Howard Dean: Stop ObamaCare now

posted at 7:54 am on November 27, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Is Howard Dean reclaiming the populist crown? The former presidential candidate and governor of Vermont appeared on Air America’s Bill Press radio show and blasted the ObamaCare bill — in both its House and Senate forms. During the interview, Dean insisted that the current efforts did nothing to control costs, and amounted to nothing more than a bailout for the insurance companies. He urged progressives in Congress to oppose the bill, especially if the public option gets stripped out. And he said, “Republicans are right about the rhetoric of this bill” (via Instapundit):

DEAN: There is something worse than passing no bill. This bill isn’t very strong. In fact, the only piece of reform left in it is the public option. The insurance reform is gone, essentially, because what they did is they have guaranteed issue — they have to, er, the insurance company has to ensure you — the problem is they don’t have community rating any more. They, they, they, the Senate bill, I think, charges three or four times as much for sick people as they do for healthy people, and the House bill is twice as much. …

DEAN: You know, we did this ten or fifteen years ago in Vermont, and you can charge 20% more for your most expensive clients as you can for your cheapest clients, and that’s it. Now if you can afford to buy health insurance if it’s 20% above the bottom price, but you can’t afford to buy health insurance if it’s twice as much or three times as much, so guaranteed issue doesn’t do you any good unless you have real community rating. Real community rating doesn’t exist in either the House or the Senate bill, so the old argument, which I used to make, was that we ought to pass this thing just to get the insurance reform. There isn’t any insurance reform left in this bill to speak of. …

DEAN: You know, what this is is a giant bail-out. This is a bail-out that makes AIG look cheap. Sixty billion dollars a year go to the insurance companies under this bill. Now if we can get a public option, I think that’s OK, but if you don’t have a public option, why would you want to stick the taxpayers with yet another bail-out? They bailed out the banks, they bailed out AIG. This is a trillion-dollar bailout. …

DEAN: I would vote with Bernie Sanders. I would vote to kill this bill if it does not have a public option, because that is doing harm to the nation. It’s not just, “Well, there’s some of this” –

PRESS: Yeah.

DEAN: This is a harmful bill to the nation without a public option, because it’s going to take trillions of dollars, billions, well, trillions over several decades from our kids. The Republicans are right about the rhetoric of the bill. But if you get reform, you can fix it. If you don’t get reform, you got the system that we have today, you are gradually going to start uninsuring people, because we are not going to be able to maintain this system. This system does nothing to control costs.

A couple of points are in order here. First, Dean’s notion of capping insurance premium charge rates at a 20% range means that the majority of people will be subsidizing those who are higher risks. If insurance companies are forced to guarantee issue and can only charge 20% higher for those plans to high-risk patients who normally cost them three or four times more than average patients, then insurance companies will simply increase their base rates to make up the difference. Instead of encouraging people to be healthy, the healthy will get heavily penalized. That’s obvious to everyone except populist politicians, apparently.

More importantly, Dean — who was a successful chair of the DNC and supposedly represented the mainstream of the Democratic Party — has now hitched himself to Socialist Bernie Sanders and the progressive wing of the party. Is Dean thinking about a 2012 run predicated on a politically wounded Obama who failed to pass health-care reform?


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Ah, yes, the wonders of the Vermont medical system.

While I was there, my son got diabetes. There was one pediatric endocrinologist in the state, at the other end of the state, and she wasn’t taking new patients. They had been trying to attract another for 6 years but got no takers. I wound up having to go to New Hampshire for treatments.

Dean is right, this bill is crap. But Dean stopped doing medicine before his “reforms” gutted the state’s systems.

nerdbert on November 27, 2009 at 11:04 AM

This man is an insane socialist.

dogsoldier on November 27, 2009 at 10:31 AM

After 200 years of practical experience with socialism in two dozen large and small countries around the globe, I can’t see how there could be any other kind of socialist.

:)

JDPerren on November 27, 2009 at 11:08 AM

I worry that the free market would have led to more doctors, people spending their own money on care in a judicious manner and hospitals with the utility and efficiency of Wal-Mart or McDonalds.

That would be awful.

IlikedAUH2O on November 27, 2009 at 11:25 AM

***
Howard (the scream) Dean thinks ObamaCare is a bad idea???
This just proves the old saw that EVEN A STOPPED CLOCK IS RIGHT TWICE A DAY! But Comrade Obama (PBUH) hasn’t been right yet.
***
John Bibb
***

rocketman on November 27, 2009 at 11:44 AM

I don’t care what his reasons are. I just want this abortion of a bill stopped.

hachiban on November 27, 2009 at 11:47 AM

A cynic might begin to think their intention is to deliberately drive up insurance premiums!

