Dr. Howard Dean did not allow NBC's David Gregory to corner him into advising other Democrats to vote no.
He wouldn't vote for the Senate's current health insurance reform bill, but he isn't giving up on the process. After the Senate passes their bill, Dean hopes that provisions in the House's version of the bill can be combined with the Senate bill to create major health care reform.
"I would certainly not vote for this bill if this were the final product, but the House bill is quite a good bill. This bill has improved over the last couple of weeks. I would let this thing go to conference committee and let's see if we can fix it some more," Dean told Gregory Sunday.
Asked how to improve the bill, Dean immediately responded that cost controls need to apply to hospitals. He then added, "We really do need some kind of a public option. At least allow the states to have a real public option."
Asked if he advises Democrats to vote no, Dean insisted the bill could still be fixed. "If they can make it work without a public option, I'm all ears. I don't think that's possible."
"The bottom line is in an unseemly scramble for votes that have nothing to do with long-range public policy we have really essentially cut out the idea that Americans will have a choice of a different kind of insurance system," Dean said. "The same kind of insurance system that people over 65 have, the same kind of insurance that veterans have, a lot of us would have liked to have that system."
This video is from NBC's Meet the Press, broadcast Dec. 20, 2009.