Howard Dean has thrown his support behind the deal worked out on health care legislation. At this point, I no longer feel confident enough to call it reform.
Count Howard Dean in among those who support the idea of replacing the public option with Medicare buy-in for Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 along with a set of other measures. His support, however, is contingent on whether the buy-in will be available to people who receive subsidies for health care coverage.
Speaking with Keith Olbermann on Countdown, Dean called the Medicare buy-in "a very good idea," noting that he had proposed the same thing in his 2004 presidential campaign. Dean said the proposal would add more health care insurance choices, albeit only for those between 55 and 64. He also said that one of its advantages relative to the public option was that it wouldn't require the creation of a new bureaucracy, because it would be built on top of an existing program.
Dean also noted that because Medicare currently exists, people could start getting enrolled in 2010, years ahead of when the public option would have kicked in.
In a separate interview with Greg Sargent, Dean raised a warning flag, however. Dean said that if those opting for Medicare buy-in were not eligible for subsidies, it would render the option unavailable to most people creating a potential "deal-breaker." According to TPM, people choosing Medicare would be eligible for subsidies, but not until 2014 when subsidies for everybody else participating in the exchange becomes available…
Inserted from <Daily Kos>
It may well be that this so-called compromise is an improvement on a public option that was so gutted that it was not public and not an option for more than about three million people. I understand that Representatives Anthony Weiner and Alan Grayson, both staunch public option advocates, also support it. Still, the devil is in the details, which Harry Reid refuses to release until it is scored by the CBO. Therefore, I am still withholding my judgment on the matter until I know much more.