Jacob Hacker, the Yale political science professor who devised the idea of the public option, weighs in on the Senate compromise:
The way I would describe it is, in sort of Dickensian terms, is it’s a tale of two public options. Public option one, the public option that was going to be within the exchange and available to Americans on day one to create competition for private insurance plans to give people a choice, that public option has been replaced, in my mind, with an inadequate substitute, a national system of private plans.
But public option two, which was never on the agenda before, a buy-in to the actual Medicare program for 55- to 64-year-olds, is an enormous positive development. It’s actually the original idea, if you will, for the public option, simply letting people get into the Medicare program that provides broad, secure coverage at an affordable price.
That's just about right. If you wanted a public option insurance plan available to everyone, I'm afraid that ship sailed long ago for numerous reasons. But if you want a strong path to Medicare For All, the buy-in is much more effective than anything that's been on the table this year. The key now is to get this thing passed quickly before the Lieberdems screw it up.