Rove, Dean Trade One-Liners On Health Reform, Senators Offer Their Take
Former Democratic Party head Howard Dean joined former Bush adviser Karl Rove for a debate on health care reform in Pennsylvania Tuesday night while other Senators are offering their take on the public option's role in a health care overhaul.
The Associated Press reports that Dean and Rove sometimes yelled at one another in the hour-plus-long debate in State College, Pennsylvania. "Rove lambasted Democratic proposals as being modeled on broken government programs like Medicare, weighed down by staggering costs. Dean implored that it was imperative that all Americans have the option to obtain affordable health care." The men were paid $50,000 for their appearance, The AP reports (Armas, 10/27).
Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln, of Arkansas, said Tuesday that she can't support a public option, The Associated Press/ABC News reports. "She didn't specifically say she'd vote against Reid's proposal, but she said she'd prefer a program that would include insurance offered by a nonprofit group instead of the government" (DeMillo, 10/27).
Lincoln spoke with the Arkansas Farm Bureau Tuesday, the Arkansas News Bureau reports. "'In terms of states being able to opt out, I think in my visits with our state officials that they would prefer something they could opt into,'" Lincoln said (Lyon, 10/27).
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, told The Associated Press/The Boston Globe that she is "deeply disappointed" that the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's Senate bill doesn't include her idea for a "trigger" to begin a public option for health care reform only if private insurers can't rein in costs (10/27).
Others are more cautious with their statements. Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said Tuesday that he will "reserve judgment" on the public option in Reid's plan, the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald reports. "'But I will reserve judgment until we see the finished product in writing and have the scores from the Congressional Budget Office' tallying the costs of the revised bill. 'This is just the next step in a long line of steps'" (Haga, 10/27).
Finally, The Hill reports that White House health czar Nancy-Ann DeParle said at a forum Tuesday that liberal critics of President Obama are wrong on whether Obama is wavering on his support for a government-run public option in reform. "'The president's talked about the public plan option every single time he's talked about health reform and he's said all along that he thought it was a critical tool to help get choice and competition and hold insurance companies accountable,' DeParle said" (Young, 10/27).