One of the big components of the new possible “deal” in the Senate would be to create a new, national Office of Personnel Management (OPM)-run program. How exactly this OPM exchange for national non-profit insurance plans, which is meant to be a replacement for the public option, would work is unclear. Rumors are that if the non-profit insurance companies fail to offer good enough plans on this new OPM exchange, it would trigger the creation of a real public option.
Who in Congress would likely oversee this new OPM exchange? The answer is Joe Lieberman.
The plan emerging from negotiations among moderate and liberal Democrats would put a key part of the planned health insurance exchanges under the supervision of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). And jurisdiction for oversight of OPM falls to the centrist-dominated Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which Lieberman chairs.
Thats right, Lieberman, the biggest champion of the health insurance industry in the Senate, will chair the committee that oversees this “alternative” to the public option. It would probably be Lieberman’s finger on the public option trigger. The idea of putting Lieberman in charge of keeping the health insurance industry honest sounds like hiring the fox to guard the hen house.