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Howard Dean Backs Senate Medicare Compromise

12/ 9/09 10:04 AM ET   AP

Dean

WASHINGTON — A staunch supporter of a public option to expand health care says he's encouraged by a Senate compromise on the troublesome issue.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a physician, said Wednesday he believes opening up Medicare to people 55 to 64 years old gives momentum to the quest for a health care overhaul, putting it "on the right track."

The former Democratic presidential candidate and party chairman said on CBS's "The Early Show" that Medicare already is "a single payer run by the government. This moves things forward." Dean called it "real reform. Whatever we call it is irrelevant." Dean said he hopes the final version of the legislation "involves expansion of care" in America.

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Filed by Rachel Weiner  |