ABC NEWS: “Howard Dean: Scrap the Bill and Start Over”
“This is a bigger bailout for the insurance industry than AIG,” former Democratic National Committee chairman and medical doctor Howard Dean told “Good Morning America’s” George Stephanopoulos today. “A very small number of people are going to get any insurance at all, until 2014, if the bill works.
“This is an insurance company’s dream, this bill,” Dean continued. “This is the Washington scramble, and I think it’s ill-advised.”
Dean sent shockwaves when he said Tuesday in an interview with Vermont Public Radio that the removal of the Medicare buy-in means Democrats should just kill the health care bill and start over.
“This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate,” Dean said. “Honestly, the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.”
The former Democratic presidential candidate argues that in the rush to pass a health care bill, lawmakers have essentially stripped it of true reforms — mainly the choices it would give to people — and given too much to special interest groups and insurance companies, the chief executives of which, Dean says, would get 27 percent of the money Americans contribute.
“We’ve gotten to this stage … in Washington where passing any bill is a victory, and that’s the problem,” Dean said. “Decisions are being about the long-term future of this country for short-term political reasons, and that’s never a good sign.”
He said he also doesn’t see cost-control measures but, rather “a whole bunch of bureaucracies and a lot of promises.”
There are some good elements in the current health care bill, Dean said, but “at this point, the bill does more harm than good.”
This really is a big deal. Howard Dean is a doctor. He’s the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. And, frankly, save for a screamingly funny meltdown on a midwestern stage, he very well could have been president of the United States. While his preferred end result with regard to health care reform may not be the same as you and I might like, many of the words which came out of Howard Dean’s mouth might as well have come out of mine.
Mostly, though, I just wanted an excuse to run the photo. Meow.