In an interview with George Stephanopoulos, Howard Dean says the Senate health care bill isn't worth passing--that it signifies "the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate" and that it's "a bigger bailout for the insurance industry than AIG."
Dean also said as much in an interview with Vermont Public Radio.
This is being categorized as a blow to the Senate bill, as Dean, a former doctor, is a respected voice on health care among progressives. Dean recently gave the Medicare buy-in compromise a boost by supporting it--his support, in essence, meant a progressive stamp of approval even as liberals were skeptical at the disappearance of a bona fide public option--and that compromise fell through with the opposition of Sen. Joe Lieberman. If the consistent storyline of health reform is the repeated disappointment of progressives like Dean, his comments should indicate that the bill will pass--but with President Obama's progressive backers feeling disappointed about it.
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