HCR: Dean, Greenwald & Krugman Explain it ALL for You! (Updated with 2 new videos)
by ludwigvan, Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 03:25:44 PM EST
If you really want to understand why Howard Dean now feels forced to oppose the White House's health care strategy - I suggest you watch this short concise statement from yesterdays Morning Joe and another short vid at the end of this diary taped back during the summer where he explains that health care reform without a strong public option - is no kind of reform at all.
Howard Dean is the most knowledgeable and experienced political figure on universal health care.
His critique of the Senate health care bill in the past few days on television and in an Op-Ed piece in The Washington Post is cogent and rational, whether you agree with it or not.
But Presidential Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and the White House attacked Howard Dean's character and sanity for daring to criticize the Senate health "reform" bill which Obama wants passed. (Maybe so Obama can give himself that "A" he obviously feels he deserves)
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs strongly hit Howard Dean for criticizing the Senate health care bill, suggesting, at one point, that Dean was being irrational and didn't understand the contents of the legislation.
"I don't know what piece of legislation he is reading," said Gibbs.
"I don't think any rational person would say killing the bill makes a whole lot of sense at this point."
Asked if Dean was acting irrationally, Gibbs replied: "I can't tell what his motives are, to be honest with you."
Dean for his part has gone out of his way to say that even though he wants the bill to be killed - the people who are involved in it are great people and he respects them.
Quite a bit different than Gibbs calling him irrational.
Here's something irrational, a heath "reform" bill that mandates people to get insurance without offering a baseline competition mechanism for the insurance companies.
As Keith Olberman said last night:
"here's a product you HAVE to buy, you don't know what's in it, you don't know if you can afford it, you don't know if it will be good for you, but the GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO MAKE YOU BUY IT - or else."
"Really? And this is a democracy?"
It appears that the White House has concluded it doesn't care about our Party's own non-rich-guy base.
In that case, Obama's campaign promises for meaningful change are increasingly being seen to be meaningless and Democratic prospects in the 2010 Congressional elections and Obama's 2012 reelection campaign are put quite at risk.
The Obama administration seems to think it can rely on Rahm Emanuel's version of Karl Rove's "K Street strategy" to buy elections with hefty campaign contributions from insurance companies, drug companies, and Wall Street.
That's a REAL prescription for failure.
This bill has been watered down and watered down to the point where it is nothing but a gift of 30 million mandated new customers to the insurance companies. The insurances companies have to accept pre-existing conditions but can charge 3 times the premium.
THIS is reform? THIS is "Change We Can Believe In"?
Obama promised competition for the insurance industries. There now is none of that.
Gibbs taunted Dean: "
"If this is an insurance company's dream, I think the insurance companies have yet to get the memo".
Seems they did...over a week ago.
From Politico - 12/7
With the Senate shifting sharply away from a "pure public option," an insurance industry insider who has been deeply involved in the health care fight emails to declare victory.
"We WIN," the insider writes. "Administered by private insurance companies. No government funding. No government insurance competitor."
If what Dean once called "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party"-- is thrown overboard, and if many base Democratic voters don't bother to vote, Democrats will be devastated in the 2010 midterms.
By the way, there is now a new Facebook group entitled "Howard Dean 2012". Wonder why?
Also lets not forget about Obama's big give away to Big Pharm in a trade off for $150 million spent on pro Obama advertising.
Yesterday the White House started to earn those big bucks...
While there was all that yelling about Joe Lieberman - everyone seems to have completely missed and ignored obama's latest sellout to Big Pharm...
Just yesterday, when Byron Dorgan introduced a bill that would allow drug importation from Canada, Obama came down like a ton of bricks on Democratic senators and switched a huge number of votes so that in the end the drug industry won. That cost the American taxpayer nearly $100 billion in the next ten years alone.
from Yesterdays - LA Times
"With President Obama's lobbying; Senators Rockefeller, Lieberman, Dodd and Kerry from Mass were joined by 30 other Democrats who voted to not allow Americans to purchase far less expensive prescription drugs from outside the US."