Then, after a couple of years, they can throw up their hands, declare that the insurance companies have remained uncooperative, and—voila—we have to install single payer!

Any other cynics out there?

jeanneb on November 27, 2009 at 11:50 AM

RUN, HOWARD, RUN !!!

( for Prez in 2012, to drain votes from O )

“The enemy of my enemy is my temporary friend”

Janos Hunyadi on November 27, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Whoa.
Dean is not one to step out of the general party line. For him to go so far as to say “republicans are right” about anything is huge. Sure, he wants that public option, but in the process, he’s going against the rest of what Harry and Nancy are cobbling together.
Time to order another margarita and settle in to watch the fun.

n0doz on November 27, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Your party is in trouble when Howard Dean is your voice of reason… Even he realizes that the bill(s) don’t address core issues, though he has voice some false rationalizations to get there… At least he’s smart enough to start providing cover…

phreshone on November 27, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Only Howard Dean could call the pending bills “a bailout for insurance companies”. In truth, Howie is worried about the 2010 elections and the fact that they could well become a Democratic bloodbath.

GarandFan on November 27, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Exactly right. If it were a bailout for insurance companies, the State of Connecticut wouldn’t be opposed to it. But Lieberman is fighting it tooth and nail.

Del Dolemonte on November 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Exactly right. If it were a bailout for insurance companies, the State of Connecticut wouldn’t be opposed to it. But Lieberman is fighting it tooth and nail.

Del Dolemonte on November 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Lieberman is the first CongressCritter in Connecticut to understand that this bill will turn Hartford into the next Detroit… A regular one-state depression…

phreshone on November 27, 2009 at 12:53 PM

So, to sum it up, Dean, the ‘illustrious’, wants the bill, but with the public option:

- rhetoric ok
- bail out insurance companies ok
- public robbery ok

Dean, same ol’ socialist moron, covering all bases, while the left and the right ignore him, to his egotistical chagrin.

Schadenfreude on November 27, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Dean is an idiot.

Doesn’t he know that the Dems are pushing for the Obamacare as stinking offering in the service for their goddess named Comunista?

Obamacare is not about health care or the people. It’s about serving the said evil goddess.

TheAlamos on November 27, 2009 at 1:35 PM

I need to wake up because I don’t want to be forced to cover the medical costs of someone who is basically eating themselves into an early grave? Seriously, where the heck did you come up with that line? I want some of the purple Kool-aid that you are snorting.

Johnnyreb on November 27, 2009 at 8:19 AM

Yes you need to wake up. People will abuse themselves someway somehow. If it isn’t food, its booze, or drugs or fast cars, or guns, or sex, or diving in a shallow pool or any amount of things. That is the point of insurance the healthy people pay for the sick,careless, unproductive people. So are you going to deny everyone that does risky behavior? should aids patients not get drugs because they had unprotected sex? Should the guy that blew his foot off not get healthcare because he owned a gun. should the 17 yearold that wrapped his car around the tree not get care because he was speeding?

unseen on November 27, 2009 at 8:26 AM

In a truly free market insurance system, you’re wrong. In fact, insurance is all about setting a monetary value on risky people. In health insurance, it clearly makes sense that a smoker should be paying higher premiums. It makes sense also that a gay man should be required to pay higher premiums, since homosexuality is extremely risky behavior. Obviously, someone who is already sick should pay a higher premium than someone who’s healthy as a horse.

That is, the rate you pay for insurance should be based on how likely you are to need insurance. All insurance is based on the odds of needing it.

But it’s very true that mandates on insurance, and buying insurance through the job, have created an environment where the premium you pay has little or no relation to risky behavior.

This is not actually a good thing. Look at car insurance, for example. You can get a better premium if you avoid accidents, obviously. But a student pays less insurance for being a good student, not because of any socio-economic privileges, but for the simple fact that good students tend to be better drivers.

Try telling a group of 8th-graders that when they start driving, the boys can expect to pay a lot more for auto insurance than the girls. The first thing you’ll hear is how “unfair” that is. But they pay more because they’re known to be a bigger risk.

