It’s about as Watered Down as it can get, Howard Dean warns

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

also posted on dkos

Since I record Dylan Ratigan, for viewing on the week ends, I managed to catch this shocker of an Interview with Howard Dean, a few days ago.

I’m surprised not to have seen it covered much, so here goes …

Full MSNBC Interview

Howard Dean:

“The problem is with this legislation, if one person holds up this Bill, and it passes as a ‘hodge podge of nonsense’, which is what the 4 more conservative Democrats want — basically ‘A Insurance Company Bill’ is what they want — this is a huge problem for the Obama Administration, it is a huge problem for the Democrats in 2010.”

BTW Howard Dean knows a thing or two about winning Elections, nationwide, so Dems would be wise to listen to and think about his blunt warnings.

Here is the youtube version of that interview, slightly shorter:

Howard Dean: Obama & Dems have “huge” problem.…

I’ve scoured the webs, for the Transcript, to no avail, so here is my quick hit transcription (apologies in advance for typo’s, snips, and any other mistakes in the text)

These were the important bits, imo:

Howard Dean:

‘An Insurance Company Bill’ is what they want [conserva-dems]

It’s a Huge Problem for the Democrats in 2010.

They are really playing with dynamite, in terms of dividing the Party,

losing Democratic seats, and

basically taking the Democratic Promise and turning it into Mush by 2010.

It’s a very serious problem.

They will Rue the Day they didn’t go To Budget Reconciliation to Pass this Bill.

The biggest Time Bomb in the short run

is the Public Option.

Without a Public Option, the activists of the Democratic Party,

sit on their hands in 2010.

there is no reason to give them Money,

IF they can’t pass a Health Care Bill that’s worth anything.

The Deficit is a big Problem in the longer term —

People are going to expect this to be paid for.

The Biggest Problem is one that is not on the list —

I think you need to have People who actually have Insurance by 2010.

Because it you don’t all the rumors, with the ‘Death Panels’, and the ‘Rationing’,

and ‘you can’t see your own Doctor’ — it’s all going to be thrown up at Election Time.

It’s gonna be a “He said, She said.”

If you want to dispel rumors, actually get the Bill done.

Get some People insured.

And the best way to do that is to have a Public Option,

and make it be Medicare, with some payments adjustments,

and let some People under 65, into  Medicare

It’s the ONLY way you can get this thing up and running by 2010.

LET some People under 65 get into Medicare, by June 1st of 2010, after the President signs the Bill —

and ALL the Rumors GO AWAY!

Dylan: At what point Dr Dean do we have to acknowledge that our Political Process is not equipped to solve this problem … that you have to ‘Break up Monopolies’ and come up with new plans?

Dean: … The big problem is the Policy — you know this thing is pretty “Watered Down” right now.

It’s about as “Watered Down” as it can get, and still be a REAL Bill!

For example, There really is NO Insurance Reform in this Bill already. I just figured this out in the last few days.

Even the House Bill, which is the better of the two, and the Senate Bill is a decent Bill —

But even the House Bill, you can be Charged Twice as much for Insurance if you have a Pre-existing Condition — well

that’s NOT really “Guaranteed Issue” or “Community Rating“.  

So there’s not a lot left in this Bill.

The Public Option is about it.

Well that’s the thing, if they get rid of the Public Option,

this is just a Bill to give away Tax Payers Money to the Insurance Companies,

just like they did to the Banks, and AIG.

And I think the Democratic Party goes up in smoke.

I think Bernie Sanders, has got the right idea:

‘you might as well kill this thing, because People are going to be furious if it passes, and it doesn’t have a Public Option in it’.


Speak bluntly much, Doctor?

Don’t you know Insurance Companies Corporations, like the Banking Corporations, “OWN THE PLACE!”

What the Majority of the American People want, doesn’t matter much in those hallowed halls — what matters is which Senators and Reps will sell out their constituency, in return for their own “Guaranteed Issue” back into their Seats or Power.

quid pro quo

tit for tat

The People be damned.

Well even the very principled Bernie Sanders, knows when to back-track if the kitchen gets too hot.  (I expect Dean will back track soon too, given the Powers that Be.)

Sanders Stops Short Of Saying He’ll Filibuster Bill Without Public Option

Ben Frumin, TPM, November 29, 2009

The public option may not be a deal breaker for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

“I would be very reluctant to support legislation that did not have a strong public option,” Sanders said, adding that “I gotta see what ends up happening.”

Sanders reminded viewers that he’s hardly alone in backing the public option.

I’m speaking for other senators. I’m speaking for many members of the House who are going to fight, and demand a public option — and a strong one at that.


Nice tap dance Bernie.

Principles be damned.  If pragmatism, can find a rationalization?

Sam Stein knows how to cut to the Political Chase, as he picked up the Dean interview the day it happened:  

Dean: Dems ‘In Deep Trouble’ On Health Care, The Only Options Are A Bad Bill Or 2010 Losses

Sam Stein, HuffPost — 11-23-09

One of the leading progressive champions of health care reform is pessimistic about the state of the debate in the Senate, saying he sees virtually no path to passing strong legislation and predicting potential congressional losses for Democrats as a consequence.

“If you have members refusing to vote for Reid on procedural issues you will have a revolt in the party,” Dean said. “What is the point of having a 60-vote margin? This is going to be death for the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] and the [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee]. Why would anyone donate to them if they’re supporting candidates who defeat the Democratic agenda?

There was, he insisted, an out clause. Reconciliation — the budgetary maneuver that would allow portions of reform to be considered by an up or down vote — “looks better every time,” Dean said.…

Speaking the [unpopular] Truth is not an easy thing,

but it is much better than, the “head in the sand” mentality.

Haven’t we seen enough of that, in the last 8 years?


A 2014 – Trigger “guaranteeing” hypothetical Results
, maybe someday,

is hardly the Change, I voted for,

but then again, I’m just one of those principled progressives,

likely to keep my credit card in my wallet,

in the next round of Democratic Promise-making. (er, I mean “Campaigning”)

Promises, mean little, if they trade them away, for some non-existent bi-partisan vote.

A “Watered Down” bill is a disgrace to the Majority of People, who expected much more —

who expected REAL CHANGE!

Is it too much to ask, the Democrats to Stand on the Platform, of the Democratic Party?

Apparently so.  

Standing on Principle is a Bridge too far, for what used to be the Party of the People.

I hope Howard Dean is wrong … but fear, that he is NOT!


Skip to comment form

    • jamess on November 29, 2009 at 21:41

    too bad, he’s not in a Cabinet Position,

    or Chief of Staff.

    • jamess on November 29, 2009 at 22:39

    Dean knows how to stand on Principle —

    Progressive Principles

    What are Progressive Values?

    The Party of Mush,

    is NOT the Place we should be standing,

    you know, right next to the Polar Bears,

    on the melting Ice Flows

  1. I think he knows if he declares absolutely that he will filibuster he might alienate the few senators who are with him.

    Of all the senators, Sanders is the least likely to be playing games, IMO.

  2. I Don’t Want Health Care!

    Yes, your heard me right I Don’t Want Health Care.

    Job First, then maybe.  I mean can you just imagine me in a doctor’s office?

    “Here is your swine flu shot.”

    “I don’t think so!”

    “Why not?”

    “Ah, like, because it’s a bioweapon.”

  3. Bush hikes to Paulson, Paulson fakes a pass and laterals to Obama who, with an option to pass, decides to make a run to the left but instead tosses it to Geithner coming back for a reverse to the right side with solid blocking  provided by Baucus and Emanual. It turned out to be a stupid play that didn’t gain anything but looked good to the fans.


    • RUKind on November 30, 2009 at 03:46

    We should thank God that the drought will soon be over. From what I see, it’s forty more years of wandering in the desert.

    We need a non-violent class war. My plan is to not buy during the X season. I’ll make my presents. They’ll be American made and have a lot of thought and love put into them.

    I have a lot of woodworking equipment, a pro quality printer, Photoshop CS, and my wife and daughter have a great sewing machine. This will be like a return to the 70s for us when we tried the self-sufficiency lifstyle for most of  the decade.

    Fuck Wall Street. Fuck Walmart. Fuck the Treasury and the Fed. Fuck consumerism. And most of all, fuck the commercialization of what is supposed to be a spiritual time for almost all the worlds religions.

    It’s Yule that’s coming and it precedes every organized religion and mall.

    Santa will bring us universal health care. Don’t worry and watch out for the flying reindeer shit. 😉

  4. It is really, really a “sick” situation!  

    These devils hide in the details of the competing health care bills in Congress; both contain debilitating right-wing policies hidden within a progressive shell. Obama is indeed acting as the agent of change, to the great benefit of the U.S. corporate elite.

    And although the final bill has yet to be crafted, there exists general agreements as to what the end version will look like. Americans will be forced to buy shoddy corporate insurance with no limit to the cost, no guarantee of quality, with large premiums and other tricks to further gouge consumers. If a public option emerges in the final bill – by no means a guarantee – it will be shrunken enough to insure very few people (2 percent of the U.S. population).

    But it gets worse. How this health care “reform” will be paid for has implications that dwarf the above atrocities. . . .

  5. After apparently lying about the health insurance plan being single-payer, and after having expressed his aversion to single-payer, now Dean is complaining that the bills are “too watered down.”  What was his first clue?  

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