Early discussion of Olympia Snowe's trigger option faded away because Democrats feared the trigger would never be pulled, and Republicans didn't want to do anything at all. But Obama and Reid are looking for a way out of the current impasse.
Now there is a new trigger proposal that links the trigger, not to local affordability of coverage, but to national rates in the growth of health spending. The former is a trigger which probably would never be pulled, but the latter, if it's written correctly, would be much more likely to be triggered. And it could lead to a robust public option, not just the negotiated/out-out option Reid offered as a sop to moderates. It would probably make Snowe happy, and therefore win the support of the Blue Dogs Democrats and Obama. And it wouldn't need reconciliation, probably.