Howard Dean's Pleased with Health Compromise ... For Now

About a week ago, Howard Dean argued that a health care bill without a public option "is worthless and should be defeated."

Now that Senate Democrats have endorsed a compromise measure that scales back the public option to a trigger -- in exchange for Medicare buy-in and the OPM plan -- is Dean still on board with the reform effort? Actually, yes.

In a boost for the Senate health care deal reached yesterday, Howard Dean said in an interview with me moments ago that the current compromise contains "real reform," and said that as it stands now, progressives could support it.

Dean also confirmed various details about the deal that he'd learned in direct conversations with Senators involved in the discussions -- detail that news orgs had mostly attributed to anonymous sources. Dean's general support for the bill could give it a boost among progressives who say it falls short of real reform.

Dean seems to feel pretty strongly about this, making the rounds this morning to tout his (conditional) support for the new deal.

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