supporting the public health care option, during a rally to support health insurance reform.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – The Senate compromise on health care reform means the public option is dormant but not dead, according to an aide party to negotiations. The tentative deal reached last night will give insurance companies the option of creating nonprofit insurance plans to be offered on exchanges, but a federal public option will be triggered if the insurance firms fail to offer such plans, the aide tells TPM.

Liberal Democrats on the negotiating committee failed to win an expansion of Medicaid, but the group agreed to a Medicare buy-in and stronger insurance regulations, according to the source. The Congressional Budget Office will now evaluate a range of options—all of them including the "trigger"—in the coming days.