"This bill is a disaster, and I'm sorry to see you on the wrong side of it," alleged another critic, listing multiple problems with the bill.
Dean replied, "I'm not here to defend insurance companies, and most of what you said is correct."
Dean also endured a lengthy grilling from single-payer advocate Margaret Flowers, a medical doctor, as is Dean. Flowers, a congressional fellow for Physicians for a National Health Program, said progressives are disheartened to see their leaders call for coerced payments to insurers, whose increased power will make it harder in the future, in her view, to create an equitable health care system.
Dean responded that he's optimistic because the national plan will cover large numbers of previously uninsured. In this, he said it's much like the mandatory statewide health care plan in Massachusetts. He predicted that insureds covered nationally will like their plan enough to fight for a better one after two or three years. But, he said, this opportunity will be lost completely if congress passes nothing right now.