The White House had made a deal with PhRMA for their backing of the overall plan, and defeating the amendments was something Obama was far more strenuously behind than, say, the Medicare buy-in or the public option, which he was nonchalant about tossing overboard at the first ripple of dischord.
This was a major aspect of reform and could have provided real competition and potentially saved struggling Americans billions. Absolutely inexplicable why any honest politician could conceivably vote against this.
Wonder how and why this additional sell out of the American consumer took place?
Pharmaceuticals / Health Products: Top Recipients
Top 10 Presidential Candidates
Rank Candidate Amount
1 Obama, Barack (D) $2,135,376
2 Clinton, Hillary (D) $689,099
3 McCain, John (R) $671,722
4 Romney, Mitt (R) $385,011
5 Giuliani, Rudolph W (R) $186,530
6 Dodd, Chris (D) $115,200
7 Paul, Ron (R) $89,766
8 Thompson, Fred (R) $57,430
9 Richardson, Bill (D) $50,200
10 Edwards, John (D) $37,170
Salon's great Glen Greenwald shows you that it was ALWAYS Obama's plan to sell us out and trade away any public option to Big insurance just like he sold us out to Big Pharm.
From Salon: Of all the posts I wrote this year, the one that produced the most vociferous email backlash -- easily -- was this one from August, which examined substantial evidence showing that, contrary to Obama's occasional public statements in support of a public option, the White House clearly intended from the start that the final health care reform bill would contain no such provision and was actively and privately participating in efforts to shape a final bill without it. From the start, assuaging the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries was a central preoccupation of the White House -- hence the deal negotiated in strict secrecy with Pharma to ban bulk price negotiations and drug reimportation, a blatant violation of both Obama's campaign positions on those issues and his promise to conduct all negotiations out in the open (on C-SPAN). Indeed, Democrats led the way yesterday in killing drug re-importation, which they endlessly claimed to support back when they couldn't pass it. The administration wants not only to prevent industry money from funding an anti-health-care-reform campaign, but also wants to ensure that the Democratic Party -- rather than the GOP -- will continue to be the prime recipient of industry largesse.
As was painfully predictable all along, the final bill will not have any form of public option, nor will it include the wildly popular expansion of Medicare coverage. Obama supporters are eager to depict the White House as nothing more than a helpless victim in all of this -- the President so deeply wanted a more progressive bill but was sadly thwarted in his noble efforts by those inhumane, corrupt Congressional "centrists." Right. The evidence was overwhelming from the start that the White House was not only indifferent, but opposed, to the provisions most important to progressives. The administration is getting the bill which they, more or less, wanted from the start -- the one that is a huge boon to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industry. And kudos to Russ Feingold for saying so:
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), among the most vocal supporters of the public option, said it would be unfair to blame Lieberman for its apparent demise. Feingold said that responsibility ultimately rests with President Barack Obama and he could have insisted on a higher standard for the legislation.
"This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don't think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth," said Feingold. "I think they could have been higher. I certainly think a stronger bill would have been better in every respect."
Let's repeat that: "This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place."
Indeed it does.
Still think losing the public option is all that Dirty Rotten Joe Lieberman's fault?
And from todays Paul Krugman "Conscience of a Liberal" column in the NY Times: Where the other Good Doctor Reminds Us That he Warned Us About All This years Ago
But what's happening, I think, goes beyond health care; what we're seeing is disillusionment with Obama among some of the people who were his most enthusiastic supporters. A lot of people seem shocked to find that he's not the transformative figure of their imaginations.
Can I say I told you so? If you paid attention to what he said, not how he said it, it was obvious from the beginning -- and I'm talking about 2007 -- that he was going to be much less aggressive about change than one could have hoped.
And this has done a lot of damage: I believe he could have taken a tougher line on economic policy and the banks, and was tearing my hair out over his caution early this year. I also believe that if he had been tougher on those issues, he'd be better able to weather disappointment over his health care compromises.
And as promised, Dr. Dean on how health care reform without a public option is no reform at at all.