The Re-Emergence of Howard Dean
by Texas Nate, Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 02:20:37 PM EDT
Disclosure, I'm proud to be helping Dr. Dean promote his new book.
Howard Dean, the man who re-inspired me to believe in American Democracy, is making his first major public moves since leaving the DNC. He's focusing on health care reform, a topic that's both timely and right up Dr. Dean's alley.
He's also playing that rarest role in American politics -- the credible progressive voice on the left of the President and Democratic congressional leadership.
Al Gore's success in changing the climate debate seems to be his tactical model. Appropriately he's starting out with a new book: Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform: How We Can Achieve Affordable Medical Care for Every American and Make Our Jobs Safer.
Of course, being Howard Dean, he's using the internet to promote the book and to organize for reform around it. He'll be having an online chat at 9pm tomorrow, June 9th to discuss the issues and how supporters can impact the debate.
Here he is talking to NBC last week, offering his prescription for moving health care reform through:
Howard Dean said a public health insurance option is more important than bipartisanship, and that Democrats should pass health-care legislation that includes the option with 51 votes if necessary.
Dean added that Democrats should have "no intention" of working with Republicans if it's not the strongest possible legislation that could be passed with a simple majority.
"If Republicans want to shill for insurance companies, then we should do it with 51 votes," Dean said during a news conference at the first day of the liberal America's Future Now! conference here.
Dean, though, also praised what he called President Obama's "realist" approach to trying to pass health care reform.
"What I like about Barack Obama's plan is he's a realist," Dean said, adding that private insurers aren't going away and that polling shows people are generally happy with their private health care -- if they have it. He said it should be all about giving people a "choice" of signing up for a public option, but "on the other hand, you don't want to take something away either."
As always, progressives who are walking the line between being frustrated and fed up by our Democratic leaders can get behind Howard Dean and push the debate to the left.
More from Dr. Dean in the full entry.
Dean's policy outline is this:
- Give every American the choice of public or private healthcare insurance
- Public health coverage for life, no matter where you live or work
- No forced moves if the consumer is happy with current coverage
- Small business assistance from the government for employee plans
- No American is disqualified for an existing health condition
- Similar premium costs for everyone, despite age or illness
- Fewer dollars spent on management and more on medicine
Here's Dr. Dean talking about his book: