Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Howard's Mend?

Is Howard Dean on to something or just crazy when he says the Senate shouldn't pass the president's health plan in its present form? Well, I can safely say he isn't crazy, despite what Fox and others would have you believe. I spoke with him numerous times when I was a reporter in Vermont in the mid-90s. He's not whacked.

The WH press secty criticized the former Vermont governor and presidential candidate, who has a track record on health care: he's a physician, is married to a physician, and as governor created a plan to cover virtually every child in his home state. So, he speaks from experience and Congress and the White House ought to listen to his advice, despite the bad blood between him and Rahm Emaneul, the WH chief of staff.

And contrary to the way the media is spinning it this morning, Dean isn't trying to derail the health care bill. He's trying to change the conversation to improve the bill. This is a historic opportunity that will pass by the next election, when it's likely fewer Dems will be in Congress. We don't need a perfect bill, here, but Dean's right: it could be a hell of a lot better. There's been way too much compromise with Republicans, who have no intention of passing anything. Just look at the economic plan passed yesterday. No Republican support. They screwed this country the last 8 years and seem determined to keep on pumping away. Not that the Dems have been much better. Both share responsibility for the state of the nation.

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