Is the public option no longer an option? Politico reports that senators are nearing a deal that would remove the public-insurance plan from the health-care bill. Instead, the Office of Personnel Management would negotiate with private insurers on a plan, similar to what it already does for federal employees, including members of Congress. To appease liberals, senators would also allow people 55 and older to buy in to Medicare. Howard Dean suggested the Medicare buy-in two weeks ago.