Part of what’s wrong with the current insurance situation is that companies are not allowed to price according to risk. This always means that the healthier pay more money to support the less healthy. If we had a true free market in health insurance, smokers would be paying higher premiums. And yes, once insurance companies realized that heavy runners are more prone to knee injuries, the rates for runners would increase.

As they should.

There Goes The Neighborhood on November 27, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Howard Dean calls the Obamacare bills disasters but will vote for them if they proclaim the complete government takeover of health care.

Also in the news: Rain is wet.

darktood on November 27, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Is dean simply providing cover for the libs not to vote on this turkey?

dogsoldier on November 27, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Sounds like occupying the underside of a bus carriage may be in Screechin’ Howie’s not-too-distant future.

pilamaye on November 27, 2009 at 7:59 PM

What a moron. Who on earth would’ve trusted him as their doctor. He still wants the bill passed, just not in its current form. How can he not know the devestating effects universal healthcare would have on the medical profession. A dangerous and clueless man in Vermont. I believe he read the polls and know dems lose big on Obamacare and he’s trying to cut off his colleagues at the pass before it’s too late.

ranzofola on November 27, 2009 at 8:39 PM

I worry that the free market would have led to more doctors, people spending their own money on care in a judicious manner and hospitals with the utility and efficiency of Wal-Mart or McDonalds.

That would be awful.

IlikedAUH2O on November 27, 2009 at 11:25 AM

Awful as in two of the most cost-effective and popular retailers/restaurants in the WORLD? Closing Wal-mart and McDonalds would hurt the ‘little guy’ and lower/middle class workers as does virtually any liberal solution or policy. Your skepticism and perspective shows that the free market system, while highly popular among the masses, would work for health care in the same way, even though liberal elites disdain the popular/cost-effective solutions of the free market.

jerseyman on November 27, 2009 at 8:54 PM

“Republicans are right…”

What the #%^$!?

Grafted on November 27, 2009 at 10:09 PM

What the #%^$!?

Grafted on November 27, 2009 at 10:09 PM

My thoughts exactly.

The Resmuglicans haven’t been ‘right’ as in ‘conservative’ nor ‘right’ as in being correct (usually) for the past decade.

Dark-Star on November 27, 2009 at 10:24 PM

…the free market would have led to more doctors, people spending their own money on care in a judicious manner and hospitals with the utility and efficiency of Wal-Mart or McDonalds.

IlikedAUH2O on November 27, 2009 at 11:25 AM

Replace “Wal-Mart or McDonalds” with “Target or Chick-Fil-A” and you’ve got a deal.

Oathkeeper216 on November 27, 2009 at 10:25 PM

DEAN: You know, what this is is a giant bail-out. This is a bail-out that makes AIG look cheap. Sixty billion dollars a year go to the insurance companies under this bill. Now if we can get a public option, I think that’s OK, but if you don’t have a public option, why would you want to stick the taxpayers with yet another bail-out? They bailed out the banks, they bailed out AIG. This is a trillion-dollar bailout. …

Dean is wrong. This isn’t an insurance company bailout. It’s a Medicare/Democratic Party bailout.

Medicare is going to go broke even sooner than the projected date, and if the Dems don’t get their signature socialized medical care program shored up somehow (especially due to the multiple billions of dollars in monies lost due to fraudulent claims), then they’re toast.

The House version and the Senate version both are rigged to cut back on Medicare payouts while at the same time providing an alternative new health care option so that Medicare will, I’m convinced, be eventually phased out and replaced by the newer program, thus saving face. And, if they tax it right and include oppressive penalties for young healthy people who opt out since their money will be needed to make the whole thing work, then the date for ‘socialized medical care’ financial failure can be punted into the distant future again and not be a constant concern for the current lot of miserable politicians who helped create the nightmare in the first place.

KendraWilder on November 27, 2009 at 10:59 PM

Please find a different goofy picture of this moron. I’m a lifelong Cheesehead (grew up with Lombardi’s Packers) and seeing the most “most storied” of fan headgear on that goofball’s head makes me want to hurl.

rotorjoe on November 28, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Please find a different goofy picture of this moron. I’m a lifelong Cheesehead (grew up with Lombardi’s Packers) and seeing the most “most storied” of fan headgear on that goofball’s head makes me want to hurl.

rotorjoe on November 28, 2009 at 3:19 PM

But that is the point – to make you want to hurl. That way, every time you see the picture you’ll remember why you detest socialist Demon-craps.

Clever, aren’t we?

platypus on November 28, 2009 at 5:06 PM

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