David Shuster talked to Howard Dean about where the health care bill stands in the Senate right now and whether we should not be allowing four Senators to hold up that bill.
Shuster: First Sen. Brown’s position on the public option—your thoughts.
Dean: He’s exactly right. Sherrod’s been one of the real champions of getting real health insurance. Look, what Tom Carper’s doing is silly. A trigger and all this business and opt-out and opt-in and all that—this is silly. Harry Reid’s got a decent bill on the floor, decent, it’s not great but it’s decent—it needs to pass. If they can’t pass it without real insurance reform and there isn’t any in the bill right now to speak of, then they just should go home and use reconciliation which is what they should have done in the first place. To let four Senators hold up the works in addition to the Republicans that we know aren’t interested in health insurance is a silly way to run the business.
Shuster: You mentioned Sen. Carper and his proposal being silly. Are you referring to the actual content of the policy or the politics or both?
Dean: No look, Tom is a serious guy. He’s a good guy. I served with him when we were governors together. But his proposal isn’t health insurance reform. Triggers are not health insurance reform. They’re devices put in for the health insurance industry. You know what today came out? Aetna is going to drop 600,000 people from their insurance so they can make more money. Now why is it that these Senators can’t get it in their heads that putting money in the health insurance system that we have now doesn’t work? That’s not health care reform. Knock it off! Listen to Sherrod Brown. Listen to the 56 Senators who want to do the right thing in the Democratic Party. Stop grandstanding and get this done.
Dean added that he doesn't think Sen. Nelson will actually filibuster the bill and what this means for the midterm elections.
Dean: I think an awful lot of people like me are getting awfully impatient. I think this is going to hurt a lot of people’s reelections too. People…you know the Democratic base has been incredibly demoralized by all this and it’s not going to hurt President Obama. People like him. He’s going to get reelected. It’s going to kill us in 2010 if we don’t get this thing done. The 2009 gubernatorial elections were about taxes, jobs and about getting health insurance off the plate, passing it and then start to work on some of these things like jobs. And if we don’t do that we’re going to get ourselves in big trouble as a party. We have got to get our act together here. You can’t allow four Democratic Senators to hold up the works, particularly when they get their chairmanships because they caucus with the Democratic Party. It’s not fair and I don’t think it’s right.