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Howard Dean's double take on health-care vote

So, did you read the story about the big health-care rally in Washington? Smack in the middle of it is this quote from former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.). "We deserve a vote," he said. "This is a vote about one thing -- are you for the insurance companies or for the American people?" This struck us a little funny at our morning editorial board meeting yesterday, because we all recalled that Dean was against the Senate bill. At least, that's what he wrote in The Post. And here's what he said on "Keith Olbermann" a little more than a week before the Christmas Eve vote.

Last I heard, the game plan is to get the House to pass the Senate legislation that Dean, a physician and the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, so vigorously opposed. What changed? "Nothing has changed in the Senate bill," Dean told me yesterday. What has changed, he said, is that "we now have 41 senators" who have gone on record for a public option. And there are the fixes to the Senate bill that will be made through reconciliation. For Dean that's enough to get on board. Perhaps he could try to convince Dennis Kucinich.

By Jonathan Capehart  | March 10, 2010; 6:45 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

The LIBERALS want this passed no mater what. PIGLOSI says lets get this passed, then we can read it and get it fixed.

kind of bassackwards isn't it?

Posted by: frankn1 | March 11, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Wow frankn1, you're a real class act.

You are a prime example of why people like myself don't listen to people like you. You have no credibility when you sound like you're on the playground at recess. Sadly, there are millions like you.

Posted by: Blarney | March 11, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Pure politics. I think Dean knows the bill is going to pass and doesn't want to be on the "wrong" side of this bill.

Posted by: rlj1 | March 11, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Blarney, you are wrong.

Instead of refuting frankn1's comments you attack the person. In so doing, you show yourself to be the lesser man/woman.

You liken his opinion to that of a school child. Sad.

Regarding the article, which is what this comment section is about, I believe Dean is being pressured to help get as many Democrats in line as possible to get the bill passed. Also, Pelosi DID say that the bill should be passed first and then provided to law makers later so they could find out what they voted for. That is indeed "bassackwards".

I know we need health care reform, but I don't like the bill one bit. There is too much "gimme gimme gimme" from too many Democrats seeking perks to advance their own interests at the expense of the needs of the country. Now that we are down to the vote, the hold up is more Democrats saying "gimme gimme gimme or I won't vote for this bill!" Sad.

Bush may have not been very well liked, but he was certainly capable of getting Congress to pass things.

Finally in control, the Democrats can't even control themselves. They criticized the GOP when they were the minority saying they could and would do a better job. Now that they are in the majority, they can't get anything meaningful done. Their inability to make tough decisions is rooted in their fear of not getting re-elected. They would rather win the popularity contest than do what is right for the country.

Obama's "go from broke" gambit, his belated leadership in this fight, in contrast to his previous stance of sitting back and criticizing Congress for not gettin it done, is too little too late. Given the chance to lead, when leadership is not exhibited the result is predicable failure.

Sadly, there are millions like me.

Posted by: cgteddy911 | March 11, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

cgteddy911, I am so sick of the "we want health reform, just not this bill" rhetoric. It sounds oh so reasonable except it is just way to advocate for no change to the status quo. You criticize Democrats for the process, but offer no alternatives and never have. At the session with Republicans, the best you could offer was a tired old McCain whining about process. Where are alternative proposals? Republicans have had decades including 16 years of Bushes and several years of Congressional control during Clinton's term. They did nothing. If just a few Republicans had gotten engaged, there would have been fall less need to politic the bill through Congress, so take some responsibility for that yourself as well. Is it a perfect solution? Oh course not. But it is now time to act. If you can't propose something constructive, get out of the way for those who are actually trying to solve the problem.


Posted by: TomLehman1 | March 11, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Dear TomLehman1,

John McCain had a clearprescription for health care during his 2008 campaign. He proposed serious change -- taxing employer-provided health care as what it indisputably is, compensation, and giving tax credits, including refundable ones, for individuals to purchase insurance.

Plain, simple, easy to implement, and it wouldn't cost U.S. taxpayers a thing. It would save money, expand health care to every citizen, reduce health care costs, and obviate the need to expand the size of government.

Instead, the sprawling health care bills would subsidize insurance purchases for families of four earning almost $100,000 a year, a redundant reminder of Democratic unseriousness about the nation's fiscal mismanagement.

The President paid lip service to serious, legitimate Republican proposals to fix health care and has decided instead to ram through what he wants regardless.

The reason you don't know what the Republicans propose is because the media does not publish them. Instead, they only say the Republicans have nothing.

But, since you don't know and won't get the information from the media, go this website and see for yourself: http://www.gop.gov/solutions/healthcare. It is the official website of the Republicans in Congress. You can see, debate, and decide for yourself if these proposals, clearly outlined in plain English, make sense or not.

Don't just swallow the media line and get some real facts before you decide to blast others out of ignorance. You do yourself no favor, and come across as petty in the process.

Courtesy is a contageous disease, catch it.

Posted by: cgteddy911 | March 11, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

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