The Re-Emergence of Howard Dean

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:

Tags: healthcare reform, Howard Dean (all tags)

Comments

5 Comments

Re: The Re-Emergence of Howard Dean

I will tweak something Chris Bowers recently said:

"If Obama (I read it more broadly the Democrats) can not get something like the public option through, then there is no chancet that any progressive legislation will get through this Congress." It's really as simple as that. The public option is a no brainer from either the voters will like it or good policy perspective. The only pillar on which anyone can stand against it is the pillar of corporate influence.

by bruh3 2009-06-08 02:40PM | 0 recs
Re: The Re-Emergence of Howard Dean

What?  His first major move after leaving the DNC was to sign on to a speaking bureau, make some speeches and start his gig with CNBC/MSNBC.  

Dean never left.

by KimPossible 2009-06-08 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: The Re-Emergence of Howard Dean

I was referring to things that had public policy or political impacts, not just Dean staying busy.

by Texas Nate 2009-06-08 05:29PM | 0 recs
Glad to see this

I hope his voice and his ideas can break through the right wing smear machine.

by kevin22262 2009-06-08 07:13PM | 0 recs
Re: The Re-Emergence of Howard Dean
I firmly beleive that everyone who works should have access to healthcare, but i think that Dean is going a little too far if he is trying to push a universal healthcare/no pre-exissting condition/similar cost regardless of level of coverage. It is simply too expensive, and it can lead to a situation where it rewards unhealthy living.
He needs to have something in there that rewards preventative care, for starters. Heavy Drinkers and smokers, will almost certainly drive up costs for everyone, yet there is nothing in there to discouorage them....
by xodus1914 2009-06-09 12:35PM | 0 recs

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