Howard Dean, still a respected voice amongst liberals, has called for the current Senate healthcare reform bill to be killed. While Dean and conservatives are all on the same page, Dean’s reasons are quite different from ours.
From The Plum Line:
In a blow to the bill grinding through the Senate, Howard Dean bluntly called for the bill to be killed in a pre-recorded interview set to air later this afternoon, denouncing it as “the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate,” the reporter who conducted the interview tells me.
Dean said the removal of the Medicare buy-in made the bill not worth supporting, and urged Dem leaders to start over with the process of reconciliation in the interview, which is set to air at 5:50 PM today on Vermont Public Radio, political reporter Bob Kinzel confirms to me.
The gauntlet from Dean — whose voice on health care is well respsected among liberals — will energize those on the left who are mobilizing against the bill, and make it tougher for liberals to embrace the emerging proposal. In an excerpt Kinzel gave me, Dean says:
“This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. 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.”
Kinzel added that Dean essentially said that if Democratic leaders cave into Joe Liebermanright now they’ll be left with a bill that’s not worth supporting.
Dean had previously endorsed the Medicare buy-in compromise without a public option, saying that the key question should be whether the bill contains enough “real reform” to be worthy of progressives’ support. Dean has apparently concluded that the “real reform” has been removed at Lieberman’s behest — which won’t make it easier for liberals to swallow the emerging compromise.
Even though the Medicare buy in and the public option are removed, the current Senate bill stills allows government backdoor control over the private health insurance industry. This is really what the left is after anyway. By dictating to health insurance companies what must be covered and how, the government has the power to dictate these companies right out of business and thus bring about single payer healthcare as the only option left.
For Howard Dean and like-minded liberals, this backdoor method is not speedy enough and runs the risk of being undone. Liberals like Dean expect Obama with total control of both houses to flat out bring about single payer or at the very least introduce the public option. Lets be honest, this is no different from the way conservatives expected Bush with his majorities in both houses to bring about Social Security reform or immigration reform.
Dean may get his wish. Sooner or later enough Democrats are going to realize that they are in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. Once that happens, there will be little reason not to go for the most liberal bill they can muster.
Via: The Plum Line