White House Rejects Dean’s Challenge To Senate Health BillUSA Today: A White House spokesman today said President Obama rejects the call by former Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean to defeat the current Senate health care bill. Dean, "a physician who also was Vermont governor, said on national television Wednesday he believed legislation in the Senate would now benefit the insurance industry more than it helps Americans struggling to gain health coverage or pay for it." White House spokesman Robert Gibbs responded by saying he didn't think insurance companies "have gotten the memo" because of their continuing opposition to the health bill (12/16).
The Hill: Additionally, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said Dean's comments were "'nonsense' and 'irresponsible.' ... Rockefeller, one of the most ardent supporters of the public option in the Senate, sharply broke with Dean ... who said that Democrats should kill the Senate's health bill because it doesn't contain a public option or Medicare buy-in." Dean's calls to abandon current efforts to advance health reform legislation surprised Democrats and Republicans alike. But "Rockefeller said that compromises would be necessary, and that Democrats would come back with more attempts at health reform, perhaps as often as every year" (O'Brien, 12/16).
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