Dean, Lieberman spark health care debate
We know the nation is seriously divided on the question of health-care reform, and a couple of op-eds on the subject inspire anger and frustration among our Readers Who Comment. Some suggest possible remedies to the legislation as it now stands, others conclude that the health-care reform effort should just be killed.
A total of more than 800 comments have been filed on columns by Matthew Dowd -- the chief strategist for George W. Bush's 2004 presidential campaign -- and Howard Dean, former chair of the Democratic National Committee. Dowd argues that passage of the legislation will damage Democrats; that defeat is "more likely to hurt Republicans" in Congress. Dean says he could not vote for the current bill, primarily because he sees it as a huge benefit to insurance companies.
Readers either support or attack the arguments and support or attack health-care reform. Many are furious at the role Sen. Joe Lieberman has played in hogtieing Senate Democrats. Many want a public option. Many want the bill to die.
A third voice in the discussion is that of columnist Ruth Marcus, who asks "has Howard Dean Lost his Mind?" and writes "The alternative is squandering this opportunity -- leaving millions of Americans uninsured and without the prospect of getting coverage far into the political future."
First to the comments on Dowd's op-ed column:
RichieRichA wrote, "The conclusion of this political hack is, not surprisingly, do what is politically expedient and forget what the public really needs or wants. That is how the Bush white house was run and we are paying dearly for it now."
But FergusonFoont said, "It is VERY rare indeed that I agree with Matthew Dowd, but when he points out that the passage of this worse-than-worthless health care package will hurt the Democrats, while successful obstruction of passage will hurt the Republicans, he has this one right..."
EnemyOfTheState wrote, "The historic levels of low esteem people have for the government can be traced to the 1980s, when conservatives, led by Reagan, decided to demonize government in order to win elections (of course, that begs the question: why run for office when you hate government? - but I digress). As long as the GOP continues to spend tens of millions convincing Americans to hate their government, it won't matter what kind of success story is out there."
ram_lopez said, "Bravo! This article hits the nail on the head. After all the concessions that Democrats have made to appease the likes of Joe Lieberman, they would be better off not passing health care at all. President Obama... is a chump. He is a bipartisan at all costs, appease the Joe Liebermans of the world, sell out. Democrats don't deserve the White House or the Congressional majorities we gave them."
gkam wrote, "Let those who caused our wars without end, our scams without end, bungles without end, and Bad Debts without end prattle on. WE know who killed our chance of Health Care again - the same petty, selfish conservatives who opposed Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, Health and Safety Laws, and all other examples of civilization..."
thelaw1 said, "...The real canard here is that the GOP will be hurt. Oh, it will be hurt by propaganda from Democrats and the liberal news media, but the GOP will not be hurt by the voters. The voters know that Democrats are hell bent on cramming some bill, any bill as long as it says health care reform in it, down our throats..."
bobfbell wrote, "Interestingly Mr. Dowd's analysis is totally focused on the political calculation. Unfortunatelty, that is what President Obama and the Congress has had in mind all along in building this bill and pushing for its passage. A political victory regardless of the cost to the nation for such a victory... Any half objective analysis of this bill shows the big winners will be the health care conglomerates and insurance companies. Thirty million more mandated policy holders on the rolls, no damper on costs and subsidies from the taxpayers..."
All comments on the Dowd op-ed are here.
Now to comments on Howard Dean's take:
rcupps said, "Nobody should be surprised by the mess this bill has become. Follow the campaign CASH and it is easy to see why and how this bill was stripped of its teeth and became such a bonanza to the insurance companies and such a boondoggle for the rest of us."
medogsbstfrnd wrote, "Kudos to Howard Dean for having the courage to tell the truth, something sorely absent from the coward's den that is the United States Senate. Miserable cowardly blue dog Democrats. No one expected the Republicans to have the stomach for reform. But to cave into these money grubbing politicos when you have the majority is nothing less than slitheringly corrupt."
mainer2 said, "Dean is wrong. This is a big step forward."
mcdonaldjames2 wrote, "I agree with Mr. Dean. I think the only true reform would be a tax supported government financed health care system... I think the liberals, if they can;t get real reform, should just kill the bill . I think in this instance nothing is better than the appearance of something..."
jmdziuban1 said, "Agreed. This bill has been so altered to ensure it is amenable to healthcare special interest that the interests of the American public has been set aside. This bill qualifies for reform in name only..."
finleysteve wrote, "Amen Gov. Dean - either pass health reform through the 51-vote reconciliation process, or re-insert the public option and let Lieberman and others go on record voting against it. Let them close the Senate down for months filibustering it."
marjorie77 said, "The most salient and powerful statement in this piece,....."In short, the winners in this bill are insurance companies; the American taxpayer is about to be fleeced with a bailout in a situation that dwarfs even what happened at AIG"... needs to be repeated over and over again until people get it... This bill needs to die a natural death, quickly, before innocent people are hurt."
All comments on the Dean op-ed are here.
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