According to the New York Times, three Democrats and three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee have crafted a bipartisan agreement around a health care bill that replaces the employer mandate with a free rider provision, establishes a cooperative in place of the public option, and partly funds reform by taxing “Cadillac” health care benefits. Last night, during an appearance on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, former Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT) criticized the “so-called compromise” for not going far enough to reform the health care system:
You know, this is going to be a hell of an issue in 2010 cause honestly, what’s the point of having a 60 vote majority in the United States Senate, if you can’t produce…health care reform. You can get health insurance reform. This bill is going to cost us a lot of money and it isn’t going to do anything, if this so-called compromise is true. This compromise does nothing, except it will reform insurance. That’s a good thing to do, but they ought to strip the money out of it cause we reformed insurance like this in Vermont 15 years ago. It’s a fine thing to do, but it doesn’t insure more people.
As the Wonk Room argues, this “deal” isn’t at all surprising, and it’s by no means the final word on health care reform.