The public option has changed. Broaden Medicare and Medicaid. Keep cost-cutting devices. Personally, I think it is a smart move. Medicare and Medicaid are public options. Eventually, a single payer system, if possible, will arise from expanding institutions already in place. Politically, these changes happen in steps, and there is plenty of good in other parts of the bill.
Update: The Washington Post decries this idea, saying “The irony of this late-breaking Medicare proposal is that it could be a bigger step toward a single-payer system than the milquetoast public option plans rejected by Senate moderates as too disruptive of the private market.”