Howard Dean on Bill Press Show this morning made sense as usual. I’ll paraphrase what he proposed (from my notes) here because it’s too much for 140 characters.
Dean said that Democrats should not walk away from health care reform. That looks weak. And weak is what they have been looking all year.
On the other hand, they can’t pass the Senate bill (the House won’t go for it) and the good things in it (the insurance reform) is mixed in with insurance cartel giveaways.
Instead of those two unpalatable options, he recommends a three part plan:
1. Expand Medicaid and Medicare (down to 55) through reconciliation. It’s not perfect but a big step forward and could take effect within months of passage.
2. Put the insurance reforms (outlawing pre-existing conditions, strictures on premiums to women, older people, recission, keeping kids on until 26) into a bill and MAKE THE GOP VOTE. If they vote against these popular items, make them pay.
3. Recognize that Senate bill if passed does not have benefits until 2013 while putting all the bad stuff out to the public to be defended by Dems for 3 election cycles. That is “insane.” He said.
This is me now. Clearly the Tuesday results underlines his last point. A listener sent in the question: Will you come back and lead the DNC again? Dean laughed that suggestion off, but man, I wish he would!
Asked if he would convey his ideas to Pelosi, Reid and the White House, Dean said that the listeners need to.
But they aren’t listening to us, Dr. Dean! And they aren’t even listening to the real message of Tuesday. They had a house fall on them and they’re still blabbering about bipartisanship and passing the Senate bill.