Howard Dean: Health bill hangs Dem incumbents and Obama out to dry in elections

Passing the healthcare proposals before Congress will "hang out to dry" every Democratic incumbent running for reelection this fall, Howard Dean said Thursday.

Dean, a physician by training who's a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), said that Democrats in Congress -- and President Barack Obama -- would do themselves more harm than good by passing the current healthcare bill.

"The plan, as it comes from the Senate, hangs out every Democrat who's running for office to dry -- including the president, in 2012, because it makes him defend a plan that isn't in effect essentially yet," Dean said during an appearance on the liberal Bill Press Radio Show.

Dean, who has clashed publicly with the White House over the healthcare proposals favored by the administration, said that by passing the bills under consideration, Democrats would essentially be conceding defeat to Republicans.

"It's easy to campaign on repealing something if no one knows what the something is," Dean said. "And fundamentally people don't understand what the president's healthcare plan is."

"And if it passes next week and get's signed into law the week after, we're not going to be able to explain it to people over the din of Fox News and the Republicans," the former Democratic party chairman added.

Dean said that the only solution to correct the bill was to offer a buy-in to Medicare for consumers, which had once been proposed in the Senate, but was ditched by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as unable to win enough votes to pass.

"The president needs a win here," Dean said.