While others have reported that a bipartisan group of Senators arrived at the current Senate compromise all on their own, Howard Dean says that's not true. It seems that he's responsible for the proposal currently being considered in the Senate.
Former Governor Howard Dean helped broker a health care compromise that Senate Democratic leaders say could move the bill forward.
Dean's proposal is designed to satisfy both supporters and opponents of a "public option" health plan.
VPR's Bob Kinzel reports.
(Kinzel) While the vast majority of Democrats support the public option, all the Republicans and a few Democrats do not, and this group has threatened to filibuster the bill if the public option is part of the final package. And it appeared very unlikely that Democratic leaders could find the 60 votes that are needed to break a filibuster.
So Dean outlined a compromise plan to Senate Majority leader Harry Reid as a way to break the deadlock.
The compromise includes a plan that Dean proposed during his 2004 presidential campaign: allowing people between ages of 55 and 65 to buy into Medicare.
(Dean) "There's no point in reinventing a program if you already have all the infrastructure that can set it up. What they've done is allow people who are over 55, instead of over 65, buy into Medicare. So that's a big step forward and it does two things. First of all, of course, it allows more people to get in the government single payer if they want to. And, secondly, it uses a bureaucracy, which makes much more sense than even what's in the House bill."